12 Most Common Breastfeeding Problems and How to Deal With Them

breastfeeding problems. mom with the baby

Almost all women can breastfeed their babies. But sometimes after facing some breastfeeding problems moms give up breastfeeding and start feeding their babies with formula. Of course, it seems much easier but it’s not at all right.

Not all breastfeeding problems are so terrible to deprive a baby of mother’s milk. We suggest that you get acquainted with the basic breastfeeding problems and learn how to deal with them.

Breastfeeding Requires Preparation

Every woman expecting a child thinks about how to feed her baby. The doctors all over the world recommend breastfeeding but it requires certain conditions:

  • Mom should be able to stay with her child all the time to feed the baby on demand;
  • Mothers should keep to a healthy breastfeeding diet;
  • It would be nice to have an assistant because it may take a lot of time and energy to pump the remaining milk out;
  • Because of household chores it becomes practically impossible for a mother to have some rest which is necessary for a nursing woman;
  • Finally, as in any other matter, the desire to breastfeed is necessary.

Everything seems not so difficult. Any pregnant woman who wants to breastfeed believes that she will cope with it. However, the number of lactating mothers doesn’t increase noticeably, and the number of artificial formulas sold doesn’t decrease either.

Breastfeeding Problems

Young mothers breastfeeding their babies can face different difficulties but there are 12 main breastfeeding problems every mom should know about.

header 1 Lack of Milk

Milk can indeed be absent in the first days after giving birth. This is not as problematic as it seems at first glance. The colostrum is produced before breast milk, and it is the most valuable product for the newborn. It helps to form the baby’s immunity and digestive system. Besides, the colostrum is so rich in protein and minerals that there is absolutely no need for additional nutrition. So, don’t worry, the milk will appear after the colostrum.

breastfeeding problems. a crying baby with mom

header 2 Breast Overflow

A burst of hormonal activity on the second or fourth day after childbirth becomes the reason for the replacing of colostrum with real milk. It can lead to breast overflow. The breasts become bigger and firmer. Breastfeeding becomes difficult for the child and painful for the mother. A mother may even have a fever.

How to Deal with It?

Try to drink less liquid and do not eat high-calorie, rich in protein food. You should breastfeed as often as possible and from both breasts. In the first few days, it is better to breastfeed every hour for about 5-7 minutes from each breast.

If your breasts are already full, the only solution is to get rid of the excess milk. If you put the baby to the breast the pain will become even more terrible.

A warm shower is a great way to alleviate the hardening and pain in the mammary glands. Standing under the streams of water, you will see that milk also starts to flow, reducing the pressure. After this, it is better to hurry to the child.

Remember that pumping is an “ambulance” for your breast and it should not become a constant practice. It traumatizes the breast, takes a lot of time, and, most importantly, prevents the establishment of a natural balance between the child’s need and the production of milk.

breastfeeding problems. breast pump

header 3 Cracked Nipples

After the birth of the baby, the breasts only get used to the new load. Therefore, after feeding, a young mother can detect cracks on her nipples. They can also arise if the child takes the breast incorrectly, because of improper weaning and improper breast hygiene.

Modern medicine suggests a wide selection of wound healing gels and creams compatible with breastfeeding. If necessary, visit a physician or breastfeeding consultant.

header 4 Retracted Nipples

This nipple structure of a woman causes certain inconveniences. It is difficult for a child to grab it correctly. Because of this, cracks may occur. After some time, nipples take the right shape and the problem disappears.

To speed up the process, you can periodically use a breast pump and wear a bra with holes for the nipples.

header 5 Breast Swelling

When milk comes, some women feel that the breast is swollen and firm. In this case, it is difficult for the baby to latch on.

You can easily fix this situation. It is enough to pump out a little milk until the breast is soft. And do not forget to feed the baby on demand. In this case, the process of milk production adjusts to the needs of your child.

breastfeeding problems. mom breastfeeding the baby

header 6 Lactostasis

A baby is not always able to suck all the milk out. This is especially true for premature babies who are physically unable to eat such portions. They get tired very quickly and often even fall asleep before they eat enough.

Sometimes it happens that a small clot of milk closes the milk duct. The breast in this place turns red and swells. Sometimes you can even feel the induration.

breastfeeding problems. lactostasis

The most important thing is not to panic. First of all, try to put the child so that their chin is pointed towards the seal in the breast. So you give the baby an opportunity to suck the milk out of the part in which stagnation was formed. Cabbage compresses to the breasts can help. Apply cabbage leaves in the intervals between feedings.

header 7 Mastitis

The essence of the disease is inflammation of the breast tissue. Mastitis always begins unexpectedly. Suddenly, the body temperature rises, chills begin. The breast becomes very painful to touch.

There are two types of mastitis:

  • Uninfected (launched lactostasis);
  • Infected (inflammatory process).

First of all, you need to start expressing the milk. Not by hands but using a breast pump. It is important to contact a doctor on time and begin treatment. In this case, you can continue to breastfeed. If the disease has started and the pus began to get into the milk breastfeeding must be temporarily stopped.

How to Deal with It?

  • You can use some home remedies. But only those you are 100 % sure about.
  • Visit a doctor. Traditional treatment may include antibiotics but be sure to continue feeding (or pumping) throughout the treatment. Otherwise, stagnation of milk will aggravate the inflammation. A small amount of antibiotic transmitted with breast milk to a child is not as harmful as complete weaning the baby from the breast.

header 8 Hypogalactia

Hypogalactia is the lack of milk. We’d like to note that true hypogalactia is rare. If the child is anxious and often asks for the breast this does not mean that you don’t have enough milk. You need to count how many times a day the child urinates. The norm is six or more. If, in addition, the baby is gaining weight normally, your suspicions are groundless.

The most common is secondary hypogalactia. In this case, there is a lack of milk but it is associated with the wrong organization of breastfeeding. Consult a pediatrician, a specialist in breastfeeding, or more experienced mothers.

breastfeeding problems. visit of breastfeeding consultant

It is possible to establish normal milk production. And it is quite possible to increase it as well. The main point here is your desire.

header 9 Abscess of Breast

If the inflammation turns into the abscess of breast you need immediate medical treatment. Symptoms of the abscess may be as follows: acute throbbing pain, local swelling, painful sensitivity, fever and redness in the abscess area, high temperature, and severe deterioration of the state of health.

How to Deal with It?

It is better not to wait until the abscess. Perhaps the abscess will have to be operated in the hospital. In this case, it is necessary to express the milk from a sick breast for some time using a breast pump. Consulting a doctor is a must!

header 10 Clogging of Milk Ducts

If you have found a small seal in your chest, which is slightly painful, then you probably have blocked milk ducts. This can happen if the baby has decided to sleep during the night while you are used to feeding several times a night. Irregular or insufficient emptying of the breast can lead to blockage (clogging) of the ducts. Too tight bra can press on the milk duct and squeeze it. Lack of rest is another cause of clogging of the ducts. Sometimes it remains unclear why this happens.

How to Deal with It?

The first thing you need to do is to reduce the load and have some rest. Try not to do anything except the chores related to the child. While the blockage has not yet passed, try to start each feeding with the breast that hurts more. Feed more often and for a longer time. A constant flow of milk will clear the blocked duct.

Find new feeding positions, so that all the milk ducts are involved. Do breast massage.

breastfeeding problems. breast massage

Do not wean the baby from the breast during the blockage of the ducts. Breastfeeding is the best treatment for this complication and the prevention of other more serious diseases, for example, breast inflammation – mastitis.

header 11 Mother’s Disease

Mothers who don’t feel well believe that they need to stop breastfeeding and start artificial feeding. In fact, most mothers’ diseases are not a contraindication to breastfeeding. You can safely breastfeed if you have the flu, ARVI, or digestive disorders.

How to Deal with it?

Consult a physician who will prescribe the appropriate treatment for you.

You can also use home remedies.

header 12 Digestive Problems Babies May Have

The newborn babies have a completely sterile intestine. Both colostrum and milk contain substances that promote the growth of useful flora and prevent the reproduction of harmful microorganisms. That is why it is so important to put the baby to the breast after delivery as soon as possible and then feed the baby on demand.

Nevertheless, breastfeeding still cannot guarantee that there will be no problems with the baby’s intestine. Until the age of three months, the composition of the flora of the child’s intestines is usually extremely unstable. That’s why you can face the following problems: periodic colic, gases, and stool disorders.

breastfeeding problems. sick baby

Mothers can help their babies in such situations. To avoid problems with the stomach, try the following:

  • Reconsider your diet. The baby often feels much better if the mother stops consuming cow’s milk, eating sweets, and reduces the number of gas-forming products in her menu;
  • Offer your breast when the child feels uncomfortable. Sucking the breast calms and relaxes the baby which helps to release the gases from the intestine;
  • Do baby gymnastics during the day, stroke baby’s tummy clockwise, carry the baby in your arms – all this will prevent colic and accumulation of gases in the intestines.

Problems with Breastfeeding Are not the Reason for Weaning

Most modern moms know that artificial feeding is less healthy than breast milk and are trying to breastfeed their babies for as long as they need. It’s great if there are no problems, breastfeeding is established, and everything turns out okay. But what if everything is not so smooth? In general, most of the breastfeeding problems can be solved and a mother can successfully continue breastfeeding her baby.

Breastfeeding problems. Breastfeeding Woman

Do not hesitate to contact specialists for help and treatment. It is better not to engage in self-treatment but to consult a doctor. Only a specialist can solve almost any problem that arises in the process of breastfeeding.

It happens that even the most well-prepared mothers face different types of breastfeeding problems. But if there are no medical contraindications to breastfeeding and there is a desire to breastfeed, then every mother should remember that there are no desperate situations! Almost every breastfeeding problem can be solved.

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