Breastfeeding, while natural, is often difficult. Many problems can creep in and threaten to stop you from breastfeeding. The good news is that virtually every problem that comes along with breastfeeding can be fixed.
Read on to get familiar with some obstacles to breastfeeding and how to overcome them.
One of the most common obstacles to breastfeeding is a low milk supply, which can be frustrating for both mom and baby. Several things can cause your milk supply to diminish, including certain medications or herbs, hormonal birth control, restricted feedings at night, and more.
Increase your milk supply by trying one or more of these:
- Feed baby more. If you have a set feeding schedule for your baby, scrap it temporarily. Feed your baby whenever she’s hungry, when she’s fussy, and any other times you can. This will help to increase your milk supply.
- Get your hands on some herbs. Herbs like Fennel, Fenugreek, Alfalfa, Milk Thistle, and more can be helpful in increasing your milk supply.
*Below are some herbal teas that have helped to increase countless moms’ milk supply.
This tea contains herbs like fennel, anise, and fenugreek help to support milk production.
If you are dealing with milk oversupply (which is usually accompanied by engorgement), you don’t have to throw in the towel.
Your breasts produce milk according to supply and demand. Over time, your breast milk production will line up with your baby’s feeding habits. So, if you are producing too much milk, feed your baby only when hunger strikes and wait for your breasts to slow down production according to demand.
If your breasts become engorged, rest assured that this is normal. You can find relief using hot or cold compresses, Tylenol, or (as a last resort) by pumping a little milk to relieve pressure.
Whatever you do, try not to allow your breasts to be engorged for too long. Chronic breast engorgement can lead to complications like plugged milk ducts and mastitis.
There is a learning curve with breastfeeding for both mom and baby. Latching problems stem from inexperience, medical issues, and more.
According to Lactation consultant, Sioned Hilton, the perfect latch can be achieved in several steps. Some are:
- Hold baby in a position that keeps baby’s head, neck, and spine straight.
- Encourage baby to open her mouth wide. The wider, the better the chances of a good latch.
- Place baby onto your breast with your nipple angled towards the top of her mouth. Your nipple, and a large part of your areola, should be in the baby’s mouth.
4. Keep baby close to you while she feeds.
For a variety of reasons, when breastfeeding, your nipples can take a real beating. Luckily, we can fix this with a little TLC.
For dry, cracked, sore nipples, there are several things that may help.
Some swear by lanolin nipple creams, like Medela’s Tender Care Lanolin Cream.