An expecting mum’s breasts begin to change and prepare for feeding her baby almost the moment she becomes pregnant. But as natural as these changes are, they aren’t without certain obstacles that can affect any mum.
Let’s look at four common problems new mums face when breastfeeding, and then offer some tips on how to avoid them.
Common Breast Problems For Breastfeeding Mums
While not every mum will experience problems when breastfeeding, these four are the most common:
Sore Nipples: This is most common when mums first begin breastfeeding her baby.
Blocked Milk Ducts: These painful lumps in your breast are often due to your breasts not being completely emptied during a feeding, or if too much time has passed between feedings.
Engorgement: Breasts may become engorged when your milk comes in after you begin breastfeeding. This typically tapers off as your breasts adjust to the feeding demands of your baby.
Mastitis: This infection can occur if your breasts are engorged or if your milk ducts are plugged. Your breasts will become red, swollen, and painful, and some mums may develop flu-like symptoms.
Avoiding Problems While Breastfeeding
There may be no surefire way to avoid problems while breastfeeding your baby, but there are steps that you can take to keep issues to a minimum.
Get The Best Latch: A good latch-on is key to minimizing any breast and breastfeeding difficulties. Try out different positions and see which best allows for your baby’s mouth to completely cover your areola.
Feed Regularly: Feeding your baby anywhere from 8 to 12 times a day when he or she is a newborn will go a long way in keeping your milk supply up while keeping your breasts healthy. If your baby has fed from only one side, make note of which breast should be used for the next feeding. Slide a bracelet or hair elastic on the wrist that is on the side of the breast that should be used to feed your baby next as a reminder.
Use Warm and Cold Compresses: Mums may be able to help unplug milk ducts by applying a warm compress to her breasts, and relief from engorgement can be obtained from a cold compress (chilled cabbage leaves right from the fridge work wonders!)
Wear Comfortable Clothing: Wearing tight tops and bras can put added pressure on your breasts, which can cause issues such as plugged milk ducts, sore or irritated nipples, and is extremely uncomfortable if you have engorged breasts.
Comfortable tops that are designed specifically for breastfeeding, also known as nursing tops, are ideal as they are not only comfortable and allow mums to privately feed her baby, but these often stylish tops are also designed to compliment a mum’s new figure.
See the modern and colourful breastfeeding tops we have here at Peachymama!