What are breastfeeding and lactation issues?
Breastfeeding and lactation issues are barriers that can make breastfeeding and lactation difficult for moms. Both first-time and long-time moms can have issues that impact breastfeeding and lactation. It's important to to identify the problem as early as possible. This can help bring joy to parenthood and keep your baby healthy.
Causes of breastfeeding and lactation issues
A number of different things can contribute to breastfeeding and lactation issues. You might experience just one or several of the factors that can contribute to these issues. Common factors include:
- Lack of knowledge regarding techniques
- Concerns regarding social expectations
- Poor positioning of the baby
- Insufficient milk supply
Risks of breastfeeding and lactation issues
Breastfeeding is often called natural but that doesn't mean it's always simple. There are many barriers that can make breastfeeding and lactation difficult for moms. Risks may include:
- Ineffective latch-on technique
- Lack of support
- Insufficient milk supply
Symptoms of breastfeeding and lactation issues
New mothers with breastfeeding and lactation issues often complain of sore nipples. That's because the baby may be having trouble latching on properly. When your nipple isn't sitting toward the back of your baby's mouth, you can become irritated by their tongue. It can also be harder for the baby to get enough to eat.
Other symptoms include:
- Soreness due to plugged milk duct in the breast or a common infection
- Pink, itchy skin on your baby from a yeast infection known as thrush
- Very swollen breasts
Diagnosis of breastfeeding and lactation issues
Obstetricians and pediatricians are important part of your medical team as a new mother. You can also work directly with a lactation consultant. That way, you can be better prepared to face any problems that may arise.
The diagnosis is simple. If breastfeeding isn't an enjoyable process for either you or your baby, you're having an issue to discuss with your doctor. You may be surprised at how easily you can correct any breastfeeding and lactation issues. Then, you can breastfeed without pain or problems.
Treatments for breastfeeding and lactation issues
Each of the different breastfeeding and lactation issues have solutions. If you have sore nipples, for example, you can improve your baby's ability to latch on by gently inserting your finger into your baby's mouth whenever you feel pain. Then, have your baby try again. They should have at least an inch of your areola in their mouth.
Other treatments include:
- Increasing your milk supply by taking herbal supplements while also increasing the times you pump and breastfeed your baby
- Pumping or feeding more regularly or any time you feel swollen
- Planning ahead and self-massaging for plugged ducts'
- Cold and heat therapies for swollen breasts
If you have symptoms of an infection, make an appointment with your doctor. These include redness, swelling and warmth. They'll help you take care of it and continue to nurse.
Recovery from breastfeeding and lactation issues
Your baby can receive the best nutrition from you if you continue to breastfeed. Work to address any issues that arise as soon as possible. It can be especially difficult for working women to continue breastfeeding. Be sure to talk with your employer. They can help you create a plan to continue breastfeeding for six months or longer.