Breastfeeding is an important process in ensuring that your baby receives the correct nutrients that they need, while also giving a chance for moms and their baby to bond. However, contrary to what the media has you believe, it’s definitely not always sunshine and roses. In order to find out the problems that moms typically face when they first start breastfeeding, we decided to ask our lovely readers about it. Here are some solutions to breastfeeding problems shared to us by moms, for moms.
“My baby doesn’t want to df from the breast I have to pump the milk. She maybe confused because I introduce bottle too early. Still finding solutions to get her df again. Ohh how I miss that moment.” – Fze Mohd Zinul
This is one of the common breastfeeding problems for parents, especially for those that had to bottle feed their babies in the early stages due to health concerns like jaundice or if they’re too sleepy to nurse, instead of breastfeed them. As a result, when mothers try to breastfeed them after instead of bottle-feed, their babies end up becoming “nipple confused”. The main reason to this is due to the fact that the bottle teat and the nipple works differently. In terms of the nipple, babies need to work harder in order to be able to draw out the breast milk. For the bottle teat, it is constantly flowing and is thus easier for them to drink from. Therefore, the way the baby sucks is also different for both types.
Therefore, when you try to get your baby to breastfeed after only having exposed them to bottle feeding, they could become frustrated as the milk isn’t flowing even though they are sucking. Some solutions to this would be to breastfeed your baby frequently, and not only when it’s hungry. That way, they will be less frustrated. Another way to help is to express some milk before getting your baby to latch on. This could help encourage your baby to keep nursing. An easy way to do this is to use a breast pump, or by massaging your breasts.
An important thing to note is that while getting your baby to learn how to nurse, it is important to ensure that they are getting enough milk. Feed you baby expressed milk that you can get by using a breast pump. However, try not to use teats. Try cup feeding, syringe feeding or tube feeding instead. This way, it can help minimize and combat nipple confusion!
“Inverted nipple but that does not discourage me from my bf journey!” – Vijaya Letchmy
That’s really the spirit to approach breastfeeding, especially any breastfeeding problems! Though hard, it’s important to bear in mind that both you and your baby are learning on how to make it work. As for having an inverted nipple, it is actually a fairly common thing that many women experience, especially if it’s their first baby. Based on the severity of the inverted or flat nipple, breastfeeding can be very tough. However, do note that I said breastfeeding and not nipple feeding.
Breastfeeding does not solely rely on the nipple, but also involves the areola (the area surrounding the nipple). Therefore, having an inverted or flat nipple does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to breastfeed your baby. All it requires is a little bit more effort and prep beforehand to overcome breastfeeding problems. One of the easiest way to get your baby breastfeeding is with the use of nipple shields. However, do note that you should get your lactation consultant’s advice before opting for this option. Another tip is to ensure that your breasts do not get engorged, so regularly breastfeeding and feeding as soon as possible after birth can also help make nursing easier.
In order to encourage your baby to nurse well, have them nurse from the easier side whilst using a breast pump to help stimulate expression on the side with the inverted nipple. The even pressure helps release the adhesion, thus making nursing easier. If both sides are inverted, you will most probably need to use the breast pump every 2-3 hours and use alternative ways to feed your baby until the adhesions are broken. This is to ensure that your baby gets enough milk while learning to nurse.
Mums with inverted nipples also usually experience nipple soreness more, due to the stretching or breaking of the adhesions. Not only that, after nursing, moisture gets trapped when the nipple recedes back. This can also contribute to soreness. To ease the pain, make sure to pay dry your nipples and apply lanolin cream. The best way to combat the soreness is by using a breast pump. That way, the compression of the areola is uniform, and your nipples do not end up being compressed by your baby.
The most important thing is to keep persevering! Eventually, your baby will get used to nursing from an inverted or flat nipple. In fact, after the first baby has had their run of things, you might notice that your inverted nipple becomes everted instead, making nursing the next baby so much easier.
Do you have any other breastfeeding problems that you feel need to be addressed? Let us know in the comments below and we might answer them in our next article!
Click here to learn about 5 breastfeeding tips for new moms!