Breastfeeding for new mums- 8 common problems & solutions
Breastfeeding is the best gift for a newborn baby. Mother’s milk is also called “passport to good health”. Rather, breastfeeding is the first vaccine for your little one.
Most of you “new mums” must have promised yourself the best for your baby. And I am sure, exclusive breastfeeding must be on your list.
Most of you already know that breastfeeding boosts baby’s immunity, protects the little one from infections, blood cancer (leukaemia) asthma, allergies, diabetes & hypertension , as well as increasing the bonding between the mom and her baby. Moreover, it protects the breastfeeding mum from weight gain, diabetes & cancers of ovaries and breast. Hence, its a win-win situation for both.
Because of these benefits, WHO recommends that all babies should be given exclusive breastfeeding for first six months after birth. It means that baby receives only and only mother’s milk for this period. No water, formula, ghutti, honey or gripe water is to be fed. Medicines or supplements prescribed by the doctor can be given.
After six months, semi solids are introduced gradually while continuing breast feeding. This is called complimentary feeding. Check this blog for different options to feed your baby after six months, while continuing breastfeeding till 2years of age.
However, journey may not be smooth for all mum – baby dyads especially for the first – timers. Latest survey says that only half of the babies are breastfed within one hour of birth. And what’s more, only 6 out of 10 receive exclusive breastfeeding for six months.
Read this blog to know about 8 common breastfeeding problems and their solutions.
1. Insufficient milk supply
In first few days, new mothers produce a thick translucent liquid called colostrum. It doesn’t look like “milk” but it’s actually the “Amrit” for your angel. It contains antibodies which help your baby fight against the zillion germs which she is going to encounter as soon as she sees this world. Good milk flow is established by day 3 to 4 of delivery.
When you start feeding, initial milk contains more water, while the one that flows after a few minutes is rich in calories. Hence, to satiate both thirst and hunger she needs to be fed for atleast 8-10minutes from one side.
Most important factor in ensuring adequate lactation is mom’s health. If new mum is getting adequate rest, is happy, taking a nutritious diet with plenty of liquids and staying in the same room as her baby, she is likely to get through.
2. Baby not feeding.
Many a times, mother is determined to breastfeed the baby but baby won’t latch on to the breast. This usually happens when baby has been fed with a bottle right in the beginning. It is easier to suck on the nipple than suckle on to the breast.
Some mothers have a difficulty in latching the baby on to their breasts. For proper latching, , baby should be facing the mother with her entire body in contact with the mum’s tummy. Her mouth should be wide open and not only nipple but areola (black part around the nipple) should be inside the mouth, as shown in this image.
3. Breastfeeding in public places.
Privacy is a big concern here,. You can invest in a nursing cloak and carry it in your diaper bag whenever you are stepping out with your baby. You can also design your own nursing cloak using a loose fitting poncho or a thick cotton dupatta. Simple, isnt it? No need to carry a bulky bag with warm water, formula, bottle , etc!
Now, many airports and malls also have baby care rooms to support breastfeeding women.
4. Breastfeeding for working moms.
Some moms have to start working before their babies reach six months of age. And, unwillingly they switch to top milk. Dear mommies, breastmilk stays well at room temperature for 4-6hours and in refrigerator for 12 hours.
You can use a breast pump to express your milk before leaving for work and store it in a covered steel or glass bowl (plastic reacts with antibodies in breastmilk). At feeding time, the caretaker can put the breastmilk bowl in a bowl of hot water to warm it & feed your little one.
You can use the same hack when you wanna step out for a date with your besties. Or, that short trip to shopping mall, leaving your munchkin in trusted hands.
5. Engorged breasts.
Usually, by day 3-4 of delivery, mothers have excessive milk flow which if not drained can lead to hard, painful breasts. Sometimes, there is formation of sore lumps in the breasts. Remedy is very simple. Take warm water in a plastic bottle and apply it on the tender area. Drain the milk by expressing it manually or with a breast pump and then feed the baby. Problem solved!
If you start having fever or pain persists despite taking paracetamol , do consult your doctor.
6. Sore or bleeding nipples.
Very common and troublesome issue again. You need to air the area for sometime. A good nipple care cream containing 100% lanolin or “pure desi ghee” applied locally helps. Advantage of using lanolin is that y dont need to wipe it off before latching the baby. One tube usually lasts the entire two year period and it’s easily available at all baby care stores.
7. Inverted nipples.
In some ladies, nipples are not protruding outwards. So the Baby has no place to suckle on. If you have this issue, consult your gynaec during your antenatal visits. She will tell you how to use a syringe to solve it beforehand.
If you discovered it while feeding your baby, don’t fret. Consult your Pediatrician or lactation expert. They will be more than happy to help you. You can drop me a message in my private facebook group and I can help you on a video call.
8. Breastfeeding after COVID-19 vaccination.
You can breastfeed your baby immediately after vaccination. None of the components of the vaccine reaches the breastmilk. Rather, antibodies produced by your body against Corona Virus are secreted in your milk too, offering protection to your little one.
Dear friends, I have tried to answer most of the common problems related to breastfeeding. If you have any questions or doubts, share in the comment section. I’ll answer them definitely.
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