Breastfeeding is a natural and miraculous thing. You connect with your baby in the most primal way. However, it is not always an easy journey.
While some babies are able to quickly latch on, but having troubles is also very common. The first week is perhaps the most challenging, during which the mother is dealing with the trauma of childbirth, her emotions, taking care of the baby, and on top of that, battling with the challenge of breastfeeding.
Even if your baby latches on initially, one week later, the baby might not latch easily. The problems pertaining to breastfeeding not only irk the mother but may also make the baby fussy and hence, restless.
It is especially daunting for the first-time mothers, who might be so overwhelmed with the entire task, that they might abandon the entire ordeal. Considering the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers should seek guidance from their Gynecologist in Omar Hospital & Cardiac Center before making a rash decision.
Common Breastfeeding Problems
Everyone has their own journey and learning curve, however, there are certain problems pertaining to lactation that are common amongst women. These include:
Breast engorgement occurs when your breasts become large and hard, due to the milk supply. It is not only painful for the mothers but also makes it harder for the infant to latch onto the breast, which compounds the problem of engorgement.
It is more common during the initial days of breastfeeding, as the body is adjusting to how much milk supply is optimal for the baby. It may, however, last for weeks as well.
Having sore nipples is expected of breastfeeding, however, if you continue to experience pain after the baby starts feeding, it may be due to improper latch. It is especially common in first-time mothers, as they learn the ropes of breastfeeding.
Plugged Milk Ducts
Milk ducts may become clogged in the breast, leading to the formation of hard lumps, as the milk does not get drained properly. Symptoms of plugged milk ducts include tenderness around the area, alongside, swelling and redness in the region.
Plugged milk duct may only afflict one breast at a time and may also resolve on its own.
Shape of the Nipple
Another breastfeeding challenge arises when nipples turn inward, instead of pointing outwards, or are flat. This naturally makes it challenging for the baby to latch on. It is often compounded by the engorgement of the breasts.
Similarly, having large nipples may also make latching a challenge, as the baby cannot get an adequate grasp on the nipple, or a strong enough grip to suckle properly.
Soreness of nipples is especially common during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. While having slight soreness is common, however, if you have cracked, bleeding and extremely painful nipples, you might be doing something amiss and you need to talk to your doctor about it.
Too Much Milk
While low milk supply is challenging as well, the problem occurs when there is too much of it as well. It then leads to plugged milk ducts, breast engorgement, and even mastitis.
Thrush refers to yeast infection. It may lead to breast pain, redness of the breasts alongside itching on nipples. There might also be a rash accompanying the thrust.
Yeast infection can also be passed on to your baby, appearing as white patches or even red patches around the baby’s mouth.
Mastitis is the swelling or inflammation in the breast tissue. It may be aggravated by a case of engorged breasts and blocked milk ducts. Also known as breast infection, mastitis can lead to fatigue and even fever. Another symptom of mastitis is redness or tenderness of the breast.
If you suspect a case of breast infection, you should consult your Gynecologist in Medicare & Cardiac General Hospital, as you might need to take antibiotics then.