What Are the Most Common Breastfeeding Problems and How to Address Them?

Motherhood is one of the most rewarding things a woman can experience in life. That’s not to say that it doesn’t come with some challenges though. New mothers especially may find that nursing their new baby isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Yes, a mother who chooses to nurse her infant fosters a unique bond between her and her child. Nursing also gives that newborn vital nutrients and antibodies that will boost the immune system and promote healthy brain function.

However,there are many obstacles that can discourage a woman from breastfeeding her newborn baby. Some of them include returning to work, sore breasts, cracked and tender nipples, breastfeeding in public, family members wanting to bond with the baby, fear of not producing enough milk, among others. This post will address some of these problems, as well as provide useful tips in hopes to encourage women to continue to breastfeed their baby.

One of the most common complaints that a new mother has is that breastfeeding is too hard. This is true. Nursing a newborn every 2-4 hours leaves little time for new mothers to have to themselves. Nursingis a learned skill for both mother and baby which means that it takes time. Usually, it takes a couple of weeks to learn the techniques and positions that work best. Babies are born with a sucking reflex which equips them to nurse. Mothers need to learn how to position their newborns on the breast to ensure that their baby is nursing efficiently. So, have patience with yourself and your little oneas you navigate the breastfeeding process. Once you do, it will be much easier.Also, keep in mind that as your baby grows, and your milk becomes thicker,your baby will be more satisfied and will nurse less frequently.

Another problem that many women face is that they have sore nipples from nursing. The soreness, while painful, is typical. They will take time to get used to the baby nursing as well. For some women, the soreness lasts a couple of weeks, while other new moms will experience the discomfort for the first few months. To help your nipples heal, some lactation consultants advise expressing some milk after the feeding and gently covering the nipple with it. You may also want to try rubbing coconut oil on the area. Coconut Oil has excellent healing properties and is an all-natural product that is safe for babies to ingest. According to the websiteWomenshealth.gov, make sure your baby has a good latch. To do this, make sure the baby is getting the areola around your nipple, not just your nipple. Sometimes new moms need to “push” it into their baby’s mouth to help the baby establish a good latch. Wearing a good, supportive bra is critical, but make sure that it’s not too restrictive. Restrictive clothing for breastfeeding moms only causes more pain and discomfort, not to mention unwanted leaking. Every woman experiences pain differently, but in time, the pain subsides.

Nursing in public can be embarrassing,and some people frown on it. However, breastfeeding a baby is the most natural thing a mother can do for her child. There are many ways to go “under the radar” so to speak if you chose to breastfeed in public. Simply place a blanket over you and your nursing infant, or you may want to purchase a nursing cover that wraps around your entire body. Another option is finding a restroom that has a “sitting area” with a comfortable chair. This would be along the lines of a Family Bathroom which are becoming more popular in shopping malls and other large department stores.

Breastfeeding is a precious way for mothers and babies to bond and learn about each other. Nursing also comes with a unique set of challenges, but these difficulties can be overcome. As soon as you feel like you are having a problem nursing your newborn, don’t wait. Contact a lactation consultant or call a lactation support hotline immediately.Usually, the hospital will provide you with that information, or perhaps your pediatrician can recommend a lactation specialist. La Leche League International is one such organization that offers superior support to nursing mothers.