Just like with any other new experience, breastfeedingtoo can come with its share of challenges. If you’re facing a little trouble breastfeeding your newborn, don’t fret – this is extremely common. To help you navigate this tricky area, we spoke to a few moms and put together some of the most common breastfeeding issues and how you can deal with them.
1. When baby isn’t latching on properly
When your newborn baby isn’t latching on properly, it can be quite uncomfortable and frustrating for both mother and baby. But don’t be alarmed. Sometimes, it can take a bit of time for you and your baby to find your rhythm. Remain calm and patient. Here are some of the ways in which you can help solve this problem.
- Speak to a lactation consultant. It’s important to remember that an improper latch is not due to any fault of yours and that it’s okay to ask for help and support. Lactation consultants, doctors and nurses are specially trained to help you with such issues and can give you the right guidancealong with proper breastfeeding techniques.
- Make sure your baby is positioned properly. The right breastfeeding position is crucial for your baby to latch on properly. First, ensure you are in a comfortable and reclined position during breastfeeding time. Use a breastfeeding pillow to support your baby if that works for you. Then bring your baby to your nipple and make sure you are supporting their neck and upper back properly. Help them by cupping your breast in a “C” or “U” shape and compressing the areola to help them find the nipple. Ideally, your baby’smouth should cover most of the bottom of the areola and a little of the top, and their lips should be spread out around your nipple like a fish.
- Check if you have flat/inverted nipples. You can do this by pinching the areola slightly and seeing if your nipple protrudes outwards or retracts inwards. If your nipples retract, this means your nipples are flat/inverted and can sometimes lead to difficulty in breastfeeding. If you face
this issue, speak to a lactation consultant. Many moms find it helpful to use a nipple shield to help the baby latch on. You can also try pumping a little before breastfeeding as the suction helps draw out your nipple.
2. What to do if your supply is low and how can you help in increasing breast milk supply?
When you start breastfeeding your baby, your body produces more milk each time you remove/express milk. Hence a healthy supply of breastmilk relies on how often you nurse and/or express milk. When a baby doesn’t latch on properly or is not drinking enough, it can affect your supply. Some new moms also have a low supply of breastmilk due to other medical reasons and so, it’s best to speak to a lactation consultant or your doctor before your supply dwindles even further.
Here are some tips on how to increase your breastmilk supply:
- Nurse frequently. The more milk you remove, the more your body will produce it. Newborns typically breastfeed every 2-3 hours.
- Nurse on demand in those initial weeks. If your baby is too sleepy and doesn’t wake up for feedings, it’s okay to wake up your little one to feed.
- Offer both breasts to your baby, one at a time and make sure your baby gets enough time on each.
- If your baby isn’t latching on properly or nursing enough, you can start using a breastfeeding pump to express your milk and maintain its supply.
- Getting proper nutrition also matters greatly while you’re nursing. The diet for a breastfeeding mother should be rich in nutrients.Some foods to avoid when breastfeeding are caffeine, alcoholic drinks and seafood that is high in mercury.
- Drink lots of water to ensure you don’t get dehydrated and make sure you’re getting lots of rest.
3. Is pain during breastfeeding common?
Pain during breastfeeding is common and can be caused by different reasons. However, it is something that should be addressed soon. An improper latch can cause your nipples to become sore, crack and bleed. Soothe your sore nipples between feedings with an ice pack. You can also use doctor-recommended creams to moisturize your nipple area and avoid cracks in skin.
Some women suffer from breast engorgement which causes the breasts to swell, become hard, warm and can be very painful. To treat this, apply an icepack on your breasts in between feedings to reduce the swelling. Then right before you breastfeed, apply a warm washcloth or take a warm bath to help the milk flow better.
Another cause ofbreastfeeding pain can be blocked milk ducts. This occurs when you are not able to drain your breasts properly and your milk ducts get clogged. If that happens, you can relieve the pressure by gently dabbing them with a warm wash cloth or use a heating pad on the area. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and take a warm shower before nursing.
Some women also suffer from conditions such as thrush and mastitis. If you notice signs of infection, speak to your doctor or lactation consultant as soon as possible.
4. How to know if you’re feeding your baby enough?
A lot of new moms worry if they’re feeding their baby enough. Here are some signs that you can watch out for to know if your baby is feeding properly or not.
5. When is the right time to start weaning?
The process of weaning begins when your baby starts getting nourishment from sources other than the breast and is fully complete when your baby finally stops nursing.Click here to learn more about when to start weaning and how you should do it.
For more helpful breastfeeding tips for new Moms, click here!
Do you have any other queries related to breastfeeding? Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.