Breastfeeding is the most natural thing a mom can do for her baby. It contains all the essential nutrients your baby will ever need for up to the first 6 months of his/her life but sometimes, you might come across some complications and wonder if it is normal or not. Although no two women are exactly alike (and yes it is true), you might not experience any of these breastfeeding problems but just in case you do and you need a quick answer to your questions, here are some solutions to some breastfeeding dilemmas.
Common Breastfeeding Problems & How to Solve Them
1. MY BREAST HURTS LIKE CRAZY!
You might be suffering from Mastitis. It is an infection of the breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth, and redness of the breast caused by blocked milk ducts. It sometimes occurs when a breastfeeding mama does not regularly breastfeed her baby within the first 3 months but it can happen much later. Ouch! Mastitis causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, aches, chills and pain.
Cold and hot packs can help relieve the pain. Try nursing frequently to get the milk flow going and you can massage it to ease the pain. If symptoms don't let up in 24 hours, you might need to see the doctor to prescribe you antibiotics.
2. MY BABY WON'T LATCH
Some mommies struggle with this and can be a bit frustrating because you want your baby to get all the nutrients to grow healthy and strong.
Body to body contact can help babies latch on so get try taking off your clothes from the waist up and have your baby in only his/her diapers. Get in a reclining position and your baby should latch right on. You may just need to express your milk and bottle feed your baby until he/she is ready.
3. CRACKED NIPPLES
Cracked nipples sometimes occur when your baby latches on incorrectly or if your baby passed on a yeast infection to you. Some mamas get this when they first start breastfeeding but it is not normal to have cracked nipples.
Let your baby feed on the breast that does not hurt or let him/her feed from the bottle. Certainly, consult with a lactation expert if it doesn't get better by the first week of breastfeeding. It will be money very well spent.
4. WILL MY DEPRESSION MEDS HURT MY BABY?
According to the CDC report on postpartum depression, 11 to 20% of women who give birth suffer from postpartum depression every year and only 15% will ever receive the proper treatment. Yes, there is a treatment out there that is safe for you and your baby.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about putting you on an antidepressant medication that is very safe for your baby. If possible, also talk to a pediatrician about the medicine you are taking.
5. MY BOOBS ARE TENDER IN ONE SPOT
This is quite normal and usually, happens a few days after birth. Mamas who produce too much milk are susceptible to this but no worries. With the right techniques, the pain and discomfort should relive in no time.
Feed frequently from the most tender breast. Position your child so that his/her chin is resting against the tender part. This will massage the area as he/she feeds. Be sure to massage heat between feeding and express your milk when possible to help release some of the extra milk.
6. MY BABY CHOMPS DOWN ON MY NIPPLE
Yikes! We all know how much this hurts. When your baby starts teething, it is natural for some babies to bite on your nipples and we know they do not do it intentionally. So what can you do when this happens?
Breastfeed in such a way that your baby's nose is gently right against your boob so that this way, he/she will need to unlatch before biting down on your nipple. If your baby is teething, be alert when feeding so that you can learn the warning signs before he actually bites.
7. MY BREAST DOES NOT SEEM FULL
Many breastfeeding mothers worry that their children are not getting enough milk because their breast no longer has the fullness it had in the beginning. This usually happens after between six to ten weeks but no worries.
There is no solution for this one. It simply means your body has adjusted and your breast milk makes enough to feed your baby (supply and demand). Be sure to keep your eye on your baby's weight gain to make sure he/she is, in fact, getting enough milk.
8. I AM CONSTANTLY LEAKING!
You feel like a walking fountain of milk, literally! This is a normal occurrence and some moms leak in the first few months while others leak for many months after giving birth. After a few days after giving birth, your breast is producing so much milk that it pours out of you even when your baby is not feeding. The hormone, oxytocin is responsible for this.
Wear clothes that camouflage witness or carry shirts or jackets when you go out. That way, even though you leak, no one will ever notice. You can also use cloth nursing pad instead of disposables. Also, when you feel a tingly sensation of milk let down, use your palm to apply pressure to your nipples. Also, get in the habit of breastfeeding often to release some of the pressure and also express milk whenever you baby is not feeding.