It’s a natural process so it should be easy, right? But just like learning how to ride a bike, you need to learn how to breastfeed (and so does baby, by the way). Because many breastfeeding mothers face a few challenges along the way, I’ve uncovered 5 problems you might encounter, plus solutions to help you fix your breastfeeding relationship with your babe. If these ideas don’t work for you, you can contact me, I’m a lactation consultant! Also you can go to a breastfeeding group in your city!
Problem #1 Latching on hurts.
New mothers may experience some sensitivity or tenderness, but you shouldn’t feel outright pain. Pain as the baby latches on usually means the baby is not getting a big enough mouthful of breast at the start. You want the baby’s mouth to be open wide as she latches on, with her chin pressed into your breast and her head tipped back so that her nose is away from the breast. Make sure your hand is not behind her head, as that can prevent a good latch. If making these adjustments doesn’t help, consult a lactation expert.
Problem #2 Clogged / Plugged duct
Ducts clog because your milk isn’t draining completely. You may notice a hard lump on your breast or soreness to the touch and even some redness. If you start feeling feverish and achy, that’s a sign of infection and you should see your doctor. Most importantly try not to have long stretches in between feedings — milk needs to be expressed often. A nursing bra that is too tight can also cause clogged ducts. Stress (something all new mommies have an over abundance of) can also affect your milk flow.
Do your best to get adequate rest (you should recruit your partner to pick up some slack when possible). Also, try applying warm compresses to your breasts and massage them to stimulate milk movement.Clogged ducts are not harmful to your baby because breastmilk has natural antibiotics. That said, there’s no reason why you have to suffer. Breastfeeding should be enjoyable for mom and baby.
Problem #3 Engorgement
Engorgement makes it difficult for baby to latch on to the breast because it’s hard and un-conforming to his mouth.
Try hand-expressing a little before feeding to get the milk flowing and soften the breast, making it easier for baby to latch and access milk. Of course, the more you nurse, the less likely your breasts are to get engorged.
Problem #4 Baby sleeping while nursing
Baby is sleepy in the first couple of months after birth (hey, he’s been through a lot) so falling asleep while nursing is common. All that bonding makes baby relaxed!
Milk flow is fastest after your first let-down, so if you want to increase efficiency, start off at the fuller breast, then switch to the other breast sooner, rather than later. When you notice baby’s sucking slowing down and his eyes closing, remove him from your breast and try to stimulate him by burping, tickling his feet, or gently talking to him while rubbing his back, and then switch breasts. As baby gets older he’ll be able to stay awake longer, so don’t fret.
Problem #5 Going back to work
“I’m back at work and there are days when I simply don’t have time to pump.”Returning to work is one of the most common reasons women stop breastfeeding exclusively or wean altogether. In fact, women whose maternity leave was less than six weeks are four times as likely to stop nursing than women who don’t return to work.
See a lactation consultant before you return to work. For example I can help you to find a perfect double-electric, hands- free pump for you that will allow you to express milk while you’re busy doing something else. Buy at least two sets of pump attachments—as well as bottles, caps and nipples—so you always have a clean set.Practice pumping a few weeks before returning to work and build up a reserve in your home freezer.
And if you have other kind of issues or doubts contact me at email@example.com