Updated: Aug 19
In my last blog I touched on the reasons I felt breastfeeding was awesome. Breastfeeding for some mothers does come very easily, but for some, it doesn't. It wouldn't be fair not to address some challenges that can come with breastfeeding that mothers can and do face. I have to be honest, there are some aspects of breastfeeding that aren't so fun, but they can be overcome with time and patience (if you choose). So what challenges can come with breastfeeding?
Insecurity or being uncomfortable about it. In the beginning, some moms feel really uncomfortable about it. Whether you're worried about how to do this or what other people will think. There are definitely moments of discomfort when you're new to breastfeeding. But if you give it time, get proper education, and keep practicing you will be more and more comfortable. Remember, you've got this and if something happens and you just can't breastfeed that's absolutely fine!
Latching on! Now this is a HUGE one. I've heard this so many times from women. Many of them struggle with getting their baby's to latch on the right way. Pain is normal when you start breastfeeding. Your nipples/breasts are adjusting to this and when feeding the pain shouldn't last long. If you're having pain during the entire feeding process and your nipples/breasts continue to be sore then please reach out to a lactation consultant. (I will do a blog and video on what lactation consultants do soon!)The consultant can definitely help you determine what needs to happen to get you and baby on track. I had some issues with baby three and four when it came to latching but we worked it out! So hang in there.
Diet. This is one that I struggled with. Ugh! Whatever you eat and/or drink will be passed to your baby. So be sure to keep that in mind. I had an issue with my baby girl having really bad gas. She was so fussy sometimes. Their digestive systems aren't fully developed and sometimes digestion and gas can create pain and discomfort for them. I had to cut out diary foods such as milk and ice cream. I switched to lactose free products and sherbet to still have some form of "ice cream". Doing that and including gas drops have been working well for us. Also remember to avoid alcohol if possible and if you do decide to drink wait at least two hours before you breastfeed your baby. Watch your caffeine intake as well. Too much of this can cause your baby to be irritable and restless. Other things to remember, continue your prenatal vitamins, and watch the kind of fish you eat, just like during pregnancy. Breastfeeding comes with making some adjustments but it is worth it (to me).
Time and Frequency. Breastfeeding is VERY demanding! Especially when you first start. It can make it difficult to do things that you may need to do. Breastfed babies tend to eat more often than formula fed babies because they digest the breastmilk faster than a formula fed baby does. Sometimes it felt like I was feeding every hour on the hour! It can become overwhelming. As your baby grows older, the demand is less. While it takes a big commitment, it is possible to do.
Finally, Number 5.
Mastitis. This is an inflammation in the breast tissue that can lead to an infection. It happens when you have a blocked duct that stays blocked. It's painful! You can have swelling and warmth. Sometimes you can even develop a fever and chills. If you suspect you have mastitis, you can take tylenol for the pain. You can also use cold packs to apply to your breast(s) to help. Please follow up with your provider, antibiotics may be needed.
Are you or someone you know having trouble accessing the care they need during and/or after pregnancy? I can help with this. Contact me to find out how!
Have any of you mama's had to deal with any of these? Please share your experience!
Until next time. Sending you peace, love, and light!
Certified Health Coach (Pregnancy and Postpartum Support)
standardmedia.co.ke (picture credit)
You can watch the video here
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