The scarier condition than breastfeeding problems
Before we jump into discussing the initial breastfeeding problems, I would like to share something important with you all people who are reading this blog. According to a recent survey, over the last decade, the percentage of infants (under 6 months of age) who were exclusively breastfed in India increased from 46.4 percent to 54.9 percent. But what it also says that less than 55% newborns are exclusively breastfed in India. Isn’t this is a worrisome situation?! Even after a lot of breastfeeding awareness campaigns run by government and organizations, only half of the total population of new mums are nursing their newborns. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is the start of the right nutrition for a baby. It goes a long way in making the baby healthy in future life. Breastfeeding is so important that every year, “World Breastfeeding Week” is celebrated from 1st to 7th August; each year, a different theme is celebrated to create more awareness and discuss the importance of breastfeeding. This year the theme being “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”, encourages individuals and organizations to help support breastfeeding at their levels and take part in this cause.
I being a mom of two girls and having celebrated almost half a decade of motherhood journey know its importance and simultaneously, is quite aware of the challenges associated with breastfeeding. I never knew that nursing a baby can be this tough. It definitely becomes smooth day by day but quite nerve-wracking in the beginning. But with a strong mum’s heart and with everyone’s support around, it can become a pleasant journey for you and your baby.
I exclusively breastfed both my daughters and I am here sharing the common problems and its possible solutions below:
Milk Supply: This is the major breastfeeding issue, which I faced in the first 10 days of my breastfeeding journey during the first time. My elder one’s a premature baby and the reason, she was not able to suck my milk on her own, this condition became even worse. I along with nurses/ MIL used to express milk with hands to feed my daughter. It was a tiresome process to do it with hands. So, we tried a manual breast pump too. Our hormones take some time to adjust and help produce milk. Gradually with support and good nutritious diet, this condition became better and by the end of 1 month, I was producing enough milk for my girl.
Breastfeeding Latching: This is one of the common issues that a new mum faces after delivering a baby. A new mom is naive and not confident, from holding to feeding a baby, everything is new for her. Even a newborn also learns along with her mother. Are you holding a baby in a right manner, is a baby able to properly take your nipple in her mouth, are baby and mother both sitting/laying in the right position while feeding, all these things need to be learned and checked. And if requires correction, should be addressed by a lactation expert.
Cracked nipples: This is a painful problem that a new mum faces in her initial motherhood journey. I had experienced this during the first time. When I was trying to express milk from my breasts and I wasn’t producing enough so instead of milk coming out, my nipples got cut and blood started coming out. I dread remembering those moments of pain. But yes, that’s how you become a mother. I applied some cream and also, leaving a little bit of milk on the cut helped in speeding up the healing process.
Baby sleeps while feeding sessions: When a baby is so tiny, it becomes tired while sucking milk from her mother’s breasts. And initially, a baby feeds every 2 hours because their stomach is so tiny and the digestion process also happens quite faster. As the baby grows, this problem goes away. What a mum can do to keep a newborn awake through the feeding sessions is to stimulate her by tickling her feet, blowing softly on her face or by talking to her by rubbing on her back. It will help in making the baby full before she sleeps.
Painful engorgement: Thankfully, I did not encounter this problem during both times but my sister had this problem of painful engorgement. She had this oversupply of milk and her breasts would become hard with milk all the time. So, she used to express milk using LuvLap Royal Electric Breast Pump. Though the entire process of pumping the extra milk was smooth with the pump but again after some time, she would become hard with the oversupply of milk. So, her doctor suggested her to feed the baby before the baby is very hungry; that way the baby would suck gently, which should stimulate the breasts less and lighten the flow. And it worked.
These are some of the common breastfeeding problems, which I have experienced personally. How was your journey? Tell me in the comments below.