Every woman’s breastfeeding journey is different. Some will find the experience effortless and very natural, whilst others may struggle initially with thoughts of giving up.
The breastfeeding struggle is real and women should put aside outside pressures and focus on their own journey. Take it day by day & do what’s right for you!
The good news is that breastfeeding does get easier. The first couple of weeks can be the hardest.
We have compiled a list of common breastfeeding problems and some suggested solutions.
Latching on hurts
It should not last more than a minute. You should not feel continued pain throughout the breastfeeding period.
An incorrect latch is often the reason for a painful latch. Ensure baby’s mouth is wide open and has a large amount of the lower areola is in his or her mouth, as well as the nipple.
You may find it useful to use a feeding pillow to help get the babies head in the correct position to make this possible.
This is very common especially in the first few weeks when your body is producing overabundant milk supply.
Invest in some good nursing pads. They will help to keep your outerwear dry and avoid any embarrassing incidents.
We recommend purchasing nursing pads that are made from natural fibers such as cotton, hemp or bamboo. The natural fabrics will allow your skin to breath and will help to avoid skin infections.
Change your nursing pads regularly to avoid your nipples staying damp for an extended period of time.
Cracked nipples can be painful. Most women will experience them particularly in the early stages of breastfeeding.
Cracked nipples can be caused by an incorrect use of a breast pump, poor latch, regular feeding, thrush or dry skin.
Avoid using creams on your nipples. The best remedy is breast milk. After feeding express a little extra and rub directly onto the nipple and allow to dry.
Blocked ducts are often caused by the breast not being completely emptied which is very common in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, when the body is producing an oversupply of milk.
To avoid blocked ducts massage the breast after feeding and use a warm heat pack. You can also use a breast pump to empty your breasts completely if necessary.
Mastitis is a bacterial infection in the breast. You will almost certainly know if you have mastitis. You will feel tenderness in the breasts and feel flu like symptoms such as fever.
A compressed breast often causes mastitis. Avoid wearing a cupped size bra during the first 8 weeks post birth. Invest in a seamless nursing bra. The seamless bra will stretch and conform to your changing body shape, providing you with support and comfort without restriction.
Should you get mastitis the only way to treat it is to go to your doctor and go on a course of antibiotics. It is advised to use hot packs and frequently empty the breasts.
It is safe to feed your baby when you have mastitis and on antibiotics, but check with your doctor. You may however, experience some pain, until the infection disappears.
Thrush is found in the baby’s mouth and spreads in warm wet environments i.e. cracked nipples.
You will know if you have thrush, as your breasts will feel sore and itchy.
The only way to treat thrush is with an antifungal medication. Treat both the baby’s mouth and your nipples. Both should be treated at the same time, to avoid the infection from continuing to spread.
This is very normal for a newborn baby. Feeding on demand is encouraged and will help to avoid engorged breasts and any other conditions related to full sore breasts.
Baby falls asleep when you are feeding him or her.
Newborn babies will often fall asleep on the breast.
Should you notice the baby start to dose off, tickle the feet gently, stroke the check or chin. This should wake baby initially, do expect to continue to do this for the first few weeks until baby becomes more efficient at feeding.
Shooting pains in your breast
It is normal to experience some let down in the early stages of breastfeeding. The good news is this should not last longer than a week or two.
Some women will experience pins and needle tingles during let down. This is quite normal and should not be painful.
Should a more serve pain be experienced ongoing, it may be a latching issue and it is recommended to visit a lactation consultant for advice.
Breasts will feel tender particularly in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Our breasts are remarkable and are going through huge change.
Generally 8 weeks post birth a woman’s breasts will have learnt to regulate its milk supply. You should feel less tender and find yourself back at the bra size your were, at approx. 8 months of pregnancy. At this point we advise you should start to wear a cupped size bra, which will provide you with that much needed support and lift.