Breastfeeding a baby is a very enjoyable and rewarding experience but, despite being a natural process, is not always starts naturally.Sometimes mother and child, both need to learn the right way. An untrained approach can lead to problems that make it difficult breastfeeding but often they can be resolved by changing the baby’s position at the breast and the latch-on, or slight changes to mother’s technique.
For this reason, it is very important to seek help as soon as you have discomfort or pain in the breast during breastfeeding, turning to a professional lactation consultant or to a peer counselor. A mom can control the position herself by looking at some key points:
- keep the baby’s body as close as possible to your body,his belly resting on your belly.
- hold firmly and gently around the baby’s body from his back with his head resting on your arm and free to move to seek the breast .
- the baby’s face is facing yours breast with his nose up to the nipple.
Help yourself with some pillows to place under the baby’s body, to support it at the right height from your body,without straining your back and arm. It is important that the baby goes alone to the breast and not you to bend toward him.
Now you can facilitate his latch by checking these details:
- Expect the child has his mouth wide open (like a yawn) and approach him quickly to the breast. You can help holding up the breast with the free hand, with the fingers forming a “C”, freeing the areola and not overly compress the breast.
- the baby’s mouth should be wide open with their lips averted.
- make sure the baby has a good portion of the breast in his mouth.Remember: the nipple is just “a pointer” to drive the breast within the center of the baby’s mouth,the baby must suck the areola, not just the nipple.
If the discomfort persists during feeding, put your finger into the corner of his mouth and break the suction in order to avoid problems that are more serious.
Sore or cracked nipples.
Every mother can experience slightly sore nipples at first feeds and this is considered normal if it is a temporary discomfort that is limited to the first few days after birth and gradually disappears as the child acquires expertise in feeding, if the baby is well positioned at the breast and he latches-on properly.If discomfort persists and becomes pain means that something is not going well and needs to be corrected.It is important NOT to try to endure the pain, but quickly find their way because the more time passes, the more difficult it will be.So check and change the position and latch, and experience different breastfeeding positions.
Do not wash the breast too often, once a day is enough, and avoid using aggressive cleaning products that can remove the natural skin’s oils.Avoid the use of nipple shields and nursing pads, indeed keep your breasts exposed as much as possible, leaving a few drops of milk that will be the best disinfectant in case of fissures.If, despite all, the problem persists, please consult a specialist to ensure that you do not have infections such as candida.
It is characterized by a painful hardening of the breast whose skin looks shiny and tight.It can take place at the lactation onset or when the child does not remove the milk effectively.To prevent it, always make sure that the latch is correct and make child sucking freely, i.e. without observing time-tables and schedules.To treat it, before feeding apply moderate heat on the breasts and squeeze a small amount of milk to soften the breast and let the baby suck often for milk drainage.After feeding,you can apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain.
Plugged Milk Ducts.
It affects a limited area of breast milk and is caused by clogged breast creating a small in-duration and, occasionally, a redness. If not treated, it can infect and result in mastitis.It can be caused by excessive pressure on the breast caused by too tight bras, shoulder handbags, positions during sleep.To resolve, breastfeed your baby often, before offering the affected breast, varying positions of breastfeeding; before feeding gently massage the affected area to remove the obstruction, starting from the chest to the nipple. Apply moderate heat as in the case of engorgement.
It is a localized inflammation of the breast. It can be caused by a clogged milk duct untreated or by trauma.An area of the breast is warm, hardened and reddened, with stinging pain,often accompanied by fever and general ill.As before, it is treated with the effective removal of milk and frequent breastfeeds. Warm or cold compresses may also help relieve pain between feeds.It is very useful to rest in bed.If the fever is high and the symptoms do not improve in a day you should consult your doctor as you may need antibiotic therapy.All these problems can happen at any period in the history of your breastfeeding: so do not be discouraged if they happen to you too and do not face them alone but ask for help to a lactation specialist.
Written b y Gaia.
Gaia is from Italy, she is a wife of an adventurous engineer and a mother of a brilliant 9 years old boy and a smart 4 years old girl.She love architecture (my profession) and cooking. She is also a peer counselor for breastfeeding and baby-led weaning @Mamme per le Mamme NPO .