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Over 80% of new mothers give breastfeeding a go but only a small proportion of them actually stick with it. The technique is something that has to be learned by both you and your baby. A task where patience is definitely required!
However, there are many issues that can arise that put moms off breastfeeding too early. Thankfully, most these problems can be easily overcome with a little know how. Overcoming these issues may also help increase your breast milk supply if they are hindering it. Bonus!
This is one of the main reasons why women give up on breastfeeding. Such a shame this is normally only a short-term problem. During the first week or two of breastfeeding, it is completely normal for mothers to feel some discomfort as their body adjusts and becomes familiar with nursing. However, this should subside fairly quickly.
If after two weeks your nipples are still cracked, bleeding, or stinging you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Typically, it should have become pain-free by this time and this may indicate something is wrong.
One of the most common causes of soreness will be that the baby isn’t properly latched on. Your midwife or lactation consultant should be able to properly advise you and demonstrate the correct breastfeeding technique. They offer a full range of lactation support from talking to a lactation specialist to buying supplements to increase your breastmilk supply.
If your nipples have become sore there are several things that can ease your discomfort. Try wearing a cotton bra. Cotton will allow air to circulate to the nipple area and help everything breath better. You should also make sure that your nipple area is fully dry before getting dressed. Trapped moisture can aggravate the problem as well. There are also many creams on the market that can help.
This is a condition where the breast becomes red, painful and inflamed. Mastitis is normally caused by a blocked milk duct but it can also be caused by a bacteria. Around 1 in every 10 women who breastfeed will experience Mastitis. It will normally occur within the first three months after your baby is born and it hurts like heck.
You will likely find that your doctor will continue to encourage you to nurse even with this condition. There are a number of reasons for this. One of them being that continued breastfeeding can help to dislodge or remove trapped breast milk from the breast which will help you heal quicker.
Thrush is a very common yeast infection in women. When breastfeeding it can be passed from mother to baby and so it should be dealt with quickly.
Yeast thrives in warm and moist areas which mean that a baby’s mouth and mother’s breast are a perfect breeding ground. Symptoms of thrush in mothers include sore and uncomfortable nipples.
In babies, you should look for white patches on the inside of their mouth. Antifungal treatment is required. Visit your doctor promptly if you think you or your child has developed this problem.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.