Breastfeeding may be effortless for some, but many mums will encounter one or more issues along the way.
Breastfeeding is one of the greatest investments a mum can make in the future of their baby. But while breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t necessarily happen without some trials, tribulations and hiccups at first.
At Peachymama, we spend a lot of time thinking about breasts, and I mean a LOT.
So the girls have compiled answers to some of the many questions new mums ask about what is happening to our breasts during pregnancy, what to expect when bub arrives and getting started with breastfeeding.
What you'll find here is an excerpt from our Book "The New Mama's Guide to Breastfeeding" that outlines some common breastfeeding problems and their solutions.
Problem #1: Latching Pain
It is normal for mums to have sore nipples during those first few days of breastfeeding.
After all, your bits are not use to all of this action, they’ve been safely tucked away protected from all of the elements for most of your life.
But if you have been experiencing pain that lasts longer than a minute after that first week, you should check your latch.
Look at how your baby is feeding. Their little mouth should cover more of the areola below the nipple, and the chin should touch your breast.
If your baby’s position is correct and you are still experiencing pain, wear loose breastfeeding friendly clothing and apply a lanolin-based cream to keep your nipples moisturised.
Problem #2: Cracked Nipples
Ouch! This can be very painful.
A mum may experience cracked nipples for a number of reasons:
- Latching problems
- Dry skin
- Improper pumping
Again, the first thing to check is your baby’s position and latch. You may also want to try breastfeeding more frequently and for shorter periods of time so your baby is not as eager to feed and will not suck quite as hard.
Wash your nipples with clean water and try letting some breast milk air dry on your nipples after feeding (your breast milk will help them heal). Mums can also try taking a mild pain killer (ibuprofen or acetaminophen) half an hour before feeding.
Problem #3: Engorgement
Engorgement makes your breasts hard and difficult to conform to your little one’s mouth. It’s a bit hard to nuzzle into a bowling ball.
Engorgement can be very uncomfortable for mums to say the least. The achy pain of all that build up on your chest can make you a bit desperate for some relief.
Try to hand-express a bit of milk before feeding to soften the breast and to initiate milk flow. This will make it easier for your baby to latch and when that little bundle finally starts feeding - oh praise the lord! The relief will come and the pain will disappear.
You may also want to try using a hot/cold gel pack to soothe your swollen or sore breasts.