As naturally as it may occur, breastfeeding is not always the easiest thing as it requires much time and investment. As a mom, you want to ensure you offer your baby the best, and for this reason, you may wonder if you are doing it right. Since you might not have all the answers, a lactation consultant in Madison, WI, can help address any of your concerns. While problems such as sore nipples can pop up along your nursing journey, experts still recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months. Here are examples of common lactating problems and their fix.
Cracked or sore nipples are a common lactating problem that is usually a result of different things, including shallow latching, dry skin, and sometimes pumping the wrong way. Most women get cracked nipples during the first week of breastfeeding when the baby is learning to attach to the breast. Putting up with sore nipples may worsen the pain, and you should therefore seek help from your midwife or doctor. Some women may also experience bloody discharge, which is scary but is nothing to worry about.
Your breasts may become firm and rigid, making it hard for the baby to latch. Engorged breasts can be uncomfortable for moms and may even cause pain. It is a common problem during the early stages of breastfeeding when your body is still figuring out milk production regulation. You may also experience this when your baby starts eating solid foods and less breastfeeding. Your breasts can also become fuller when the baby is not feeding well or taking long breaks between feedings. You can make the breasts softer by hand-expressing before lactating the baby, which also flows the milk. Nursing frequently is also another way to prevent or reduce breast engorgement.
Clogged milk ducts
Clogged or blocked milk ducts are usually a result of prolonged breast engorgement. You can quickly tell when there is a blockage in a duct since a hard lump usually forms on the breast. Frequently feeding on the affected breast can help with this problem. If this goes unrelieved, you can develop redness, a fever, and your breast can also be sore to touch, a problem known as mastitis. The ducts can also clog for other reasons, such as wearing a bra with an underwire, improper pumping, and compressing your breasts while sleeping. Squeezing your breasts with a warm towel and massaging them can help break up the clog.
Inadequate milk supply
Breastfeeding is typically a supply and demand chain, which means that the more you breastfeed, the more your body produces milk. For this reason, you may worry that your baby might not be getting enough during the first week of breastfeeding. Low milk supply may be caused by certain medications, taking too long before breastfeeding, or not feeding your baby often enough. Other causes include insufficient glandular tissue and endocrine or hormonal problems. Consider pumping during the day and frequently breastfeeding to boost milk production.
Whether you are a new mom or have experienced the nursing journey before, consult with your specialist at Physicians for Women – Melius and Schurr for in-depth information about lactating.