10 Simple Tips For Treating Common Breastfeeding Problems

Written by Harini Santhosh
Last Updated on

Do you experience discomfort while breastfeeding? Are you worried your baby sucks in more air while breastfeeding? Breastfeeding sessions are a boon but can often turn into a pain! Many first time mothers experience disturbing moments during breastfeeding. Both you and your baby need some time to latch onto the correct position.

Read on and learn how to turn those uncomfortable nursing sessions into intimate bonding times between mother and baby.

Listed here are some common breastfeeding problems, which generally include:

1. Painful Latching Moments:

Sometimes, breastfeeding can be uncomfortable as the baby needs to latch on continuously to get into the right latching position.

Gynecologists, nurses, and experienced mothers suggest that an asymmetrical latch is the best position to suckle your baby. The nipple and a major part of the areola are inside the baby’s mouth to facilitate easy suckling. You can let your baby have the breast in her mouth while you hold it in between your index and middle fingers so that your index finger is on the top of your breast.

Remember, your baby’s cheeks should look full while sucking. When they go in-out, it means that she is sucking in air and not milk. If your nipples hurt even after your baby gets into proper latching position, it’s probably because your nipples are dry. Wear loose, soft and smooth clothing and remember to use Lanolin-based creams to soothe your hurting breasts.

2. Cracked Nipples:

Cracked nipples are extremely painful. The cuts get more damaged and often tear away while you suckle the baby. This situation can lead to severe pain. Cracked nipples usually occur due to thrush, dryness, improper pumping and problems pertaining to certain positions. Don’t worry if some blood flows out of your nipple while you pump into your baby’s mouth during her latch-learning session. If you suffer from cracked nipples, the best thing to do is nurse your baby frequently, as a fuller baby will suckle the breast softly.

Don’t be tempted to treat your cracked nipples with OTC (Over the Counter) medicines or creams. Wash your nipples with warm water and use a clean sponge. You can let some milk air dry on your breast, as breast milk helps heal these cracks naturally; it is one of the best remedies for cracked nipples.

3. Clogged Ducts:

Sometimes, the ducts inside your breasts clog due to lack of proper milk flow. The clogged ducts may also lead to a small lump on your breast which you can feel and can also lead to soreness and redness. If you notice any fever or pain, it may be a sign of an infection. These symptoms indicate that you need to visit a doctor soon.

Ensure that there isn’t a long gap in between feeding as you need to produce milk often. Sometimes, a tight-fit nursing bra or even stress can affect the milk flow.

Take lots of rest and use a warm compress to stimulate milk movement in your breasts. Remember, there is nothing to panic, as clogged ducts aren’t harmful to your baby. Your breast milk is rich in natural antibiotics.

4. Engorged Breasts:

Excessive milk supply or engorged breasts make latching difficult for the baby. Un-conforming breasts make latching sessions painful and uncomfortable. The best way to get around this is to nurse more often. Nursing in frequent intervals helps prevent breasts from engorging and makes nursing easier for you and your baby. You can also stimulate milk flow by hand expressing your breast to make suckling easier for your baby.

5. Mastitis – The Bacterial Infection:

This is one of most common problems with breastfeeding. Mastitis is a bacterial infection that can lead to hardening of the breast. Symptoms mirror flu-like fever and painful breasts. Mastitis is usually the result of cracked nipples, clogged ducts or engorged breasts.

Antibiotics help treat bacterial infections and if you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor at once. You may also use a hot compress to soothe pain in breasts. Remember, it is still safe to breastfeed your baby even when you have Mastitis.

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