If you are a nursing mother and have never experienced any breastfeeding problems, you are the chosen, lucky one. Women tend to develop an aversion to breastfeeding due to certain problems. However, being aversive to the idea is not the answer, finding solutions to the problems, certainly is.
Almost every mother, at one point in time during the breastfeeding period, has endured problems and seeks solutions. Breastfeeding is an important and equally essential segment of the growth of a baby. Mother’s milk is vital and an extremely nourishing supplement for the newborn. However, due to breastfeeding troubles, women may restrict themselves, rather curb themselves from continuing with breastfeeding.
Cracked nipples, engorgement, insufficient milk supply, mastitis, nipple pain, plugged ducts, and thrush, are some of the predominant problems endured by nursing mothers. In this article, we show you how to deal with some common breastfeeding problems. The solutions offered here work effectively for all nursing mothers.
Breastfeeding Problems with their Corresponding Solutions
Problem #1 – Cracked Nipples
Cracked nipples are caused when your baby has trouble in latching on well. When the baby does not get enough breast tissues into the mouth, all the pressure is exerted and concentrated on the nipple. Also, if your skin is extremely delicate and has become sore during the initial breastfeeding sessions, you are bound to endure the discomfort of cracked nipples.
Try feeding the baby on the side that is less sore in nature. Women who have sore breasts opt for feeding the baby less frequently. This practice is incorrect as this would encourage engorgement. The most difficult and discomforting moments are those when the baby starts to suck on the nipple. It takes time for the milk ejection reflex to occur. Once the milk starts to flow well, there are no issues that remain. A lanolin ointment tube could be helpful when applied.
When you are not breastfeeding your baby, you can apply a thin-film of this ointment. Even if the lanolin coating remains on the breast, your baby is safe. There is no need in particular to wipe off the lanolin. You may be pleased to know that the texture or the fine film on the nipple can help your baby to latch on well. To prevent the trouble of cracked nipples, let them breathe frequently. If you are not comfortable without wearing a bra, you might as well turn down the nursing bra flaps for a brief period everyday. A homeopathic remedy called Phytolacca decandra may also aid you in healing cracked nipples.
Problem #2 – Engorgement
This problem is the most common in mothers when they are in their early stages of nursing. This is the process in which the baby and the mother are on the threshold of establishing an essential relationship in understanding the amount of milk the baby demands and the amount of milk that is supplied to the baby. If however the mother’s milk supply is greater than what the baby demands, you can end up with extremely swollen breasts which may further propagate failed attempts from the baby to latch on well.
In order to deal with engorgement, promptly eject some milk with a pump or by hand before feeding. This will make latch-on much easier, thereby also preventing mastitis. Studies encourage the use of cabbage leaves serving to be an excellent treatment for engorgement and breast inflammations. All you need to do is to place a raw leaf in each side of your nursing bra and change them often.
Problem #3 – Low Breast Milk Supply
It has been found that there are many mothers who feel that their milk supply is not meeting the milk demands of the baby. However, there are few who do not have adequate milk supply. As long as your baby is soiling and wetting diapers, and seems contented after a feeding session, low breast milk supply should not be a concern for nursing mothers.
Drink more water. If your intake of fluids is good, your milk production will be adjusted. Nurse your baby as often as possible. Constant stimulation will increase the milk flow. You could also start nursing on one breast, and switch your baby over to the other breast five minutes later. Continue doing so until the feeding ends. Consume a powdered calcium and magnesium supplement before you get to bed at night. This can improve milk flow and help you sleep better at night. Try goat rue, milk thistle, nettles, alfalfa, red clover, hops, thyme or dill. These herbs can work effectively to increase the milk production. Increase your consumption of green, leafy vegetables, which help to augment milk flow.
Problem #4 – Mastitis
If breast inflammation is accompanied by flu-like symptoms and pain, you may have mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue. The most important thing to do for this condition is rest. If proper care is not administered, the mother can develop abscesses and lancing, and draining may be the required solution.
Rest well and nurse your baby as much as possible. Try and administer moist heat on the affected breast. Rest well, go off to bed with your comforter, and let the fever run its course rather than lowering it with the help of drugs. Fever is your body’s way of activating the immune system against the infection. However, if the temperature rises and reaches around 103°F, you must bring it down as quickly as possible. Enema with cool water will reduce the body temperature. For diarrhea, you could fight the situation by taking buffered vitamin C powder in water. Start with a low dose and increase the dose steadily. For the usual fever that ranges between 99°F to 102°F, you could resort to rest, drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water and vitamin C supplements.
Problem #5 – Biting
When babies sprout out teeth in the period of 6 to 8 months or before that, they love to experiment with their new-found assets. They are bound to bite on the breast that feeds them, and you are sure to elicit a startled ‘ouch’. Well, this is natural. This puts many mothers off breastfeeding. However this is not the solution.
All you could do is to wedge a finger in between the baby’s gums and hook it around the nipple. If he bites once again before the nipple is out of his mouth, your finger is hooked to protect your nipple. You may find this anecdotal, but it is a fact that your startled ouch could scare the baby and could even make him averse to the idea of latching on. Another way you could stop the baby from biting your nipples is to stop feeding. The baby gradually will start to associate that if he bites, his daily dose of feeding will be terminated.
Problem #6 – Thrush
This condition is sometimes itchy, sometimes painful, and is the result of the overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans. You may develop an itchy rash on your nipple or have pain when feeding the baby. Notice if your baby’s mouth is lined with white patches that don’t wipe away easily. If yes, your baby has thrush, and chances are high that you may have it as well, even though you do not have any symptoms. Thrush can also cause your baby to develop diaper rash. Thrush is not dangerous, however, the condition is extremely painful. Nipple pain caused by thrush tends to last for a period after baby nurses, and may burn and radiate deeply into the breast.
If there is no discomfort caused due to the thrush, you can just let it heal on its own. You could apply organic plain yogurt as it serves to be a good topical remedy for nipples. Your baby can take baby acidophilus powder in breast milk. With these remedies, your infection should clear up in a few days.
Problem #7 – Plugged Duct
A plugged duct is you or warning that you must clear the duct out to avoid infection. The plug is like a hard lump. You may also experience some engorgement or pain.
Massage the affected breast starting from the armpits downward, continuing towards the center of the breast. When the baby has had his share, you may pump off or hand-express milk that has remained in excess.
Breastfeeding problems are bound to occur; however, there are appropriate solutions for it as well. You may resort to using this write-up as a guide to nursing your baby better, that, too without compromising on your comforts in the process.