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Here is a list of some of the more common problems that breastfeeding mothers run into, how to identify them, and what to do to help overcome them. Due to copyright issues, I canít post the information directly, but I can post the links where you can get the information from.
Most importantly, if you feel you need help with breastfeeding, it is very beneficial to see a lactation consultant. Itís one of the first things I recommend to any woman who comes here with a question or problem. A lactation consultant can observe your baby nursing and can usually very easily diagnose a problem, which can be very difficult to do online. Many women have to work very closely with one in the first few weeks to work out any problems and to assure them that things are going well. To find one in your area, you can contact your local hospital, WIC, or your local La Leche League who may have one on staff or be able to give you more information on where to find one. Also, you can try one of the following links: ILCA Breastfeeding.com LC Directory KellyMom LC Directory Dr. Sears LC Directory La Leche League - Find a chapter in your area
Poor Latch and Positioning
Poor latch and positioning are very common problems with newborns. Itís a learning process for both of you, so you donít have to expect to get it down right away. The best way to fix a poor latch or positioning problem is to meet with a certified lactation consultant so she can watch your baby nurse and give you ideas of how to correct any problems. Some woman experience pain that isnít due to a poor latch or positioning and itís best to rule that out before assuming itís something else. Usually, this isnít something that will work itself out easily, but you will have to work on it after seeing the lactation consultant. For new moms and moms-to-be, it can be helpful to see pictures and videos of latching and positioning.
Here are a few links that may give you more information on latching and positioning your baby correctly: Breastfeeding.com Videos KellyMom Dr. Sears LLL
Am I making enough milk? Itís a question many mothers ask themselves at some point while breastfeeding. Especially if you have fed a previous child formula, it can be hard to just trust our bodies to give our babies what they need. Most woman worry needlessly, and they are mistaking something else for a low milk supply. Growth spurts are very common in those first few weeks, which your baby will nurse frequently. Many newborns will nurse very frequently anyway, in attempt to build up your milk supply for their growing needs. Here are a few links that will give you some information on how to identify a low milk supply and how to help increase it if needed. Is your baby getting enough? Quick reference KellyMom LowMilkSupply.org Dr. Sears - Getting enough milk? Dr. Sears - Increasing your supply LLL
While some woman worry about not having enough milk, others have no idea what to do with all of the extra! Usually an oversupply isnít a concern for you baby, but more of a problem for the mom. An oversupply can easily cause engorgement, a fast letdown, which your baby may have a hard time with, and leaking. Here are a few links on how to identify and deal with an oversupply. LowMilkSupply.org KellyMom LLL
Plugged Ducts and Mastitis
If you notice that your breast is sore, or you have a sore spot, there is a chance that it could be a plugged duct or mastitis. Here are some links with information on both. If you feel you may have mastitis, make an appointment with your physician to be seen. You may need antibiotics to help clear it up. Dr. Sears - Plugged ducts Dr. Sears - Mastitis LLL KellyMom
Thrush is many times recognized by an unexplained pain while breastfeeding. Usually, when you baby latches on, your nipples feel extremely tender or painful, sometimes described as feeling ďon fireĒ. It can also be characterized by white spots on either your nipple or in your babyís mouth. Thrush is something that can be passed between you and your baby and needs to be treated, whether you breastfeed or not. A treatment many moms highly recommend is gentian violet. Please read through the following links to learn how you can identify thrush and treat it. LLL KellyMom Dr. Sears Breastfeeding.com BreastfeedingOnline.com Breastfeeding Essentials Natural Family Online
All of these websites contain a wealth of information on them, beyond the links that I have posted. If you have time, explore them and you may learn something new!
If you have a suggestion for this post of a common breastfeeding problem, or a helpful link to add, please feel free to send me a message!
Andrea, mom to 3 beautiful girls - Abigail (8) Annabelle (5) and Alexis (3)