Are you struggling with engorged breasts, painful latching, low milk supply, or cracked or sore nipples? While breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to bond with your new baby, it can also be extremely difficult. Take heart, mama, we have solutions to four of the most common breastfeeding problems.
Four common breastfeeding problems and how to solve them
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, the board-certified OB/GYNs at Pomona Valley Health Centers want to help. Let’s take a look at four common breastfeeding problems and how to solve them. They are as follows:
- Engorged Breasts
If your breasts are swollen, throbbing or uncomfortably full, you may have a high milk supply. Engorgement can extend all the way to your armpits and cause a low fever. This is especially common in the first few weeks after delivery while your body adjusts to the needs of your baby or babies. Though pumping and storing the excess milk may seem like the best solution to alleviate pain, you are actually prolonging the problem. Instead, try feeding your baby before he is hungry, when he’s likely to suck more gently. This stimulates your breasts less and lightens your flow. You can also apply ice packs between feedings to reduce engorgement and alleviate pain and discomfort.
- Painful Latching
If you’re like most mothers, there will be an adjustment period for breastfeeding, especially if this is your first baby. Your nipples will need to toughen up a bit before you can experience pain-free feeding. It’s important make sure your baby has a good latch. Their mouth should cover more of the areola below your nipple than above. If you need additional support, consult a professional lactation consultant.
- Low Milk Supply
Once your body adjusts to your baby’s needs, your breasts may feel less full and your nipples may stop leaking. This does not necessarily mean your milk supply is in jeopardy. If your pediatrician becomes concerned about your baby’s weight gain, there are some things you can do to help boost your supply, like more frequent nursing and pumping throughout the day.
- Cracked or Sore Nipples
If you just skipped to this section of the page, you’re not alone. This is a very common complaint among new mothers. You can easily treat and soothe your dry, cracked, or sore nipples with a lanolin-based nipple cream between feedings. Also, avoid soaps, alcohol-based products, and regular body lotions because these products can aggravate dryness. You can also try breastfeeding more often at shorter intervals, to encourage your baby to suck more gently.
We hope these solutions help you overcome your breastfeeding problems and guide you toward more comfort and better bonding with your newborn. If you need additional breastfeeding or lactation support, contact a Pomona Valley Health Centers OB/GYN in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne.