This was a huge issue for me when I was starting out with breastfeeding, so I hope it helps some folks out! Feel free to share this with moms you know who are breastfeeding!
What to Do if You Are Having Trouble Breastfeeding
If you are expecting your first child, you may have plans to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is the best way to give your baby the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow and develop, and it also helps protect them from infections if you exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. As well as this, breastfeeding is a great way to bond with your baby. However, many mums will probably have already told you that it isn’t always easy, and there are some problems you can encounter. If you find you are having trouble breastfeeding, here’s what you can do.
Pain When Breastfeeding
When your milk ‘comes in’ at around 2-4 days after giving birth, you may find that your nipples are tender and sore. Add to this the fact that a newborn will require feeding every two to three hours, and it’s not uncommon that breastfeeding can be quite painful in the beginning. However, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure this pain doesn’t last. First of all, you’ll want to check how your baby is latching on. The best way to describe proper latching is if your baby has most of the lower part of the areola in their mouth, the nipple against the roof of their mouth, and their tongue underneath.
Second, make sure to consult with a breastfeeding specialist just to rule out any physical problems that may cause latching on to be an issue.
Not Producing Enough Milk
As mentioned, your milk may not come in for up to four days after giving birth. This is because the hormonal changes that trigger milk production do not happen instantly. So, if it has only been a few days, not producing enough milk is not usually a problem to be concerned about. However, if after this period you find that your baby is losing weight or not putting on enough weight, it could be that you are still not producing enough milk. In this instance, you may be advised by your breastfeeding consultant to start expressing to help build up your milk supply.
Alternatively, you can consider using baby formula. You’ll want to ensure you choose a reputable brand such as Alula from Me and My Child. Their S-26 Gold baby formula is suitable for newborn babies and has been carefully formulated to give them the right proteins and nutrients to aid healthy development.
Leaking breasts are a common problem in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, and it is a problem that can be easily managed. You may find that one breast leaks while your baby is feeding from another, when you are sleeping, or when your baby is due a feed but you are not quite in a position to be able to feed them there and then. If you are worried about wasting this milk, you can find milk collection shells that fit inside your bra, which are useful if leaking tends to happen during a feed. Make sure to store the milk in a sterile bottle and either use it straight away or store it for up to 24 hours in a refrigerator. Alternatively, you can use reusable or disposable nursing pads.
Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to breastfeeding, and ask for help if you are struggling.