It is very common to face issues while breastfeeding so fret not Mama you’re not the only one! Knowing how to recognise the causes and how to deal with can make you feel more assured and confident about this natural process that you’re embarking on with your little one.
Tips for Solving Breastfeeding Problems
Baby rejects breastfeeding.
Your baby might be confused and rejects the breasts if he/she starts using a bottle or pacifier in the early weeks of breastfeeding. Only introduce them after you have established a nursing routine with your baby and it is recommended no earlier than 3 to 4 weeks after birth.
Baby does not latch on
Poor positioning or the medication your baby received during labour can be some of the reasons your baby is not latching well. If your baby does not latch on, move your baby away from the breasts and start over again. Do not force it through as it may cause your little one to refuse the breasts even more. If your baby is feeling tired and sleepy, he/she might not show interest in breastfeeding. Try breastfeeding again when they are awake and feeling calm.
Sore or cracked nipples
This might be due to incorrect positioning or poor latch-on techniques. Always ensure that your nipple reaches the back of your baby’s mouth during breastfeeding. Apply purified lanolin cream to soothe your nipples.
Clogged milk ducts
Insufficient or poor breast drainage is most likely the cause of a clogged milk duct. Ensure that you are feeding regularly and get nursing bras without underwires. Placing warm compresses on the affected breast before each feeding can also help get the milk flowing.
It is quite normal to have engorgement during the first few weeks after giving birth as newborns feed little. Ensure that you’re alternating between breasts while nursing, let your little one finish nursing on one breast before switching to the other. Feeding on demand, about 8 to 12 times a day can also help reduce your chances of becoming engorged.
One of the signs of fungal infection is when your nipples feel painful, itchy, and are in a deep pink colour. Your baby’s tongue and gums may also have white patches if you breastfeed your little one while having an infection. Alert your doctors and seek treatment immediately if you notice any signs of fungal infection. Avoid storing or freezing your breast milk until the fungal infection is cleared. Ensure that you wash your breast pump parts and nursing accessories daily. Rest as much as you can!
Low milk supply
Moms often worry about whether they are supplying enough milk to their baby. It is sufficient if you are feeding on demand (8-12 times a day). Your breasts should feel soft after each feed. Alternate between breasts to stimulate your milk supply and monitor by weighing your baby after each feed.
Breast leakage occurs when your breasts produce so much milk that they overflow. It can occur anytime without warning so be prepared by tucking some breast pads inside your bra to absorb the leaks. You may also cross your arms tightly against your breasts to stop the leaks but avoid doing so in the first few weeks after delivery as it may inhibit let-down or clogged milk ducts.
Returning to work
It takes some time to get used to nursing while going back to work. Be prepared by practicing pumping with an electric breast pump a few weeks before going back to work so you can get the hang of it. Knowing how long it takes to pump and wash also helps in planning your schedule at work. If you can afford it, get 2 sets of pumps so that you will always have a clean set available, or so that you don’t have to carry the pumps back and forth. Do stock up some breast milk in the freezer before going back to work in case you are not able to pump much on some days.