August is National Breastfeeding Month in the United States. It’s a time to celebrate and raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and babies — but although breastfeeding is natural, it can be far from easy.
Many new moms find that breastfeeding comes with its fair share of challenges. Our team at OB/GYN Associates of Marietta is here to make sure you don’t have to navigate it alone.
Our midwives and obstetricians have experience with all of the most common breastfeeding problems, and we can provide practical solutions to help resolve them. By addressing these issues head-on, you can overcome the obstacles you face and enjoy a successful breastfeeding journey.
1. Sore nipples
Sore nipples are one of the most common problems for breastfeeding mothers. While a variety of issues can cause sore nipples, improper latching and positioning are two possible sources of discomfort.
To resolve this problem, we can help you make sure your baby latches onto your breast properly. When your baby is positioned properly, their mouth should cover both your nipple and areola. Applying lanolin cream or breast milk to your nipples after each feeding can also help soothe and heal any soreness.
Engorgement is a painful condition that develops when your breasts get too full and swollen with milk. Along with pain, engorgement can make it hard for your baby to latch properly.
The best way to avoid engorgement is nursing frequently and on-demand to regulate milk production. If you find yourself dealing with engorgement, apply warm compresses or take a warm shower before nursing to promote milk flow.
You can also try massaging your breasts gently and expressing a small amount of milk manually to relieve pressure.
Mastitis is an infection that causes symptoms like breast pain, swelling, and redness. It can happen if your milk ducts get blocked or if bacteria enters your breast tissue.
To treat mastitis, continue breastfeeding or pumping to keep your milk flowing. Apply warm compresses and massage your breast gently to help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. If your symptoms persist or worsen, contact our team for further evaluation and treatment.
4. Low milk supply
Sometimes, your body doesn’t produce enough milk to feed your baby. If you’re worried about milk supply, talk to our team. We can offer personalized guidance and support to help increase production.
Make sure you’re nursing frequently and your baby is latching effectively. Offer both breasts during each feeding session and consider using breast compression techniques to encourage milk flow.
Adequate hydration, a healthy diet, and getting enough rest are also crucial for maintaining a healthy milk supply.
5. Baby refuses to nurse
Sometimes babies resist nursing, and it can be both frustrating and confusing for mothers. A few possible reasons can include fast milk flow, slow milk flow, teething, or simply distractions.
To encourage your baby to nurse, create a calm and quiet environment free from distractions. Experiment with different nursing positions or try nursing in a dimly lit room to minimize distractions. Breast compression techniques can also stimulate milk flow and entice your baby to nurse.
6. Breastfeeding in public
Many mothers feel anxious about breastfeeding in public due to societal pressures and lack of support. Breastfeeding is a natural and protected right, and our team is here to help you find the confidence you need.
Whether it’s breastfeeding in front of a mirror at home or finding comfortable nursing positions and clothing that offer discreet coverage, there are ways to make public breastfeeding feel more comfortable.
Consider joining local breastfeeding support groups to find a network of like-minded people who can offer encouragement and advice, too.
7. Breastfeeding and working
Finally, returning to work and continuing to breastfeed can pose challenges. Start by familiarizing yourself with your workplace's policies on breastfeeding and planning ahead.
Work with our team to find a quality breast pump, and create a pumping schedule that mimics your baby's feeding routine. Consider having a supportive conversation with your employer before going back to work to ensure that your needs are accommodated.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it can present challenges along the way.
Instead of feeling frustrated and disappointed, reach out for the support you need from our team at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta. We’re here to encourage you and connect you to make breastfeeding more successful for you.
Call our offices in Marietta or Woodstock, Georgia, to schedule your first appointment.