World Health Organization (WHO) has advised that breastfeeding is always the best form of feeding for babies up to two years of age. Once a mommy has decided to do the breastfeeding adventure, for sure she has considered the goodness of breastfeeding benefits. Me, myself, had been through breastfeeding for the past 4 years now, for my 2 sons. I had been up in the clouds at first, but all through out, breastfeeding is not as easy as how most mothers think it is. There are breastfeeding blues that once in a while will make our breastfeeding journey seem hard, well it really is hard. But i assure you that after everything, the hardship can never really outnumber the goodness that there is in breastfeeding.
Common Breastfeeding Problems
•Cracked and Sore Nipples
This often happens to new mommies. Their babies are still in adjustment period of how to do breastfeeding successfully. In the attempt to get milk, their latch may be too forceful and tight and might cause nipples to crack. The pain won’t last for too long or all through out the feeding session though. What you can do is make sure that baby is positioned properly during feeding. Make sure he is properly latching so he won’t have to forcefully do it.
This is when baby is shallow latching and not getting the sufficient milk he intend to get. Make sure that when you are breastfeeding, most part of the areola is covered by baby’s mouth. Make sure that he is not latching just from the base of the nipple. When baby is hungry and he sense your nipple near his mouth, he will open his mouth and that’s when you get to bring your breast into his mouth and make sure he cover and latch the proper area so stimulate your breast and for milk to flow.
It is when your breastmilk isn’t drained out properly and your breast becomes so tight and full. It might cause discomfort and a little pain. When breasts are so full, they might harden a little. This happens when your breast keeps producing milk but little one wasn’t able to fully drain the milk. What you can do is express or pump your milk if your baby is sleeping or away from you. When you breastfeed your baby, make sure he is properly latched and switch to the other breast every after 15-20 minutes of feeding so both breasts will be drained.
•Clogged Duct and Mastitis
When your breast is exposed to pressure like when you are wearing bra with underwire, or when you are sleeping and your breast is pressed to pillow or bed for too long, it can cause for your milk duct to clog. You will notice that it will become painful to touch, there is lump and redness in the area, and the flow of milk is affected. Mastitis is the worst of it. This happens when you already get bacterial infection in your breasts. For clogged ducts, you just need to have proper rest, drain breasts properly, massage or do hot compress to the affected area. It might last for 2 to 3 days. For mastitis, you need to consult your doctor for proper medication. You will be required to take antibacterial medicine for it too.
•Low Milk Supply
This is a common problem for mommies especially to those that are mix feeding or formula feeding and breastfeeding at the same time. Just keep in mind that breastmilk production is based on demand. The more you spend time breastfeeding your baby, the more milk will be produced by your body. You can pump your milk too or take lactation supplements. Drink a lot of water and soup. Eat healthy foods too so your body will be able to produce more milk.
Breastfeeding is not a walk in the park kind of challenge. Your patience, strength and courage will be put into test at most times. Remind yourself of your main goal so that you will never run out of reasons to continue breastfeeding even at times you will experience these breastfeeding problems.