Breastfeeding can be tough.
Exclusive breastfeeding is even tougher.
But the benefits to you and your baby are endless.
Breastfeeding protects your child from illnesses, is healthy, and provides a unique bonding experience for both of you. Breastfeeding is one aspect of motherhood you do not want to miss.
We know the problems you face are real, and we have practical solutions to those problems.
I have A Busy Schedule
If you have a busy schedule, you may find breastfeeding hard. You could be longing for your baby while at work. Or, your breasts may also hurt from being full while you are away from your baby. Your breastmilk supply may finish while you are not with your child.
Some ways you can deal with this include:
- Express breastmilk which you can store for the baby while you are away to keep up the supply of breastmilk. You can store breastmilk for up to 4 hours at room temperature (or up to 4 days in a refrigerator).
- Make use of a breast pump to make milk expression easier
- Make videos or take pictures of your baby that you can watch whenever you miss your child, or when you want to express breastmilk.
- Get a private space at your workplace to express and store breastmilk for your child.
- Leave work early (if and when you can) to spend more time with your baby.
- Wear Breastfeeding Friendly Clothing that will make it easier for you to express breastmilk on-the-go.
My Milk Is Not Enough
You may find yourself struggling to produce enough milk for your baby. This experience is often frustrating for most mothers, especially first-time mothers. The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. Also, there are ways to avoid or solve this problem.
Here they are:
- Start breastfeeding early. Experts recommend that you initiate breastfeeding within the first two hours of life.
- Breastfeed with both breasts, even if your baby seems to prefer one breast, keep offering both at each session. You can pump the other breast to reduce the pressure and keep the milk going there.
- Ensure that your child is latched adequately to your breast. The poor latching technique leads to inadequate milk flow. Your baby’s mouth should take in not just your nipple, but also your areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple).
- Breastfeed your baby on demand, and avoid skipping sessions. If you do, try to pump your breasts to keep the milk flowing.
My Baby Is Refusing To Feed
Sometimes, your baby may refuse to feed. It can be upsetting, and you may feel rejected. However, you need to remain calm. Babies reject breastmilk when they feel ill, are in pain or discomfort. This can happen during teething or if the baby is stressed from too much stimulation.
Some tips to overcome this include:
- Allow the baby rest, and try to feed later
- Feed your baby in a quiet room.
- Cuddle with your baby or change your feeding position
- Take your baby to the doctor if you think he or she is ill.
I have Sore Nipples / Tender Breasts
Breastfeeding can come with its battle scars. Cracked nipples, engorged tender breasts, and the occasional bite!
You need to take care of your breasts, especially during the breastfeeding phase.
Some ways you can do so include:
- Make sure your baby latches on properly. You should ask a midwife or breastfeeding specialist for advice on proper latching.
- Express a little breastmilk if your breasts are engorged to relieve the stress
- Keep your nipples moistened. Dry, cracked nipples tend to hurt more while breastfeeding. You can rub them with some breastmilk after feeding or with nipple ointment
- Change your breast pad often, once wet or dirty. Improper breast pad hygiene can promote the growth of bacteria that can lead to breast infections.
- Take warm showers, or use warm compresses when your breast is clogged. You should also breastfeed with the clogged breast to get the milk flowing again.
- Wear well-fitting but non-restrictive bras.
By Dr.Okonkwor Oyor C.