Women often find themselves a loss on how to handle many breastfeeding issues. What’s worse is that they may not even realize how common and easily corrected these issues are, often ending an attempt at breastfeeding prematurely.
Let’s examine some of these common issues and how to effectively correct them to assure a wonderful breastfeeding relationship.
You may feel that your baby won’t nurse or that you simply can’t “get them on.” This is often because the baby is having a difficult time obtaining and sustaining a proper latch. This can happen for many reasons.
Women come in all shapes and sizes. That includes their breasts and nipples. Some breastfeeding mothers may find that their infants are having a hard time latching onto their breasts and sustaining a suckle.
This may be attributed to inverted flat nipples. This is not a failure on the part of anyone and is easily corrected. Some women have found success with either an electric or manual pump to stimulate their nipples. This can draw out your nipples and make latching much easier for the baby.
Another method is the nipple shield. This is a small, thin, soft and pliable pieces of silicone in the shape of an artificial nipple that is placed directly over the areola and nipple. It gives your baby a large and erect nipple to latch onto while relieving some pain for you.
One of the best ways to help correct a latch problem is to seek professional support from a Certified Lactation Consultant. These women are certified and specially trained to handle babies themselves. They can give you real-time feedback and walk you through the steps necessary to create a proper latch, which will ensure pain-free nursing.
An improper latch can sometimes lead to sore nipples. Your nipples are very likely not used to the amount of stimulation that they receive during breastfeeding. The pain can be eased by using breastfeeding safe, Lanolin.
Another simple method is to use your own breast milk to help heal the nipples. Simply express a small amount, gently rub it in, and then let the nipple air dry. Keeping shirts and clothing loose or off the skin may also help.
Often, the culprit of extremely sore and bloody nipples is a faulty latch. If you are experiencing extreme pain, working to correct the baby’s latch may be the key.
Human breast milk is the most easily digested food for infants. Add to that the fact that infants are growing at a rapid pace and you’ve discovered the answer to why some babies seem to nurse non-stop.
This is commonly referred to as cluster feeding. It is perfectly normal and it does not mean you aren’t making enough milk. Cluster feedings can be both tiring and damage a mother’s self-confidence in her abilities to create enough breast milk and keep up with the demands of her growing baby.
There are ways to help allay some of those fears and concerns.
Checking a baby’s diaper is a great way for you to check your child’s intake on a regular basis. Babies will generally have 3-4 wet diapers a day, the first 3 days. After that, it’s common for a baby to have 6 wet diapers a day.
Don’t forget to check for stools as well. You’ll find a breastfed baby will have 3 stools a day, often black and tar-like, in the first 3 days. This is simply meconium passing. After that, a baby will normally produce 4 stools a day.
You shouldn’t be alarmed if your baby doesn’t follow this pattern exactly. It certainly isn’t an exact science.
Another wonderful tool to put your mind at ease is the scale. You will want to make an appointment with either your Pediatrician or a Lactation Consultant to asses your baby’s weight before and after nursing.
There, they can weigh the baby, in ounces, prior to and after breastfeeding to get an accurate picture of how much breast milk the baby is consuming.
This can bring a big sigh of relief during those sleepy, hazy days post birth.