Breastfeeding problems

The four most common kinds of breastfeeding discomfort experienced by mothers are: sore nipples, engorged (overfull) breasts, plugged milk ducts and breast infections.

Sore nipples. This can often be fixed by adjusting the baby’s latch. If the baby is latching on properly breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. But if the baby isn’t positioned correctly or doesn’t have enough of the breast in his mouth, it can cause pain. And it can really hurt. Latch problems cause most sore nipples, but there are other causes too.

If you and your partner can’t solve the problem call a breastfeeding expert. Itchy, burning nipples usually mean a yeast infection called thrush. Usually the baby will have thrush in his mouth too. So both Mom and baby have to be treated. Call the doctor.

Engorgement. This means too much milk getting stuck in the breasts so that they swell up. It is most common when the milk first comes in and it can be very uncomfortable. This can be very uncomfortable. One of the main things that helps is getting the milk out. That means frequent nursing, which is a good idea in the early days anyway. Ice packs can help relieve the swelling. Warm cloths or a shower can help get the milk flowing. If the problem persists call for help.

Plugged duct. Sometimes the little milk ducts can become obstructed. There is usually a tender lump in affected area.

It may hurt to breastfeed on the affected breast, but  nursing actually helps clear the duct. Applying a heating pad tender area for a few minutes before nursing may help. Gently massaging the affected area while nursing may help to dislodge the plug.

Breast infections. Some mothers get mastitis, a bacterial infection of the breast tissue, She’ll feel sick, feverish and her infected breast will hurt. There may also be a red area on the breast where the infection is.  She needs to see a doctor.

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