Top 10 Most Common Breast Feeding Issues and Solutions for First Time Mothers
1. Cracked nipples
This is one of the most common and unpleasant experience of breast feeding. You may have sore nipples most usually caused by a bad latch. You have to position your baby correctly while feeding to cure this issue. A baby will pinch their mother’s nipple when there is forceful letdown due to poor latch. They also need to be nursed more frequently. Other causes of poor latch are tongue-tie, small mouth, receding chin, short frenulum and high palate. It will take time for moms and babies to became masters in the process.
- You can try apply ting freshly expressed breast milk onto cracked nipples
- Try warm compress with a washcloth over your nipple and breast for a few minutes
- Soak the nipples in luke warm saline solution for one minute after breast-feeding.
- Using a lanolin ointment
- Frequent Changing of nursing pads
2. Clogged/plugged ducts
A Plugged Ducts or clogged duct can lead to Mastitis. You can feel a hard, tender swelling in the breast and the size will vary from a pea to a peach. You may feel pain while breastfeeding. The skin over the area may be red. Most common cause is not removing all the breast milk timely. You have to avoid wearing a tight bra, tight clothing or other restrictive gear to prevent clogging. A poor latch or a bad pump also cause issues.
- Apply hot compress and try hot showers
- Cold compress
- Try Hand-express or pump when you cant nurse
- Get enough sleep
- Drink plenty of water
3. Engorgement/high milk supply
Engorged breasts are very painful and mainly due to too much milk production. This can happen shortly after birth and will be fine after one to two week. So there will be consuming too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk by baby. They may have to suffer with excess gas, hunger and even colic.
- Block Feeding: offer just one breast per feeding
- Avoid foods that promotes lactation in breastfeeding
- consider donating your excess milk
- Cold compresses to reduce the pain of full or engorged breasts
There will be painful inflammation of your breast tissue and can happen during first month of breast feeding. Your breast will be red, swollen, unusually warm and painful. It will be hard to the touch. This may or may not caused by any infection.
- Try to Nurse your baby often
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take enough rest
- Try a cold compress or cold pack between feedings
- Try a warm compress before feeding
5. Poor Latching and Pain
An awkwardly positioned baby cannot latch deeply and cause damage to mothers nipple. So you have to keep your baby to the breast and keep enough tight against yours when feeding. There should not be not much space between you two. You should keep his tummy toward your body.
6. Baby is Biting
The first and most important thing is proper latch, if your baby is well attached, he shouldn’t be able to bite. Keep your baby well comfortable during feeding. Babies most commonly bite toward the end of feeding when loosens his latch. So watch for jaw tightening or tongue pulling back to bite you. Just put your finger between his gums so baby can only bite your finger. Make sure your baby is teething or not, if teething try methods to cure his gum irritation and then feed.
This is a kind of yeast infection in your baby’s mouth. This can easily spread to your breasts and cause incessant itchiness, soreness or rash. Use antifungal medication as per doctors advice to put on your nipple and in baby’s mouth.
8. Low milk supply
If there is a concern about baby’s weight gain as per your doctor poor milk supply may be the problem. Breastfeeding is always supply-and-demand process. So try frequent nursing and hands-on pumping during the day. There is no scientific evidence with special fluids and eating more calories or different foods can boost milk supply.
9. Baby sleeping at breast
For most babies falling asleep while nursing is common as they are very sleepy in the first couple of months after birth. You can start off at the fuller breast and soon switch to the other breast sooner. When baby’s sucking slowing down and his eyes closing, just remove him from your breast. Try to stimulate him by burping. Also try tickling his feet, or gently talking to him while rubbing his back. After that you can feed again.
10. Inverted/flat nipples
Those flat or inverted nipples can be easily detected with a simple squeeze test. To do this grab your areola with your thumb and index finger. There is a problem if the nipple retracts rather than protrudes. In this case breastfeeding will be more challenging. Try to use a pump to get the milk flowing before placing baby at your nipple. Also use breast shells between feeds. Also try to use nipple shields if baby still has problems with latching.