There’s no denying all the positive benefits breastfeeding gives to mum and baby. In an ideal world, all mums should be able to commit to the act. But it can be a difficult road to take when they start encountering various breastfeeding problems, especially within the first 24 to 48 hours after birth.
Looking for breastfeeding relief? Here are common issues you’ll likely encounter as you go along, plus some tips on how to make your journey a little easier.
It’s normal for nipples to feel sore when breastfeeding, especially if you’re a first-time mum. But if there’s prolonged pain, it’s possible your baby is not latching correctly. Correct this by aiming for an asymmetrical latch or positioning your nipple farther into your baby’s mouth.
Your child’s mouth should be wide open with her lower and upper lips flanged out (like a fish). This encourages the whole mouth to move and will let your baby receive more milk from your breast while lessening the likelihood of sore nipples.
A correct latch will lessen the occurrence of sore nipples. Try breastfeeding your baby more frequently and at short intervals – the less hungry your little one is, the softer their sucking will be.
If you are pumping milk, make sure you use the correct breast pump size and breast pump massage cushion. The Eonian Care Breast Pump Massage Cushion provides a warm and soft touch, making you more comfortable pumping milk.
Feel a hard, painful lump on your breast that is sore to the touch? That might indicate clogged milk ducts. Ducts clog when you cannot drain breast milk completely or skip pumping sessions.
Encourage milk to flow better by applying a warm compress on your breast before feeding. Massaging your breasts while feeding may also offer relief.
Avoid wearing tight bras and clothing, as this may aggravate clogged ducts. Instead, opt for nursing bras like the Eonian Care Hands-free Pumping & Nursing Bra, made of soft, breathable fabric and stretchy up to 3 cups for engorgement while still offering full support. Seamlessly switch from normal bra to nursing your baby with a simple clip click. You can even nurse and pump simultaneously for a lesser occurrence of clogged ducts.
When nursing your baby, breastfeed on the side with the plugged duct first, as babies tend to suck the hardest at the beginning of every feeding, helping unclog the duct. Try feeding your little one more often, but get plenty of rest. Stress and fatigue greatly affect milk flow and can lead to other breastfeeding problems.
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue that may also lead to infection. Breasts feel tender and warm to the touch, accompanied by swelling, skin redness, and a burning sensation while breastfeeding. Mums may also experience fever and chills.
The quickest way to treat mastitis is to fully empty the breasts by pumping or nursing. But beware that this might also mean pain – sometimes excruciating pain. If you’re fighting an infection, doctors may also prescribe breastfeeding-friendly antibiotics, so you can continue nursing while treating the mastitis.
High milk supply
Too much breast milk is the cause of several breastfeeding problems like clogged ducts, mastitis, and breast engorgement. Engorged breasts feel abnormally full and almost rock solid. This makes it hard for babies to latch since the breast does not conform to their mouths.
A high milk supply can also cause the milk to flow quickly, making your baby gag or choke as they are forced to gulp milk down while feeding. This can lead to overfeeding or cause gassiness and spit-ups.
If you have abundant milk, you can use a milk collector to collect any letdown. The Eonian Care Breast Milk Collector is discreet and designed to fit your bra and collect leaking breast milk while breastfeeding. It helps mums regulate their milk flow and makes it easy for little ones to breastfeed, encouraging them to latch correctly, even if their mothers have flat or inverted nipples. This also helps prevent sore and cracked nipples.
When breastfeeding, slow down milk flow by laying on your back or reclining on a chair. Make sure to burp your baby frequently to prevent gassiness.
Low Milk Supply
A low milk supply is among the top reasons mums get discouraged from continuing breastfeeding. Keep in mind that you don’t need to produce much milk during the first few days with your newborn, so keep nursing – and often – to encourage milk production.
Pumping can also be a great help! The extra stimulation can help increase your milk supply, and you can store the collected milk for use later. The Eonian Care Breast Milk Storage Bags are fridge and freezer safe, keeping your liquid gold safe and ready whenever you need it. It also has write-on labels so you can track if the milk is still safe for consumption.
To avoid these breastfeeding problems - remember to eat healthy food – a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, and fruit helps keep your milk supply up. You can also try lactation goodies and supplements, but always remember to ask for guidance from your doctor. You can do it, mum!