When a child is born, it is the mother’s milk that is first fed to the newborn. Only a mother’s milk has the requisite ingredients that help such a fragile life to sustain and grow. So does it mean that a mother is naturally good at feeding or she has this innate capability inbuilt right from the moment she gave the birth? No! On the contrary, breastfeeding requires prior knowledge of baby’s feeding habits and the art of breastfeeding.
You must have watched various videos and pictures that show how easy it is to breastfeed. But believe us; all those mothers too must have gone through hard times feeding their babies. Here are 5 common breastfeeding issues faced by almost every mother:
1. The hurtful latch: This is one problem in breastfeeding most of the new moms experience. Mothers feel a little pain when the baby latches. This simply means that your baby is not opening his/her mouth big enough while clasping. Ensure your baby’s mouth is wide open, chin pressed into the breast, and nose little distant from the breast to breathe easily. Squeeze and put the nipple and areola in the mouth of the baby so that it is easy for them to latch on.
2. Breast engorgement: Breast engorgement means that your breast is full of milk. Your breast gets tight and painful. This problem is encountered in the initial months when the baby’s stomach is small. The milk produced is more than the demand of the child. You can pump the extra milk to empty the breasts.
3. White nipples: Some mothers may find a white dot at the end of the nipple. Don’t worry, it is just a milk blister or milk bleb. It is a result of an improper latch. It occurs as the skin grows over the milk duct and milk builds up behind it. You can use home remedies to open the duct, like sterilizing a needle and piercing the skin. If the problem still persists, do not hesitate to call your doctor.
4. Cracked nipples: Cracked or sore nipples are common in the first month of breastfeeding. The reasons may vary from dry skin, improper latching, incorrect pumping, or thrush. You may even witness discharge of blood. It is normal but you should not ignore it. Wash your nipples regularly, apply lotion, improve the latch, and be careful while expressing milk. Leave a few drops of milk on the nipples while feeding or expressing, as milk itself acts as a healing lotion. If home remedies are not effective, see your doctor.
5. Empty breasts: After 2 months, mothers feel that they are not producing enough milk. But it is not so; your body has got accustomed to your baby’s need. So as long as your baby is gaining weight and their tummy is full, you need not worry.
Nursing your baby is important for both—your baby and you yourself. Breastfeeding may not be a cake-walk for all the mothers but a little knowledge and awareness can ensure a comfortable journey. Remember “Breastfeeding is a gift that does not last long, so enjoy it while it lasts.”
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