Breastfeeding can be a challenging experience for both moms and babies, but luckily there are several things that can help make it easier. When breastfeeding isn’t going as planned, many new mothers experience some common problems. This post discusses the most common problems new mothers experience when breastfeeding. If you are experiencing one or more of these problems, read on for additional tips to help fix them.
Here are some common breastfeeding problems that mothers may experience:
- Breast Engorgement: This is when your breasts become excessively full, leading to difficulty latching on and feeding your baby. Breastfeeding is one of the natural ways to feed a baby. When breastfeeding, a mother’s milk flow increases significantly, which can engorge the breasts. This can make it difficult to get your baby to latch on properly and can also lead to problems such as mastitis.
- Mastitis: This is an inflammation of the breast tissue caused by bacteria is one of the signs of mastitis. It can be very painful and lead to decreased milk production.
- Latching difficulty: This occurs when the mother’s breast doesn’t form a good seal around the baby’s mouth, preventing milk from flowing ineffectively. There are several reasons why latch difficulty may occur, including inexperience or a lack of confidence in breastfeeding – your baby should attach firmly onto your nipple without sticking too far out or pulling away too much. If this doesn’t happen, there may be issues with the position of your breasts or with how you’re feeding your baby. Some simple steps that can help overcome latch difficulty include practicing beforehand, using nipple shields if necessary, and seeking help from a lactation consultant or other professional during the early stages of breastfeeding.
- Swelling breasts: Breast milk swelling is caused by increased production of milk in response to oxytocin, the hormone that induces labor and childbirth. This increase in milk production can cause your breasts to feel tender, enlarged, and sensitive to touch. Swelling may also occur in other parts of your body, such as your hands and feet. The discomfort caused by breast milk swelling can make it difficult to breastfeed effectively.
- Low milk supply: This is when a mom doesn’t produce enough milk for her baby which can occur for many reasons, including illness, over-drinking/eating habits before pregnancy, plugging ducts on either side of the nipple during feeding sessions, and smoking cigarettes while pregnant. Inadequate supply may be the result of many different issues, including insufficient feeding time, low levels of prolactin in the blood, or an overactive thyroid gland.
- Hitting discomfort: This is usually caused by milk flowing too fast or not enough, and can be alleviated by adjusting the flow rate or nursing more frequently.
- Sleep deprivation: New mothers often struggle to get sufficient sleep due to their newborn’s needs as well as their own fatigue. Unknowingly, this too can greatly affect their mental health and overall well-being.
- Separation anxiety: Separation anxiety is a common problem for new mothers. It can occur when the baby is separated from the mother for any length of time, even just for a few minutes. The baby may become agitated and cry uncontrollably. The best way to deal with separation anxiety is to keep the baby close to the mother at all times. If separation anxiety is severe, the baby may need to be placed in a crib or bassinet next to the mother’s bed instead of being allowed free access.
If you’re experiencing one or more of these problems, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor or lactation consultant. They can help you determine and troubleshoot the issue and find a solution that works best for you and your baby.