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Common Breastfeeding Problems and How to Tackle them

Being a mother is never easy. Motherhood involves a lot of ups and downs. There might be moments when you as a mother would find more downs and then. The journey from pregnancy to finally having the baby in your arms is an overwhelming journey. As such, the problems whether it be physical or mental, are always ready to overwhelm you.

Common Breastfeeding Problems and How to Tackle them

Sentinel Digital Desk

Feeding one's baby gives immense satisfaction to a mother., Watching their child consume and grow and develop into a fine human being is a mother's happiness. Out of all the problems that a mother faces, breastfeeding problems are a common problem that demands utmost care and attention.

Some common problems that breastfeeding moms might face and the measures to tackle these problems are:

Sore or cracked nipples: This happens when a baby is not positioned correctly and attached to the breast of the mother. In such a case, a mother needs to approach their midwife, healthcare person or a breastfeeding specialist. This problem causes pain and discomfort and thus demands immediate care.

Not enough breast milk: It is common for a mother to feel like their baby is not consuming enough milk. Figuring this out and attaining confidence needs some time. A healthy way for a mother to stimulate milk supply is to offer the baby both her breasts, every time she feeds and alternate the breasts while starting to breastfeed. Additionally, it is convenient to hold the baby close and skin-to-skin.

Breast Engorgement: This happens when a mother's breasts are overloaded with milk. In such a case, a mom might feel their nipple hard, tight and painful. This can possibly happen in the initial days of breastfeeding when both the baby and mom are getting used to it. It takes a couple of days for a mother's body to get used to a baby's needs. It is also possible for engorgement to take place when a baby starts eating solid foods and their frequency of breastfeeding lowers down.

The baby does not latch on properly: The baby and the mother need to learn how to execute a comfortable breastfeeding session together. Both the mother and the baby will take some time to find the perfect hang to facilitate a comfortable breastfeeding session. When a mother finds breastfeeding painful and a baby is not satisfied after being breastfed, they may not latch onto the breast properly.

Too much breast milk: Sometimes women make too much milk and that makes the baby uncomfortable, resulting in them struggling to cope. Therefore it is more convenient to approach a midwife, healthcare or breastfeeding specialist so that they can figure out what is the problem. Additionally, they can also help by teaching various positions so that it is easy for the baby to cope with large amounts of milk.

Breastfeeding and thrush: Thrush infections initiate when a mother's nipples become cracked or damaged. This paves a way for the candida fungus, which causes thrush to get inside the nipples or breasts. If you feel like you or your baby is falling prey to thrush infection, it is ideal to see a healthcare person or GP.

Blocked Milk duct: Continuity of breast engorgement leads to a blocked milk duct. When this happens, a mother feels a small tender lump on her breast. A good measure to tackle this issue is frequent feeding. It is ideal to position the baby with their chin pointing towards the lump. Through this, they will be able to feed from that part of their breast.

Mastitis: Mastitis, also known as inflammation of the breast, occurs when a blocked milk duct is not relieved. This results in the mom feeling the breast very hot and painful. Consequently, the mother feels very unwell, similar to flu-like symptoms. However, it is important to continue breastfeeding. It is ideal to use the tender breast for the starting feeds. A Healthcare professional's attention should be preferred if one does not feel better within 12 to 24 hours. Antibiotics might be required according to medical prescription.

Breast Abscess: Untreated mastitis, or when mastitis does not react to treatment, leads to a breast abscess. This might require the mother to undergo an operation.

Breastfeeding and Tongue-tie: According to research, 1 out of 10 babies faces a situation where the strip of skin which attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth is shorter than the usual length. This situation is known as tongue-tie. Many babies, who possess this tongue-tie condition are not bothered by it. However, in the case of the others, they might face difficulties in moving the tongue freely. This results in hardship while breastfeeding. But, tongue-tie can be treated easily.

According to health experts, breastfeeding a baby is a healthy option for both the baby and the mother. It is highly recommended that a baby should only be breastfed for the first 6 months. Following it, a baby should still continue to feed on breast milk as the main component of their diet, till the age of 1 to 2 years.

Breastfeeding, like any other parenting task and motherhood, is never easy. It is important to be aware of the problems and situations that one might face during breastfeeding. When this happens, they can seek support and commitment from their caretakers in all the ways that are possible. It is convenient to start breastfeeding the baby right from the hospital after its birth. Seeking the consultation of a lactation consultant or nurse while getting started.

Motherhood is a beautiful aspect of a woman's life. The process is never easy, however, proper care, commitment and patience can make this journey wonderful and feel like a blessing.

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