Common Breastfeeding Problems and Solutions

Breastfeeding is integral to a baby’s development, but some challenges may hinder mothers from providing the nutrition that their baby needs. A study on Frontiers revealed that 80% of moms experienced difficulties during the breastfeeding process. Unfortunately, these challenges have caused 14% of mothers to stop breastfeeding their children, even though they wanted to continue for a longer time.

If you are a mother going through a similar situation, here are all the common problems and solutions that you need to know:

What are the common problems mothers experience with breastfeeding?

Poor breastfeeding latch

Many breastfeeding problems are actually caused by the baby’s poor breastfeeding latch. When this happens, your baby drinks milk from a tiny area of your nipple rather than the entire area, as explained on Romper. This shallow
latch causes pain and discomfort since your nipples will be pinched, squeezed, and even blistered due to the poor position.

Sore or cracked nipples

As previously mentioned, you’re more likely to observe soreness or cracks around your nipple if your baby has a poor latch because this causes your little one’s hard palate to rub on the area. Additionally, mothers who have dry skin are also susceptible to having cracked nipples.

Engorged breasts

It’s also possible that your baby is finding it difficult to latch because you have engorged breasts. This problem is common among first-time moms since your body is still getting used to regulating milk production. The overproduction of milk will cause your breasts to swell, making it more difficult for your baby to breastfeed.

Clogged milk ducts

Your breasts may develop soreness, redness, and even lumps due to clogged ducts. This occurs whenever you produce an excessive milk supply, causing the milk to back up into your ducts. This also happens when there are long breaks between feeding sessions as your milk supply hasn’t been released.

How can you solve these breastfeeding problems?

1. Apply a warm compress before feeding

Breast engorgement and clogged milk ducts can cause your breasts to become stiff or to develop a tender lump. The good news is that both these problems only last for a few days. The former will ease as you get used to breastfeeding, while the obstruction will be gone once your milk supply continues to flow.

Nonetheless, you can ease your discomfort by applying a warm compress over your breast before your feeding session. A warm compress will not only reduce any discomfort but can also prevent your milk ducts from clogging again. While feeding, you can also massage the area to soothe the pain.

2. Ease pain through proper nursing practices

Breastfeeding should be a relatively painless process. So, if you’re experiencing breast tenderness and soreness, you should take extra care of yourself and your baby. Start by teaching your baby how to latch on properly. A simple way to do this is to tickle your baby’s upper lip with your nipple to encourage them to open their mouth widely before latching.

After feeding your baby, let your nipples dry slightly, then cover them with  Silverette silver nursing cup. Make sure that there are just a few drops of breast milk at the end of these cups before placing them over your nipples. Silverette’s nursing cups help in maintaining the anatomical shape of your nipples to boost your comfort and prevent any soreness or cracking.

3. Seek help from professionals

Should these problems persist, you need to get in touch with doulas and lactation consultants so that you can overcome breastfeeding difficulties. Postpartum doulas are trained to assist new moms that are adjusting to motherhood.

Meanwhile, family website VeryWell, explains that lactation consultants can assess the potential causes of the problem. Through their expertise, they can provide strategies and recommendations that can help you correct any breastfeeding issues. To illustrate, they can assess if you have any nutritional deficiencies that may be affecting your baby.

While there are multiple things that could be hindering your baby’s breastfeeding sessions, there are also plenty of solutions to try. You can opt for home remedies or consult relevant healthcare professionals. Before you know it, your baby will be feeding without any problems. But, of course, that could come with a whole slew of new experiences, like newborn hiccups.

A SymptomFind post on what causes hiccups notes that it varies from person to person. However, in infants, it often comes after feeding! If they start to hiccup frequently change the feeding position so they are more upright. You can also burp them more often.

To learn more about the best practices when breastfeeding be sure to check out our Blog.

Penned by Jeanna Bellarmie

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