9/1/10 by Christine Lennon
Having a newborn can be very overwhelming in itself, so if you have breastfeeding trouble on top of it all, those crazy new mom hormones really start to kick in! Many a new mother has found herself in tears along with her baby because she doesn’t have enough milk or because her little one can’t latch on. Fortunately, almost all breastfeeding issues have a solution, so don’t reach for that bottle of formula just yet.
1. Lack of milk
One of the biggest worries for new breastfeeding moms is not having enough milk for their little ones. Early on, it can be very difficult to distinguish the different types of cries, and it may be that your baby is just fussing after a feeding because he needs to be burped. As long as he’s wetting at least five diapers a day, he’s getting plenty to eat.
If you really feel like you don’t have enough milk, try feeding or pumping your breast milk more often. Feeding or pumping every two hours or more will help stimulate your body to produce more milk. You should also make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water; after all, it’s hard to make milk from nothing! Take care of yourself so your milk supply increases.
2. Sore nipples
Breastfeeding takes some getting used to, so it often means that your nipples are taking the brunt of the “experience”. The discomfort should go away after about a week, so if it doesn’t, there’s probably another reason behind the soreness.
A very common issue is that the baby is not latching on correctly. Your nipples are designed to be used in a specific way, so if your little one is latching on too far to one side or the other, it can cause problems. Check your technique and make small adjustments to see if it makes a difference. After feedings, you can rub a bit of breast milk (it has healing properties!) on the nipples and let them air dry. This can help alleviate the pain and speed the healing process.
3. Baby refuses the breast
If you were able to breastfeed without problems before, it can be very frustrating when your baby suddenly refuses to eat. There are a number of reasons your baby might not feed, including an unusual flavor in your milk, which might be caused by a new food, medication, or even hormonal changes. Try offering the other breast, since sometimes the baby will prefer one over the other. Since it may also be an issue with milk flow, try expressing a bit before offering the breast.
Another problem occurs when your little one can’t breathe through his nose. If he has allergies or a cold, this will cause him to latch on and then pull away to get air. Saline drops or a suction bulb will clear out those stuffed passages.
Breastfeeding can be very difficult in the beginning, but getting over the hump is well worth it in the long run. Many women find that they dislike breastfeeding their baby in the beginning, but once they get the process down pat, they really enjoy it. If you follow all the tips and advice out there and nothing’s working, don’t be afraid to visit a lactation consultant. Once you get the help you need to feed comfortably, breastfeeding time will be something to look forward to, not dread!
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