Difficulties in Breastfeeding
10 December 2012
It’s impossible to deny that giving your baby breast milk is the best possible choice, but breastfeeding isn’t always quite as easy as some would have you believe. As with many changes that occur upon becoming a mother, breastfeeding takes some adjustment, and you may encounter a few difficulties along the way.
- Nipple Pain: This is the single biggest complaint among new mothers who are trying to breastfeed their babies. You could feel an itching or even a burning sensation, but the good news is that over time, you’ll feel no discomfort when you get ready to feed your baby. There are a few reasons you may be feeling nipple pain right now, though. You could have the baby in the wrong position as he or she feeds or you may simply have some skin issues around your nipples. Make certain your baby achieves a good latch every time he or she feeds. It’s best to get baby to open that little mouth as wide as possible, then position yourself. You may also want to check your nipples for dry skin or thrush to help deal with the pain. Soap can easily dry your skin, as can ill-fitting bras, so watch out for problems as you begin to feed your baby. Check with your lactation consultant or pediatrician if you suspect thrush.
- Clogged Ducts: There are few things worse than a clogged duct, and they can make your breasts feel full, sore, and hot. While a clogged duct can’t hurt your baby, it can lead to infection in your body. If you notice a clog, rest as much as possible, take a hot shower, and apply a warm compress to your breast as you nurse. To avoid this problem in the future, make certain that your nursing bra fits well and avoid stress as much as possible.
- Engorgement: In those first few weeks, you may experience this painful condition. It may even make it difficult for your baby to properly latch on. While it will rectify itself in time, the best thing to do initially is to express a bit of milk before the feeding so baby has an easier time latching on.
- Low Milk Supply: This is actually rarer than you think. Most breastfeeding mothers make plenty of milk for their little ones, but it’s not always easy to tell how much milk baby is getting in any given feeding. If you do suspect you don’t have enough milk for your baby, your best bet is to contact a lactation consultant. She can help you make certain baby is getting enough, and in the event he or she isn’t, more frequent nursing or pumping is typically the best solution.
- Finding the Right Nursing Position: There are many different ways to nurse your baby, and in the early days, it may be tough to find the right one to meet your needs. You should try a variety of positions throughout the first few weeks until the two of you find one you like best. The chances are good that different situations will call for different positions. For example, at night, it might work best to nurse your baby in the side lying positions while during the day, you may be more comfortable with the traditional cradle hold.
Breastfeeding your baby can be an amazing experience, but it often takes a bit of work to get over the initial difficulties.
Pinkchic18 is a writer with a passion for parenting and babies. She also regularly contributes to the Parenting & New Baby Advice Blog, where you can find more articles on feeding baby along with unique baby gifts.
Attached Images License: Creative Commons image source