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New Moms: Breastfeeding difficulties & more

What are the common breastfeeding difficulties moms face? 

The breastfeeding difficulties include:

Latching pain

Nipples feel sore once you start to breast feed. However if the baby has latched correctly but the pain lasts longer than a minute from the start of the feeding session, it is important to check the position, otherwise there are chances that the baby has not attached properly and is not feeding well.

Cracked nipples

Nipples can crack due to dry skin, improper pumping, thrush or latching problems. In the first week of breastfeeding, blood discharge is possible as the baby is just learning to latch and you are learning to pump.

Clogged ducts

This happens when milk does not completely drain causing a hard lump in the breast which turns red and is sore to touch. Fever or pain are a sign of infection and need to be diagnosed immediately.

Mastitis

This is a bacterial infection in the breasts caused by cracked skin, clogged milk ducts or engorgement. The symptoms include fever and breast pain.

Low milk supply

Breastfeeding can supply only so much milk the baby demands. If the baby is not gaining enough weight, frequent nursing and hands on pumping can help increase milk supply during the feeding sessions.

Thrush

It is a yeast infection in the baby’s mouth and can also infect the mother’s breast causing itchiness, soreness, and rashes.

Tongue-tie

Tongue-tie is a condition in which the babies have skin beneath their tongue. This makes it difficult for the baby to attach to the mother’s breast during feeding.

Understanding Weaning

Weaning is the process of gradually making a shift in the diet of an infant from breastfed milk to solid food when he/she is around 6 months old. During this time the main nutrition is provided by the breast milk but the baby starts eating solid food to avoid iron deficiency. Gradually the mother makes the transition to feed him/her solid food only; this can be done when the baby is a year old.

When can babies start drinking cow’s milk/ juice?

Neonatal babies depend on breast milk for their nutrients. They can start having whole cow’s milk only when they turn one year old as it is only then that they would be able to digest the proteins present in cow’s milk. At this stage, babies cannot have skim milk because the fat present in whole milk is essential for their growth and brain development. Babies can have juices only after 6 months of age. Only 100% fruit juices can be fed to them, though it is not necessary as juices such as apple juice fills up their stomach and causes diarrhea leading to a loss of appetite for nutritious food. They are also responsible for causing tooth decay.

When can babies start eating solid food?

The babies can start eating solid food once they turn 6 months old. This switch depends on the baby’s nutritional needs and his/her readiness to do so. Some signs which indicate that he is ready are:

  • Change in the tongue thrust reflex – when the baby is ready to start eating solids this tongue thrust reflex will be diminished or gone. This reflex enabled the baby from choking on objects but also caused him/her to push out food from his/her mouth.
  • Supporting the head – it is necessary for the baby to be able to support his/her head; he/she should be in control of his/her head, neck and shoulder to balance it.
  • Interest in food – when infant show interest in food around them, they are ready to be fed solid food.
  • Hungry – when the baby seems to be hungry earlier than usual and opens his/her mouth at the sight of food, he/she is ready.

It is necessary to consult one’s doctor before starting to feed the baby with solid food. Even though they may start, their primary source of nutrition would still be breast milk. It is therefore necessary to wait for the right time.

Diapers are a type of underwear made of softest breathable material which let the baby urinate or defecate in it. They are a type of newborn baby care product that absorbs the liquid to keep the baby’s skin dry and comfortable. They are especially designed to fit the neonatal baby and can easily be disposed off once used.

Immunization of a new-born baby is a process of making it immune or free from an infectious disease with the help of a vaccine. A vaccine is a weak dose of disease-causing microbes that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight against the foreign body and kill it. The neonatal baby requires protection against agents such as pertussis. All the vaccines for children are made available by the government for the eradication of chronic diseases.

 

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