Common Breastfeeding Problems and Solutions

Having breastfeeding problems? Breastfeeding is never easy and you’re not alone.

Though breastfeeding is a natural process, it isn’t always easy. As per a recent study, more than 92% of moms reported breastfeeding problems in their first week. Whatsoever, breastfeeding is usually recommended as it protects both mother and infant from a load of health problems.

Fortunately, by following some guidance coupled with little assistance, most moms can definitely overcome breastfeeding problems to a great extent and continue breastfeeding for longer periods.

Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges & Concerns in the Early Days:

Breastfeeding is the most natural way for you to give your baby the best nutrition during her first years of life. Although nature’s way is the very best, you may experience one or more of the following situations while breastfeeding in the early days.

Here are some helpful tips on what to do:

Leaking Milk:

Milk leaking from your breast is a normal physical reaction for breastfeeding mothers right before nursing or when your baby cries. Sometimes you may experience leaky breasts when you’re feeding on the other.

Protect your clothes by using absorbent nursing pads inside your bra to collect any drips. Changing padding often can help you a lot.

If you don’t want to waste a single drop then wearing milk collection shells inside your bra is an effective solution. Never wear those collection shells for more than two hours at a time.

Moreover, don’t forget to breastfeed the collected milk immediately. Or else, store in a sterile bottle and place it in a refrigerator and use within 24 hours.

Sore Nipples:

Vigorous sucking or improper latching on may cause cracked nipples. Some moms do experience bloody nipple discharge. This is called rusty pipe syndrome and usually resolves within a few days. Cracked nipples can be due to different reasons such as dry skin, thrush, and latching problems.

For preventing it, try a new position while breastfeeding. Air – dry your nipples after feeding your baby or showering. Rub your own breast milk or colostrums around your nipples.

Wear cotton clothing such as a nursing bra or loose-fitting top. Never get tempted to treat cracked nipples by applying soap, alcohol or soothing lotion.

Breastfeeding Problems

Breast Pain:

Tingling in your breasts may occur as your body adjusts to breastfeeding. If you experience tingling only when your baby is nursing, it is a normal sign of your body releasing milk. Use warm or cold compresses on your breasts between feedings.

If your breast is sore or hot or you experience a fever over 100 Fahrenheit, you may have a breast infection. Contact your doctor. If you continue to experience pain after you and your baby are well adjusted to breastfeeding, your doctor may want to check your symptoms.

Full and Hard Breasts:

Some moms experience their breasts fuller and even rock hard and can result in pain and tenderness. In medical terminology, this condition is referred to as breast engorgement. Getting inputs from a health care provider with respect to baby latching can help you out.

You can manually collect a small amount of milk before feeding. Or else, you can help get milk out for the baby. One can even take a warm shower before breastfeeding. By feeding your infant frequently (8 to 10 times) a day may soften the breast and get the milk flowing.

Low Breast Milk Supply:

How do you know if your baby isn’t getting enough breast milk? Though you can’t measure how much milk your baby is drinking, you can definitely sense whether your infant is getting enough milk or not.

If you sense low milk supply then it might be due to various reasons including hormonal problems, bad positioning while feeding, medications, insufficient glandular tissue, etc.

What do I do if my breast milk is not coming out? The simple solution is to breastfeed as much as possible. Milk production is a demand & supply process.

Breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours around the clock is recommended. This boosts milk supply in a natural manner. Make sure that your baby is latching on correctly. Switching multiple times from one breast to the other in each feeding will also help.

If you are still not observing any surge in breast milk supply, then it’s time to see your physician. Eat a balanced diet and consider foods and herbs (such as fenugreek, sesame seeds, garlic, dark leafy greens, oats, etc) that aid in improving breast milk supply.

breastfeeding problems
Image Credit: Tomsickova Tatyana / Shutterstock

Breastfeeding & Diet:

Breast milk actually changes to keep up with the baby – even within the same feeding! As the baby begins feeding, she gets the high protein milk necessary for growth. The milk that follows has more of the fat she needs for energy and weight gain.

During lactation, your body uses nutrients to make breast milk first before using them for your body. A healthy diet is as important now as when you were pregnant because it must sustain both your baby’s rapid growth and your own health. Both of you need strong bones, energy, and plenty of fluids.

When planning meals, try these tips and include lactation recipes for breastfeeding moms:

1. Focus on fruits and vegetables, which are packed with many health-enhancing nutrients.

2. Think calcium! It is one of the most important nutrients you need in your diet when you are breastfeeding. Moms who are breastfeeding need 1,200 mg a day.

3. Drink about 8-10 glasses of water every day. Limit caffeinated drinks, especially during the early weeks after your baby is born. Also, avoid alcoholic drinks. Remember that your baby drinks what you drink.

4. Protein is also important. Protein helps build healthy cells for you and your baby. As you breastfeed, you are providing the protein for your baby, so maintaining your protein intake is important. Nutritionists recommend about 75g of protein a day while breastfeeding.

5. Consult your doctor before taking medications. If your doctor recommends taking pain medication, do so immediately after breastfeeding, in order to pass on as little as possible to your baby.

6. Breastfeeding requires about 500 more calories per day than you consumed before you were pregnant.

7. Calcium is needed for strong bones and also to regulate muscle and nerve contractions. Lack of calcium may cause leg cramps and osteoporosis.

Final Thoughts!

In short, eating well will not only help you but also your baby. For more detailed information, refer to Pregnancy Miracle.

Image Credit: Grihalakshmi Magazine & Tomsickova Tatyana / Shutterstock