Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful stages of your motherhood journey. However, this lovely stage can have its challenges. In this article, I will tell you about the top breastfeeding challenges and ways to overcome them.
1- Sore nipples
This soreness is mainly due to an incorrect latch, it can be overcome by correcting the baby’s latch to the breast. Another reason is fungal and bacterial infections, that require immediate medical attention.
Tips to treat sore nipples
- Moisturizing the nipples using a lanolin-based ointment, or breast milk.
- Fixing the reason behind this soreness, whether it is an incorrect latch or breast infection.
- Taking breaks from direct breastfeeding and feeding the baby breast milk with a bottle at least twice a day.
2- Breast engorgement
This is one of the most common issues with new moms. Breast engorgement is when the breast becomes heavy, engorged, and warm. It is very common when the milk starts flowing on the third, or the fifth day post-partum. It might also happen during weaning. It is very important not to leave breast engorgement untreated as it may lead to clogged milk ducts and severe infections.
How is breast engorgement treated?
- Continuously emptying the breast, either through directly feeding the baby, or extracting milk through hand compression. Breastfeeding might be a challenge with an engorged breast, but this can be overcome by easing the engorgement through hand compression to make breastfeeding easier.
- Using hot compresses on the breast.
- Breast massaging.
A nipple might be flat or inverted, but this doesn’t mean breastfeeding is impossible, it is challenging and possible when following the below tips.
- Don’t give your baby a pacifier to avoid nipple confusion.
- Not to give up and bottle feed, instead give the baby the pumped breast milk using a cup or a syringe.
- Attempt to extract the nipple before each feed.
- Repeatedly feed the baby until he is used to the nipple.
Low milk supply
Mothers might face periods when the milk supply is low or just seems low. The determining factor is the baby’s weight. So, until the pediatrician confirms that the baby isn’t getting enough milk and growing as expected, you shouldn’t worry.
How can you increase the milk supply
- Stimulating milk production through repeated pumping.
- Increase skin-to-skin contact.
- Take supplements prescribed by a doctor that increase the supply of milk.
This is one of the most common breastfeeding problems, it can happen due to different reasons, such as the baby getting used to bottle feeding. Or due to some changes, such as the mom's return to work, or for simpler reasons such as the mother using a different soap, scent, or cream. The baby might refuse to breastfeed because the taste of the milk has changed. After all, the mom got her period back or is pregnant.
How to deal with a nursing strike?
- Increase skin-to-skin contact
No matter how old your baby is, this method is guaranteed to have him breastfed again.
- Don’t leave the baby hungry
One of the biggest mistakes mothers do when the baby has a breastfeeding strike is that they keep him or her hungry, to enforce the acceptance of the breast. This grave mistake will only increase the baby’s anxiety and make him insist on the strike. Instead, give your baby pumped milk using a bottle until he accepts to breastfeed again.
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