Troubleshooting Common Breastfeeding Problems
Breastfeeding provides countless benefits to both mother and child. It creates a bond between a mother and her baby, giving the two newfound intimacy outside of the womb. Breast milk also provides infants with nutritional benefits they won’t receive anywhere else, ensuring the fast physical and mental development of newborns. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its difficulties.
Common Breastfeeding Problems
- Milk production. Many mothers worry that they’re not producing enough breast milk to keep their babies fed. If you’re worried about milk supply, monitor your infant’s behaviors. If your child is not audibly swallowing, seems dissatisfied after breastfeeding, or produces fewer than 6-8 wet diapers and 3-4 soft, yellow stools per day, ask your OB about supplementing your baby’s diet. Mothers can also encourage breast milk production by drinking lots of water, ensuring easy latching, emptying both breasts at every feeding, using a pump between feedings, nursing at night, and eating OB recommended foods to encourage a healthy supply of milk.
- Latching pain. Latching pain is common in the weeks after birth, especially for first time mothers. Reposition your baby so his mouth covers more of the nipple below the areola than above. If you have dry or cracked nipples, wear loose clothing, apply lanolin cream between feedings, and let a little milk air dry on the nipple after each feeding (breast milk is a natural healer for you and your baby).
- Too much milk supply. Nurse more frequently to limit engorged breasts.
- Clogged ducts. If you aren’t draining your milk supply, you may notice clogged ducts or lumps on the breasts. Nurse more frequently and make sure your nursing bra isn’t too tight. If you experience redness, aching, or fever, you may have an infection. Ask your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic.
At Cherokee Women’s Health, we dedicate ourselves to providing optimal care to moms and their babies. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our exceptional board-certified obstetricians or midwives.