Breastfeeding - Common Problems and Solutions

Nathalie Fiset

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Breast milk is the best food a newborn baby can get. Breastfeeding provides the growing baby all the nutrients its developing brain and body requires. Here is a review of the most common problems encountered while breastfeeding and some trails of solutions. In any case, any breastfeeding mother who is experiencing difficulties should consult her physician or lactation specialist.

In case of a baby who has trouble for the first feedings, being patient and offering the breast often is often all that is needed. Asking for the help of a qualified lactation specialist to put the baby to the breast can provide very useful.

If a nursing baby seams to get disinterested from breastfeeding after a couple of weeks or months, being again patient and often offering the breast may be all that is required. Older babies go through periods where their entourage interests them more. Another simple solution is to go in a a quiet place providing less stimuli and nurse there quietly.

In the case of a baby who falls asleep right after starting to nurse it is recommended to stimulate him and talk to him to keep his attention alert. A lot of babies get very comfortable while breastfeeding and tend to “drift away”. If a woman does not want to feedings to drag-on for too long periods of time, she can stimulate her baby by talking or gently rubbing its back. It is also a good habit to make sure the baby is not too bundled-up when breastfeeding as warmth may make him sleepier.

In case a breastfeeding mother suspects she does not have enough milk, she can check for signs that this might be the case. A nursing mother should not be worried if her baby sleeps well between feedings, wets 5 or more diapers per day and seams alert and happy. Breastfeeding mothers tend to be concerned of not having enough breast milk while their baby is convinced of the opposite. Another good sign that the breastfeeding mother has sufficient milk for her baby is if he is gaining weight properly.

In the opposite case of a breastfeeding mother who has too much milk and is “leaking” between feedings, a good solution is to extract the extra milk and freeze it for the days when she will be away from the baby. Extracting milk should only be done after a feeding when there is milk remaining and the baby is fully satisfied.

When a breastfeeding mother suffers from sensitive nipples, she should consult her physician and get the proper help. The nursing mother should also be re-assured that most sensible breasts will get better over time.

Breastfeeding mothers can often suffer from breast engorgement. The simplest solution sis to breastfeed often or to extract the excess milk if baby is satisfied. Again, breast engorgement settles on its own after a couple of days.

Serious infections in breastfeeding mothers such as breast abces or mastitis require the care of a qualified physician or lactation specialist. Often such alarm signs as intense breast pain and fever are present.

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