Breastfeeding for the first time moms can be pretty overwhelming and exhausting task and may lead to anxiety and feeling of guilt if it is unable to meet the needs of the baby. A lot of these issues can be resolved by discussing them with your lactation consultant or nursing attendant, who will be help you understand the best practices to tide away the challenges smoothly.
Few of the most commonly encountered problems are:
1. Breast engorgement: Also referred to as overly full breasts, they are overly uncomfortable and may be embarrassing as well. It usually signifies blocked milk duct. Use of warm compresses or using warm water in the shower may help in relieving the pressure buildup. A quick way to decompress is to express milk between feedings.
2. Sore and cracked nipples: These may appear in the initial breastfeeding days, when you are learning to position yourself in the best position for ideal breastfeeding and the baby is getting used to latching. Use of lanolin after each nursing session should soothe the sores and helps these cracked nipples in healing.Try alternating between each breast during each nursing session and let your nipples air dry after each session. Improve the latching of the baby so that you don’t hear any clicking or sucking sounds.
3. Breast Mastitis: If your breasts appear red, hot and sore, you are suffering from mastitis or breast infection. You might need an antibiotic to treat the infection. To facilitate healing make sure you empty your breasts regularly.
4. Thrush: It is a fungal infection formed on the breast and can be passed on the baby’s mouth. Thrush is usually caused by a diet rich in sugar or yeasty foods, and medicines like steroids and appears as very sore itchy or cracked nipples and painful breasts. As a result, even your baby may develop little white spots in her mouth, or a diaper rash that doesn’t get healed.
You would need to treat both your breasts and the infection in your baby’s mouth with an antifungal suggested by your physician. Thrush can be prevented by eating foods low in sugar and yeasty contents, air drying your nipples and wearing a clean bra every day.
Read more about Breastfeeding Difficulties.