Breastfeeding is the best way to heal your body after childbirth. It is also very healthy for both you and your baby. But it can come with its own set of problems. Read on to deal with all the common problems faced by the new momma along with their best fixes.
First of all, let’s look at points on why the mighty breastfeeding can cause so much pain that your nipples start to bleed.
Imperfect latch (Baby should take in the full areola inside his mouth; more of lower portion than upper. Contact a lactation consultant to know whether your baby has a perfect latch or not).
Baby has thrush (Yeast infection in baby’s tongue; white in colour; easily detectable. It’s nothing serious and your doctor will probably prescribe a gel to treat it).
You have eczema ( You have scaly red patches on skin with itchiness and soreness at the same time; check with your doctor whether it’s safe or not to nurse at this time ).
Baby may be tongue-tied ( It means that the tissue which connects his tongue to the lower floor is either too short or too far reaching in front of his tongue. A small surgical procedure has to be done on tongue-tied babies.)
You are using the breast pump improperly.
Read our guide to know essential tips before you Breast-Pump
All of the reasons mentioned above can cause your nipples to bleed sometimes more than expected. A little blood in your milk will not affect the baby and would probably come out of his poop in no time. However, if there is continuous bleeding you might want to consult your doctor.
Perkiness out; Dryness in:
As soon as you deliver your breasts turn into a rock, much bigger and firmer, full of milk. And as soon as you start breastfeeding, milk comes out and they will start sagging and might as well droop a little. Your nipples will also become dry due to baby’s saliva and could also crack.
It doesn’t matter if your baby latches on correctly or not; dryness, sagginess and sensitivity are three things which almost all mothers face no matter what.
You can apply coconut oil for dryness. It’s the best natural cure which new mothers swear by. Try Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Nursing Butter.
To prevent sagginess, massage your breasts in circular upwards direction 10 times twice or thrice a day with olive oil or any moisturising butter.
There are various nipple shields available in the market like this one here. However, I wouldn’t recommend using one unless your baby has latched on correctly since it might not give the baby a chance to form the type of connection he needs to have for natural painless nursing.
Sensitivity will become better with time once breastfeeding comes at ease on you.
Stains, Leaks and Drips:
Yes, Sometimes breasts start to leak. Even though it is surprising, weird and embarrassing (if you are in public). This might be the only good thing which would will cause you no pain and will provide instant relief from the fullness of your breasts. Don’t worry your child will have enough milk even if you are leaking.
Wear nursing pads; one made from cloth is good enough or you can try these. Wear clothes which can camouflage leakiness. You can also feed your baby at that time or store the extra milk for future use. Best just Donate it. There are many mothers who are struggling with low or no supply.
Breast milk squirting out:
While some mothers struggle to get enough milk for their newborns, others struggle with shooting down of milk right at their newborn’s faces. This can cause them to cough or wet themselves. Sometimes it can also keep back newborns to latch on.
As breastfeeding works on the principle of supply and demand your milk will regulate itself after some time. You can also put burp cloths around their neck and hold one in your hand so that as soon as newborn breaks the latch you put that cloth around your breasts to prevent excessive leakage. Keep 3-4 cloths handy around you. You can also store that milk for future.
If the baby starts to cough, immediately hold him and try to burp. And then latch them again.
Long breastfeeding sessions:
The usual breastfeeding sessions last for about 15-30 minutes. However, for newborns, it might be a little longer ( more than 30 minutes ). But do not worry it’s completely normal (initially).
Longer breastfeedings can also happen when your baby is cluster feeding.
Cluster feeding is when a baby feeds frequently within a short period of time and then goes on for a longer amount of time, not nursing.
However there may be other reasons for such longer sessions such as insufficient milk production so the baby takes a long time to feel full.
You can notice fewer poops and less wetting of diapers if he is not getting enough milk.
( Read here to know If your baby is getting enough )
He might also start to lose weight more than normal which is more than 10% of his birth weight.
Lactation analysts are not always lifesavers:
Sometimes what lactation consultants tells you to do may not work for you and your baby. Even if it does, sometimes you can mend the ways depending on what you and your baby need. You made that tiny little creature in your hand and absolutely no one can tell you what exactly you should do to form a bond with him and keep him at ease. Mum knows the best. And in this case, you are the mum. So do ask for all the advice from your lactation consultant but do not stick to it if you think mending the ways he has dictated to you will cause you and your little one no good.
The intense amount of satisfaction:
Sometimes baby makes the sound which can easily embarrass you if you are feeding him in front of your friends or in public. It seems like he is completely drowned in the emotional and mental gratification of nursing. This video here demonstrates the kind of sound which your child makes when he is completely engrossed in swallowing the most out of your milk.
Believe it or not, the sound he is making tells a lot about a perfect latch. Sometimes your doctor will determine solely on the basis of the sound, whether or not your baby is getting the proper amount of milk.
Like in this video here the baby is making a different kind of noise through which we can easily tell whether or not he is latched perfectly. He is lying on his back and is not tilted which is making him difficult to latch on.
Allergies in infants:
Infants may get allergy through breastfeeding since the milk gets its taste and nutrients from the food which the mother eats. If your newborn has allergies he will spit out excessively, lose weight, have rashes or experience diarrhoea. He might also be fussier and have sleeping problems. He will also continuously curl up his knees to his stomach.
Just keep in mind that these symptoms are not that common. Only 5% of babies have allergies. Check for any history of allergies which might run in your family as well as your husband’s family.
Start having common foods which cause allergies like milk, soy, peanuts, fish etc. See if your baby shows any of the symptoms. This way you will know which foods are affecting your baby.
Getting fussy for breasts in public:
Sometimes babies are so hungry and they know where would they get their food from so they will start putting their hands, mouth, face, arms and everything they can on your breasts.
Now this is an embarrassing situation. You never know when this will happen so buy nursing covers just in case, it will save you from more stares.
Horror of teething:
Teething can start between 3-12 months. And when it does the soreness of your nipples will be very similar to that you experienced in the first few weeks.The very reason for that is their gums are itchy and sore so they will rub and suck them hard on areola which can easily cause you pain. However, you can prevent that by using these simple methods:
Make sure that your baby is getting a mouthful of your breasts at all points of time since baby suction is responsible for milk swallowing. If he is satisfied with the milk he is getting, there are fewer chances he would bite.
If he has reached a point of satisfaction he might bite in that case DO NOT pull him instead, put your little finger in the corner of his mouth to break suction.
Make sure that he is tilted properly towards your breasts no matter what.
Give him his teething toy or other soothers just before breastfeeding. This will reduce his chances of soothing himself by biting or rubbing his sore gums on your nipples.
Judgy eyes when you give them formula:
There are numerous reasons why a mother is not able to breastfeed sometimes. Infact a study shows that around 15% of women are not able to nurse their babies because of low milk supply or any other medical condition.
It’s wrong to judge a mother. After all, no one cares for the baby as much as she does. So STOP with all the Mum shaming and accept that not everyone’s body is same.
Just like everything, you will need to learn how to breastfeed. Every toothless is different and so are you. Mum life might not give you time to read about the problems you face. So, prepare yourself beforehand with all the solutions mentioned above.
Got better suggestion for the problems mentioned above? Don’t forget to SHARE your Mommy wisdom with us in the comments section below.