Baby Breastfeeding: 6 Common Problems and Their Solutions
Despite that baby breastfeeding is the most natural, healthy and easy way to feed an infant, it brings a number of challenges to both mothers and their infants. Almost every nursing mum has to deal with at least one breastfeeding problem, whereas many mothers quit breastfeeding even before their newborn is six weeks old. With that in mind, here we’re presenting you a list of six most common problems that mothers face during breastfeeding, plus their best possible solutions. Let’s go through them one by one!
Problem #1: Latching on Hurts
Don't panic! This is normal, especially if you’re a first-time mum. You may experience some kind of pain at the beginning of a feeding session. But if the pain lasts longer than a few seconds, you should understand that your child is not latched on properly.
To get your little one latch onto your breast correctly, you need to make sure that his mouth is wide open as he latches on. So tickle his chin, wait for a yawn and seize the opportunity. You can make the latching process even easier by taking advantage of a feeding pillow.
Problem #2: My Breasts are Engorged and Swollen
Breast engorgement is a condition when your breasts feel very full, heavy and uncomfortable. It normally happens due to the high supply of breast milk during the first few days after you give birth to your child. Engorgement not only makes it difficult for the infant to latch on but can sometimes be painful for mom as well.
Try expressing some milk before you feed, using either a breast pump or your hands. If possible, nurse your baby often, about 8 to 12 times per day, with both of your breasts. Ideally, the more you nurse, the less likely you’re at the risk of getting your breasts engorged.
Problem #3: I’m facing the Opposite Problem – Low Milk Supply
Breastfeeding is a demand and supply process where the breast milk is produced depending on the baby's need. If your little one doesn’t look content and satisfied after an active feeding session or if you’re too conscious about his weight gain, this may be the problem.
Have enough rest. Apply a warm compress to your breast to stimulate the production of breast milk. Try nursing more often because the more milk your newborn consumes, the more milk your breasts will produce. Hands-on pumping can also help you produce enough breast milk.
Problem #4: Baby Spits up After Every Feeding
Spitting up, also known as reflux, usually occurs when your baby feeds more milk than his tummy can hold. Almost all infants spit up at one time or another and it’s natural. The problem is when your infant spits up regularly because it simply means he is getting too much milk.
If your little one doesn't seem distressed during spitting up and is gaining weight very well, don’t worry about it. Just keep a burp cloth handy and burp him after each feeding. Conversely, if your baby seems miserable and vomits forcefully after a feed, consult with your pediatrician.
Problem #5: Baby Falls Asleep While Breastfeeding
During the first few months of life, babies require a lot of sleeping to get their growing body relaxed. So it’s pretty normal for your newborn to fall asleep at the breast while nursing. However, to make sure he is getting enough breast milk, you’re required to deal with this problem.
As soon as you notice your baby’s sucking is slowing down, try to stimulate him by tickling his feet, burping him or stroking him under the chin. Start breastfeeding with the full breast and switch to the second breast in a little while. Remember, there’s nothing like the breast milk to keep him awake for longer.
Problem #6: Baby Refuses the Breast
If your baby refuses to feed or becomes very fussy at the feeding time, it simply means he is trying to tell you something is wrong. It might be having difficulty latching on, getting distracted from surroundings or any other problem. This condition is sometimes called a breastfeeding or nursing strike.
If your little one is gone on a nursing strike, try a completely different feeding position. Use a nursing cover to create a quiet, darkened and distraction-free feeding environment. You can even wear your baby and try feeding on the move as the rocking motion will help calm him down.