According to the American Psychological Organization, breastfeeding is one of the most natural and instinctive ways for a mother and newborn to bond. But “natural”doesn’t always mean easy. At The Baby Box Co., we know that breastfeeding isn’t always a matter of “latch on and go,” which is why we’re here to coach you through some of the most common breastfeeding problems that new moms face. With some troubleshooting and patience, you’ll begin to develop a safe, effective, mostly-painless breastfeeding routine that will have your little one feeding like clockwork.
Try these 6 simple solutions to common breastfeeding problems:
1. Problem: My milk supply is low.
Solution: Reassess. If need be, increase the number of times you pump or nurse per day.
Many moms worry when their milk supply decreases. But the truth is, breast milk works on a supply-demand basis, so if your body starts producing less milk, that may mean it adjusted to the needs of your little one. If you’re still worried, book an appointment with your doctor or lactation consultant so that you can confirm with them that your baby is tracking to an appropriate, healthy weight.
2. Problem: My baby won’t latch
Solution: Skin-to-skin contact
Skin-to-skin contact does wonders in activating your baby’s feeding instincts. Let your little one cuddle on your chest, and she might latch on naturally. If your baby constantly has trouble latching on, it’s worth reaching out to your doctor to make sure that all is well. Some common reasons that babies have trouble latching can be easily solved!
3. Problem: Cracked, painful nipples
Solution: Can vary depending on your body & needs.
Cracked nipples may be a sign that you need to adjust your baby’s latch. First, make sure that the bottom of your areola is in your baby’s mouth. Otherwise, try breastfeeding more frequently, as this will cause your baby to suck less aggressively, giving your nipples a much-needed break. If it persists, consider trying a nipple cream to sooth your skin, and if it continues to bother you, don’t hesitate to meet with a lactation consultant!
4. Problem: My breasts and nipples hurt and itch
Solution: You may need to be treated for thrush
Thrush is a relatively common yeast infection babies develop in their mouth and pass to their mother’s breast. You may have thrush if you develop itchiness in the nipple, a rash, or shooting pain during or after nursing. Fortunately, the infection is easily treatable with antifungal medication.
5. Problem: I’m nervous to breastfeed in public
Solution: The right accessories, clothes and attitude
Though public breastfeeding is 100% legal and completely normal, if you’re someone who feels self-conscious doing so in public there many ways to breastfeed while maintaining your privacy. First things first, dress for the occasion with an easy-access bra under a button-down shirt or a tank-top with a draped cardigan. Still feeling shy? Consider investing in a coverup or a sling for even subtler feeding. And, if you love to breastfeed in public, more power to you!
If you want to learn more about common breastfeeding concerns, head to our video library to see what our experts have to say.