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Dealing with Common Breastfeeding Problems

It’s easy for mothers – especially new mothers – to feel like they can’t breastfeed and should give up altogether. Even experienced mothers can experience some problems with breastfeeding that cause them to believe that they’re doing something horribly wrong. The fact is that common breastfeeding problems can occur at any time and to anyone and, in most cases, they aren’t serious enough to consider quitting.

You first need to understand that you aren’t alone. Many women have problems breastfeeding, especially if it’s their first child. However, you need to know that you can overcome these issues. The five most common problems, and their solutions, are here:

  1. Sore nipples are the number one breastfeeding problem. You can eliminate this problem by correcting the way the baby latches on to the breast. The nipple should be all the way in the back of the baby’s mouth where the soft and hard palettes meet, known as the hollow. In this position you shouldn’t have any soreness. You can also eliminate any soreness or dryness in the nipples that persists with lanolin cream.
  2. The engorgement of your breasts is completely normal, but can be extremely painful and my interrupt your baby’s feeding schedule. As your milk comes in, there’s a flooding of fluids and blood to the breasts, which can sometimes cause the milk ducts to be pinched off. This keeps you from feeding your baby and causes the milk to engorge the breasts. You can open up the milk ducts by applying a cold compress for twenty minutes before feeding time. You should also feed as often as possible to keep milk ducts open.
  3. Lumps and infections can commonly occur, but have little effect on the baby. It can be rather painful for you, however, but you shouldn’t give up on breastfeeding. Warm compresses can help with the pain and discomfort and help open up the clogged milk duct, which is what causes most lumps. If you run a fever and have flu like symptoms for more than twenty-four hours, your infection may be serious enough to require an antibiotic – you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.
  4. Thrush is a yeast infection that thrives on breast milk and it presents itself as a white film on the surface of the baby’s tongue. You’ll also likely notice red and itchy skin on or around your nipple, which may flake off. You may also get a vaginal yeast infection at the same time. Rather than rely on drugstore treatments, visit your doctor for treatment for both you and your baby.
  5. Fussiness in your baby after feeding can be caused by the foods that you eat. Try to keep track of which foods you eat and how your baby reacts during his feedings. This will help you figure out which foods irritate your baby’s tummy or cause him to not like the taste of the milk. Once you know what foods your baby doesn’t like, avoid eating them for at least two hours prior to his typical feeding time.

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