Healthy Living

5 Common Breastfeeding Problems And How To Solve Them

Breastfeeding mom.
Maikel Lara breastfeeds her baby in Caracas on June 18, 2013. Although breastfeeding is tough, there are many ways on how to prevent breastfeeding problems. LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images

Giving birth is indeed challenging. But it does not end there. It is just an introduction to motherhood.

One of the most challenging responsibilities among mothers is breastfeeding. Many moms want to provide natural milk for their babies because of some reasons. However, this job is not easy, especially for first-time moms.

Minor mistakes may sometimes be inevitable or will just come along the way. To relieve stress, be aware of the common difficulties experienced during breastfeeding and how to solve them.

1. Leak

This is a common problem among moms. Usually milk leakage occurs when milk production levels are still being established. It is harmless physically. However, it is embarrassing, especially when moms go to malls or any public places.

Solution:

Try not to miss feedings or go longer than normal between feedings, according to Parents Mag. It is advisable to put disposable nursing pads in the cups of the bra because the pads can absorb wetness and prevent milk from leaking through the shirt. Make sure the pads have no plastic liners because it can trap moisture against the skin and cause sore nipples. 

2. Nipple Confusion

Babies who were given pacifier or bottle in the early weeks of breastfeeding may become confused when they encounter their mothers' breasts. So there are instances when babies may not be able to latch on correctly or, worse, reject the breast completely.

Solution:

Do not give a baby a pacifier or bottle until nursing routine is firmly established. Usually establishing nurse routine takes at least three to four weeks after delivery. If the baby is still rejecting breastfeeding, ask a lactation consultant for advice. Make sure the baby is being fed regularly.

3. Not Producing Enough Milk

This is the major reason why women stopped breastfeeding, and a study in pediatrics agree to it. “[T]he true prevalence of mothers who are unable to produce enough milk to accomplish their infant's weight gain is only about 5 percent,” Ruowei Li, a breastfeeding researcher in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the CDC in Atlanta, said. 

Solution:

Monitor baby's weight. If he gains weight, it means the mom is producing enough milk. Try a hospital-grade pump, which is usually used in hospitals by mothers of preemies who need to establish milk production quickly. 

4. Finding Time To Pump

This is a problem especially for women who work in offices. Some women’s maternity leave is less than six weeks. The result — most of them decide to stop nursing, and a few of them decide not to return to work. 

Solution:

Better consult a lactation consultant. Let him know the schedule of work. He can help find a super comfortable, double-electric, hand-free pump that will help in producing milk while busy doing something else. 

Before returning to work, practice pumping (a few weeks before returning to work). Learn to freeze and unfreeze breast milk in order to prolong the life of the milk. Find a friendly child care center that allows moms to breastfeed their babies before and after work. 

5. Cracked Or Sore Nipples

The usual cause of cracked or sore nipples is the improper positioning of the baby during breastfeeding. If the position is correct, nipples should be at the back of his mouth, safely away from the pressure of the gums and tongue.

Solution: 

Make sure the baby follows the correct latch-on technique. If pain occurs, gently remove the baby from breast and let him latch on again. It is also important to position the baby close to the mother's body with his mouth and nose facing the nipple to make it easier for him to latch on properly.

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