GUEST POST: Breastfeeding struggles and solutions

Breastfeeding struggles are real and should not be ignored.

Talking about your struggles may help.  It may lead to more support around the home or even getting some much needed professional help.

Constant feeding

Newborn babies feed often.  This is due to their small stomachs and that fact that they are less efficient at feeding. Be patient with your newborn, as he or she gets older they will feed less often as their stomach increase in size and they become efficient drinkers.

Falls asleep on the breast

Newborn babies will often fall asleep on the breast whilst feeding.  It is important to find a comfortable spot, have a glass or bottle of water nearby and some healthy easy to eat snacks. You may be there for a while.  When baby starts to nod off.  Gently stroke his or her check to wake him up.  Feeding should resume.  You may find you need to repeat this process a number of times early on to ensure baby gets enough milk.

Engorgement

Breast engorgement is common early on as the body learns to regulate its milk supply.  Most women will experience engorgement close to feeding times.  Engorgement can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful.  Invest in a good seamless nursing bra early on in your breastfeeding journey.  Seamless nursing bras will not only support and provide a function, but it will stretch and change with your growing body, providing you with much needed comfort.  Try to empty the breasts at feeding time.  Give an equal amount of feeding time on each breast to help relieve the pressure.  Failure to empty the breasts can result in conditions such as mastitis.

Nipple pain

Nipple pain can be excruciating and very painful.  Nipples can become cracked and infected due to regular feeding and incorrect latching.  Nipple shields can be used to help protect the nipple during feeding times.  After feeding express a small amount of milk after feeds and rub onto the nipples.  Air-dry your nipples before putting your nursing bra back on.  This will help to avoid infections such as thrush.

Mastitis

Mastitis is an infection of the milk ducts.  It is most commonly caused by wearing restrictive clothing or nursing bras and or failing to empty the milk ducts whilst breastfeeding.  Common symptoms of mastitis are a red inflamed area on breast, pain, fever and temperatures much like the symptoms of the flu.  Should you be suffering from these symptoms it is recommended to go and see your health care provider immediately as an antibiotic may be required.

Latch

It is very important that your baby has the correct latch when breastfeeding.  Baby’s entire mouth should be around the areola of the breast not just around the nipple.  The nipple should be sitting near the back of baby's throat.  An incorrect latch can lead to nipple pain/damage and baby not getting enough milk.

Discretion

Breastfeeding in public for some can feel confronting and can take some getting use to.  It is important to remember that breastfeeding is a woman’s right and you are allowed to breastfeed in public.  Should you want to be more discrete and covered up, you can use something like this nursing cover that doubles as a scarf.  Nursing tanks and nursing bras with an A frame slings are also great to help aid in feeding discreetly.  

Lack of sleep

Unfortunately with breastfeeding comes an inherent lack of sleep.  New born babies need to be feed every few hours and will continue to wake up for feeding during the night until they are many months old.  Some babies will still require a night feed up until (or even past) the age of 1.  It is important to try to catch up with lost sleep when you can.  When baby is sleeping during the day take ta nap too.  Your body will love you for it!

Returning to work

Returning to work brings more struggles to the breastfeeding mom, but so many women are able to continue providing breast milk to their babies!  In the US, most employers are legally obligated to provide time and a place for nursing mothers to pump.   You should discuss your plans with your employer and baby’s caregiver.  Most insurance plans cover breast pumps that can be taken to and from  work with ease. Once expressed, breast milk can be then be stored in  the fridge for up to 8 days or in a deep freezer up to one year.  To make pump sessions a little easier, investing in a great hands-free option will allow busy moms to continue getting work done, while expressing milk!

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Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at https://www.cakematernity.comor catch up with her on social @cakematernity

 

Julie Burrell