Knowing some of the common problems and solutions can enhance your breastfeeding experience
You have read all about the benefits of breastfeeding, but things are not going smoothly? Find out what some of the common problems are and how you can overcome these, so that breastfeeding is an experience that both you and your baby can enjoy.
Often caused by fluid retention, swelling and inflammation of the breast tissues, not only is engorgement uncomfortable for mothers, but babies can also find it difficult to latch if the nipple and areola area is swollen. If you experience this, it may be beneficial to feed more frequently and ask for help with your feeding technique to ensure the milk keeps moving. Also, apply warmth before feeds to get the milk flowing and use cold packs for up to half an hour after a feed. If your baby is having difficulty latching on, express a small amount of milk first, or wear a breast shell to soften the areola. Products like thermopads and breast pads can help you get some relief and comfort.
Too much milk
If your milk spurts out in forceful sprays at first, babies can gulp and choke. This may occur if you are experiencing full, engorged breasts, plugged ducts or mastitis. To prevent this, catch the initial forceful sprays in a towel before putting the baby on the breast. You may also consider expressing excess milk supply (either manually or with a breast pump) and storing milk for future feeds. However, emptying your breasts entirely after each feed will trick your body into thinking that level of milk supply is needed, which may cause your body to continue producing at that level. When looking for a breast pump, look for one that is comfortable like Philips AVENT Comfort Breast pumps. (Studies show that moms that are more relaxed produce more milk). Philips AVENT also offers a full range of breast care accessories like storage cups, breast milk storage bags, breast pads, etc.
Many women experience some tenderness in the early days of breastfeeding, but if soreness in the nipples persists, it may be a sign that your baby is not attaching to the breast properly. This may be the result of improper feeding technique or problems such as thrush or tongue tie in your baby. Normally, improving your technique is all that is needed to prevent sore nipples. Ensure that your baby takes a large mouthful of breast tissue, with the nipple far back in their mouth. If the initial latch-on is painful, insert a clean finger gently in their mouth and try again. Products like nipple protectors and breast shells can provide relief and protect the nipple from clothing while allowing air to circulate.
If a red patch can be seen on the breast and it feels hot and tender, you may be experiencing mastitis, which is inflammation of the breast tissue. Fever and achy flu type symptoms are also signs of mastitis. It is important to resolve this problem quickly, as an infection may develop. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider and rest in bed for at least the first two days of mastitis. You can continue to breastfeed as the quality of your milk would not be affected. Thermopads and breast pads can help sooth sore or engorged breasts and give you the comfort and confidence you need. Visit www.philips.ca for a full range of breast care accessories that can enhance your breastfeeding experience and make it one that both you and your baby can enjoy.
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