Even though breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t always come naturally. Here are some common breastfeeding problems you should know and suggestions on how to deal with them.
1. Cracked nipples
This can be because your baby has improper positioning and latch. And if your nipples are burning or crusty, it may be due to thrush.
Solution: Breastfeed more often at shorter intervals. Also, rub a moisturiser on your nipples to help reduce the discomfort.
2. Breast engorgement
After birth, your breasts will become rock hard as your milk supply spikes and this can be very uncomfortable.
Solution: The pain should subside/disappear within a few days/weeks of breastfeeding. Until then, ease discomfort by nursing frequently and switching up positions.
3. Leaking breasts
This is a common breastfeeding problem faced by new moms, especially in the first few weeks following delivery. You’re most likely to leak when you hear or even think about your baby.
Solution: Wear nursing pads (keep a few extras on you) & dark-coloured tops. It usually subsides after the first few weeks.
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This is an inflammation of the breast tissue caused by a bacterial infection. It can happen when the breast doesn’t drain sufficiently.
Solution: Treat with antibiotics (as prescribed by a doctor). Don’t worry, you can breastfeed during treatment.
5. Low milk supply
In theory, breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand system. The more you nurse or pump, the more milk your body should make. Still, there can be ‘production’ issues
Solution: Frequent nursing and pumping during the day can help up your breast milk supply.
6. Latching pain
Some women’s nipples are flat or retract inward — making it more challenging (but certainly still possible) for baby to latch.
Solution: Ensure your baby’s mouth covers more of your areola below the nipple than above.
This is a yeast infection in the baby’s mouth, which can spread to your breasts.
Solution: Your doctor will need to prescribe an antifungal medication to put on your nipple and in the baby’s mouth.
Finally, for new moms, please remember that many breastfeeding problems are temporary and the rest are treatable with self-care and/or medical help. So when (or if) you encounter them, don’t give up.