Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, taking care of a newborn can present unique challenges. From analyzing poop colors to causes of newborn coughing in sleep, there’s always a new problem to solve. Breastfeeding is no exception. Here are four common breastfeeding issues and effective strategies to resolve them.
Sore and Cracked Nipples
Some mild discomfort can be expected during the first few weeks as you and your baby adjust to the process of breastfeeding. However, if your nipples are persistently sore, become cracked, or start bleeding, you’ll want to address the problem before it becomes more painful.
Typical causes of sore or cracked nipples are poor latching, improper positioning, or turning your breast pump too high during pumping sessions. Identify the cause and prevent further injury using the following tips:
- Teach your baby to latch correctly. A lactation consultant can guide you to use proper latch-on techniques.
- Experiment with breastfeeding positions.
- Switch sides by gingerly breaking suction with your finger
- Offer short but frequent feedings.
While you work on solutions, facilitate the healing process with at-home treatments. Start nursing sessions on the side that is less sore. At the end of each feeding, leave milk on your nipples and let them air dry. Prevent infection by washing your nipples with mild soap and water. Ease discomfort with soothing compresses and ointments like lanolin.
Low Milk Supply vs. Engorgement
Dealing with a low milk supply can make you question your ability to breastfeed. Rest assured that there are things you can do to increase your supply:
- Feed or pump more frequently to stimulate milk production.
- Stay hydrated and eat well.
- Use a hospital-grade pump.
- Consult with your pediatrician about giving your baby a Wellements multivitamin with iron to supplement feedings.
On the other hand, too much accumulation of milk can cause engorged breasts. This painful condition is commonly caused by changes to your nursing schedule or an overabundant supply. Breastfeed or pump as frequently as possible and use a cold compress to relieve pain and swelling.
Baby Gassy or Fussy After Feeding
An oversupply of breastmilk can lead to a fast flow that causes your baby to gag, spit up, or become gassy. Check in with your wellness provider to eliminate medical conditions as the cause of an oversupply. Ease your baby’s discomfort by using an upright position for feedings. Make sure to burp your baby frequently. Use newborn products that relieve gassiness and stomach pains.
Clogged Milk Ducts
Occasionally, milk can back up into your ducts, causing a hard, tender lump to form. Many times clogged milk ducts will resolve on their own, but it helps to take measures to avoid an infection.
The best thing you can do is keep nursing. Massage the lump during feedings. Alternate sides to ensure each breast is drained. Also, let your breasts breathe by wearing well-fitting bras, preferably without underwire.
It can be extremely frustrating and stressful when you experience problems breastfeeding. You may even feel like giving up, but remember that breastmilk provides significant health benefits for your baby. Seek support from lactation consultants when needed, and try proven remedies to overcome challenges with breastfeeding such as low milk supply. Visit lovemajka.com to learn more about how to address this type of breastfeeding challenge. The most important thing is that your baby receives proper nourishment to promote healthy development.