Some Common Breast Feeding Problems

Published: 24th July 2006
Views: N/A

Breastfeeding Problems

Breastfeeding is healthy for the baby and helps the mother and child bond in an extraordinary way. But it's not always easy…sometimes it's impossible. Here are a few things that can go wrong, and what to do about them.

• Clogged Pores: Sometimes dried milk can clog the pores making it difficult for milk to pass through. Use a warm rag and dab or wipe lightly to clear them up.

• Small Pores: In rare cases, the pores are too small for milk to pass through…especially when the baby is too weak to pull enough suction. There's little you can do about this. A hot rag can sometimes help open them more. You might have to pump and bottle feed for the first week until the baby gains more strength

• Sleeping Baby: If your baby won't stay awake long enough to get a good feeding, let the father (or someone who might not be as gentle as you naturally are) play with the baby for a while. Once it is wide awake and rooting, try again. Rub the baby's cheek during feeding time to keep it awake.

• Milk Let Down: This is one of the most common problems. A hot shower helps. Another way is to rub the nipples with a hot rag or a warmed cabbage leaf. Sometimes milk won't let down because the mother isn't relaxed enough. Go to where you're the most comfortable (generally at home…without visitors). Sometimes a glass of wine can help. (don't worry, it won't hurt the baby)

• Positioning: It might be easier to use the 'football hold'. Lift your left arm, and put the baby under that arm with the feet towards your back. Then position the baby to feed out of the left breast.

• Latch-On Problems: Sometimes the baby's mouth isn't big enough to really get hold of the nipple. You could try squeezing it before trying to insert it. If this doesn't work, you might try pumping until the baby is old enough to suck better.

• Diet: Make sure to drink lots of water. If the doctor prescribed pain medicine (knowing that you planned to breastfeed) then take them without worrying about the baby's health. Try to eat well and avoid things that will affect the taste of your milk (like onions and garlic).

When Nothing Works

Medical science has proven that the mother's milk is healthier than formula…but only in cases where the mother can produce enough and the baby is able to drink enough. Sometimes, there are just too many complications. If this is the case, don't allow yourself to feel guilty for feeding your baby formula.

Your primary focus as a mother is to make the healthiest choices…and if breastfeeding is not a choice, then make the switch to formula with a clear conscience. You'll have an easier time bonding with your baby if you're not stressed out at every feeding period.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore