How to get past the 6 hardest obstacles to breastfeeding
August is National Breastfeeding Month and as all moms know becoming a mother is a rewarding experience, but it can also be difficult. Having issues with breastfeeding is particularly common, but that doesn't mean you should stop trying!
We had the chance to speak to Certified Nurse Mid-wife, Shari Criso (MSN, RN, CNM, IBCLC) who shared with us ways that new moms can overcome the most common breastfeeding obstacles most moms face.
Read more ¿Qué más?: 7 Breastfeeding friendly establishments that are a dream come true for all moms!
Breastfeeding requires adjusting to significant changes with your body--which is not always easy. The pressure and desire to bond with your baby can really stress a new mama out! We hope that some of these tips help you get over your breastfeeding hurdles:
Sore nipples: An improper latch is one of the main reasons women experience sore nipples. Shari suggests using a breastfeeding pillow such as My Brest Friend Breastfeeding Pillow for added support. To prevent sore nipples, she advises that you avoid prolonged feedings in the first three to four days after birth when your milk is still coming in. This will allow your nipples to get used to breastfeeding and shorter, more frequent feedings will help your body adapt and prevent soreness as well as train it to produce more milk. In addition, keep your breasts and nipples "al fresco" as much as you can. Applying some breast milk to the nipple and letting it air dry will prevent and reduce pain.
Clogged milk ducts: Clogged Milk Ducts can be treated with a few easy at-home remedies. Shari recommends applying warm compresses before and after breastfeeding to loosen any blockage. It is also advised to massage the area. To prevent clogs from happening, avoid tight underwire nursing bras and take 1200 mg of the supplement Lecithin daily, but remember, the supervision of a lactation consultant is always recommended.
Broken skin around the nipple: Shari says applying a nipple cream such as Natural Nipple Butter From Earth Mama Angel Baby, after each feeding to prevent damage and heal cracked skin. She also recommends checking that there aren't any latching issues causing the problem.
Low milk supply: If you aren't producing much milk, just keep breastfeeding. Shari says, "Most issues are caused by not feeding frequently enough, not having a proper latch which interferes with flow of milk, or just a perception of a low supply. " If you find that your really not producing enough milk, she suggests drinking three to four cups of Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea which promotes production of breast milk. Another good source would be to reach out to a lactation consultant to help you with the problem.
Difficulty Latching: If you are having a hard time breastfeeding, Shari's advice is to find support. She suggests taking a breastfeeding class which educates you on your body and your baby's needs. Don't know where to start? She teaches her own class online called "Simply Breastfeeding" that comes free with the purchase of every Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump! There are also local groups and hospitals that can help set you up with other breastfeeding moms and lactation consultants.
Health circumstances that prevent breastfeeding: It's rare that a mother's illness will keep her from breastfeeding. In fact, Shari explains that the baby will gain the antibodies they need to withstand getting sick. The only circumstances a mother shouldn't feed is if she has serious debilitating conditions such as; HIV, tuberculosis, cancer & is undergoing chemotherapy, or if the baby has the rare metabolic disorder, galactosemia.
Image via Thinkstock