“Breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy way to feed your baby.” It blesses you and your baby with an ecstatic experience but also comes up with challenges like sore nipples, breast engorgement, mastitis, etc.
These challenges can create problems like pain, frustration, and anxiety for you and your baby. But dealing with them with great patience and persistence can help you ease the discomfort and sufferings to some extent.
Let’s know about some of the challenges you might face during breastfeeding.
One of the most prevalent challenges for mothers is sore nipples. It includes tender or sensitive nipples during the beginning phase of breastfeeding. You may suffer from sore nipples due to many reasons but mainly it can be due to poor latch by your baby.
-Expressing and rubbing a few drops of your milk on your nipples as human milk have natural healing properties.
-After you feed your baby, dry your nipples well.
-Avoid underwired bras and soap.
Breast engorgement refers to swollen, hard, and painful breasts that may occur due to over-accumulation of milk in your milk ducts.
Due to breast engorgement, you may have tight, tender, and lumpy breasts which can generally happen during the third or fifth day of postpartum.
-Breastfeeding your baby often
-Compressing your breasts with warm water just before nursing or pumping.
-Using different breastfeeding positions
The fast build-up of milk in your breasts can cause blockage in milk ducts leading to inflammation which can further lead to an infection. The condition of inflammation is called mastitis. Due to mastitis, you can suffer from body aches, fever, flu-like symptoms and pain, and red rashes on the breast.
The following measures can help you to get relief:
-Gently massaging the nipples
-Trying different breastfeeding positions
-Draining any leftover milk with the help of compressing your breasts or through a breast pump after feeding.
Low milk supply
Sometimes, a low milk supply can also become a challenge for you due to several reasons like delay in initiating breastfeeding, poor attachment to baby, short feeds, no night feed, tiredness, worry, and stress. You might worry that your baby is not receiving enough milk. Some measures that can help you gain and maintain a healthy milk supply are:
-Initiating breastfeeding as soon as possible
-Strengthening skin-to-skin contact with your baby
-Enough feedings at nights
Thrush is a fungal infection caused by a bacteria known as candida albicans that grows, develops, and spreads in a warm and moist environment. Unlike most other problems, thrush can not be treated on your own and you may need a proper treatment to cure it.
You may experience a dreadful, sharp, shooting pain in your breasts caused due to thrush infection. Your baby may also develop a thrush infection which can cause him get a red, bumpy rash of diapers, white patches on the baby’s mouth, and a white coating on the baby’s tongue.
-Washing your hands after nappy changes
-Washing your baby’s items like sippers, teethers, bottles, toys, etc properly.
-Washing and air drying your nipples before and after breastfeeding
– Limiting sugary foods and drinks while your treatment to stop the growth of yeast and bacteria.
Although breastfeeding challenges can make you feel demotivated to proceed further with your decision of breastfeeding. Always, remember that breastfeeding is very beneficial for you and your baby. You can overcome the challenges you encounter, but can’t reclaim the benefits you forgo.
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Dr. Shweta Wazir is the best gynae in gurgaon who provides a wide range of services to women of all ages and stages. She is an expert in handling normal and high-risk pregnancies, delivering babies through normal or cesarean mode, and ensuring postnatal care and recovery. She is also a skilled laparoscopic surgeon who can perform various procedures for gynecological issues, such as hysterectomy, ovarian cystectomy, tubal ligation, and more.