Many mothers complain about tender nipples which make breastfeeding painful and frustrating. Wrong breastfeeding position or baby that suck really hard will make the nipples sore. But there are good news though, as most mothers would not suffer it for too long. The nipples will eventually toughen up and breastfeeding will be less painful.
Here are some tips to ease your discomfort:
- Make sure your baby is in the correct breasfeeding position, since this is the number one cause of sore nipples.
- After breastfeeding, apply some ultra purified, medical grade lanolin, avoid petroleum jelly and other products which contain oil.
- Wash your nipples with water and not soap.
Clogged milk ducts
Clogged milk ducts can be easily identified as small, red tender lumps on the tissue of the breast. Clogged ducts can lead to breast infection. The best way to unclog these ducts is to ensure that you have emptied your breast milk as completely as possible. At feeding time, you should offer the breast with clogged milk ducts first and let your baby empty it.
If your milk ducts are still clogged after the feeding, you should pump out the remaining breast milk. Make sure your bra is not too tight and keep pressure off the milk ducts.
Breast infection also known as mastititis, it is due to germs that gain entrance to the breast through cracked or sore nipple, therefore decreased immunity in the breastfeed mothers.
The symptoms of breast infection are severe pain or soreness of the breast, hardness of the breast, redness of the breast, heat coming from the breast area, or swollen breast.
The treatment for breast infection are normally antibiotics, pain relievers, increase of fluid intake, and plenty of rest. Many women will stop breastfeeding when they have breast infection, although it is not necessary. By continuing to breastfeed, it will help to clear up the infection.
You should consult your doctor and make sure the infections are treated promptly to prevent abscess. Abscesses need to be drained, either as an office procedure or with surgery. Women with abscesses may be told to temporarily stop breastfeeding.
Jaundice is a result of buildup in the blood of the bilirubin, a yellow pigment that comes from the breakdown of older red blood cells. It is normal for the red blood cells to break down, even though the bilirubin formed does not normally cause jaundice since the liver will metabolize it and then get rid of it in the gut.
But newborn baby will often become jaundiced during the first few days because of the liver enzyme that metabolizes the bilirubin becoming relatively immature. Therefore, newborn babies will have more red blood cells than adults, therefore more will break down at any given time.
There is a condition that is commonly referred to as breast milk jaundice, although no one knows what actually causes it. In order to diagnose it, the baby should be at least one week old. The baby should also be gaining well with breast feeding alone, having lots of bowel movements with the passing of clean urine.
In this condition, the baby has what is referred to as breast milk jaundice. Occasionally, infections of the urine or an under functioning of the baby’s thyroid gland, and other rare illnesses may cause this problem.
Breast milk jaundice will peak at 10 – 21 days, although it can last for 2 – 3 months. Contrary to what you many people think, breast milk jaundice is normal. Rarely, does breast feeding need to be stopped for even a brief period of time.
If the baby is doing well on breast milk, there is no reason at all to stop or supplement with a lactation aid.
Breast milk is the best food that you can ever give to your baby. Breast milk is a complete food source which contain all the nutrients your baby need – about 400 of them, including hormones and disease fighting compounds that can not be found in formula milk.
The nutritional makeup in breast milk will adjust to your baby’s needs as he or she grows and develops. Beside from the brain building, infection fighting benefits of breast milk, which no formula milk can match, nursing will also help to build a special bond between you and your baby. When nursing, your child thrives on the contact, cuddling, and holding – which you will as well.
Because breast feedings can take up to 40 minutes or more, you should pick a cozy spot for nursing. The atmosphere is very important, especially in the early days of breast feeding when you are still trying to get the hang of it. If you get easily distracted by noise, go somewhere quiet.
You should hold your baby in a position that would no’t leave your arms or back sore. When supporting your baby, a nursing pillow can be a big help. You should never start feeding until you and your baby are in a comfortable position. Pay attention to how your your baby latches on, as his mouth should cover most of the areola below the nipple, and the nipple should be far back into your baby’s mouth.
While some women adjust to breast feeding easily, other mothers may find it hard to breastfeed. If you feel discouraged, remember that breast feeding takes lots of practices. Give yourself as much time as you need to get it down to second nature. Keep in mind that the more you breast feed, the more you will get the hang of it.
The sole purpose of breast compression is to continue the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer drinks on his own. Compression will also stimulate a let down reflex and often causes a natural let down reflex to occur. This technique may also be useful for the following:
- Poor weight gain in the baby.
- Colic in the breast fed baby.
- Frequent feedings or long feedings.
- Sore nipples for the mother.
- Recurrent blocked ducts
- Feeding the baby who falls asleep quick.
If everything is going well, breast compression may not be necessary. When all is well, the mother should allow the baby to finish feeding on the first side, then if the baby wants more – offer the other side.
How to use breast compression
- Hold the baby with one arm.
- Hold the breast with the other arm, thumb on one side of your breast, your finger on the other far back from the nipple.
- Keep an eye out for the baby’s drinking, although there is no need to be obsessive about catching every suck. The baby will get more milk when drinking with an open pause type of suck.
- When the baby is nibbling or no longer drinking, compress the breast, not so hard that it hurts though. With the breast compression, the baby should begin drinking again.
- Keep up the pressure until the baby no longer drinks with the compression, then release the pressure. If the baby doesn’t stop sucking with the release of compression, wait a bit before compressing again.
- The reason for releasing pressure is to allow your hand to rest, and allow the milk to begin flowing to the baby again. If the baby stops sucking when you release the pressure, he’ll start again once he tastes milk.
- When the baby starts to suck again, he may drink. If not, simply compress again.
- Continue feeding on the first side until the baby no longer drinks with compression. You should allow him time to stay on that side until he starts drinking again, on his own.
- If the baby is no longer drinking, allow to come off the breast or take him off.
- If the baby still wants more, offer the other side and repeat the process as above.
- Unless you have sore nipples, you may want to switch sides like this several times.
- Always work to improve the baby’s latch.
Within the first two to three days after you have given birth, you may discover that your breasts feel swollen, tender, throbbing, lumpy, and overly full. Sometimes, the swelling will extend all the way to your armpit, and you may run a low fever as well.
Within 72 hours of giving birth, an abundance of milk will come in or become available to your baby. As this happens, more blood will flow to your breasts and some of the surrounding tissue will swell. The result is full, swollen, engorged breasts.
Not every postpartum mom experienced true engorgement. Some women’s breasts become only slightly full, while others find their breasts have become amazingly hard. Some women will hardly notice the pain, as they are involved in other things during the first few days.
Keep in mind, engorgement is a positive sign that you are producing milk to feed to your baby. Until you produce the right amount:
- Wear a supportive nursing bra, even at night – making sure it isn’t too tight.
- Breast feed often, every 2 – 3 hours if you can. Try to get the first side of your breasts as soft as possible. If your baby seems satisfied with just one breast, you can offer the other at the next feeding.
- Avoid letting your baby latch on and suck when the areola is very firm. To reduce the possibility of nipple damage, you can use a pump until your areola softens up.
- Avoid pumping milk except when you need to soften the areola or when your baby is unable to latch on. Excessive pumping can lead to the over production of milk and prolonged engorgement.
- To help soothe the pain and relieve swelling, apply cold packs to your breasts for a short amount of time after you nurse. Crushed ice in a plastic bag will also work.
- Look ahead. You’ll get past this engorgement in no time and soon be able to enjoy your breast feeding relationship with your new baby.
Engorgement will pass very quickly. You can expect it to diminish within 24 – 48 hours, as nursing your baby will only help the problem. If you aren’t breast feeding, it will normally get worse before it gets better. Once the engorgement has passed, your breasts will be softer and still full of milk.
During this time, you can and should continue to nurse. Unrelieved engorgement can cause a drop in your production of milk, so it’s important to breast feed right from the start. Keep an eye for signs of hunger and feed him when he needs to be fed.
A fussy or crying baby can make for a fussy and often frustrated parent. There are many reasons a baby could be fussy or unable to sleep, including illness, colic, or something as simple as either too much noise or too little noise. Before altering your baby’s sleeping environment, take a moment to evaluate just why your baby has been fussy or upset at bedtime. Things like changes in the weather, a neighbor’s new puppy continually barking, a loud car stereo blaring, or a bright street light can all contribute to changing a baby’s otherwise familiar and comfortable sleeping environment. If after evaluating, you discover that there has been an environmental change that has occurred, but are out of your control, you might consider creating some ‘white noise’ in your baby’s environment to help drown out these unpleasant and loud sleep disruptors.
Noises that are repetitive and almost monotonous sounding are known as ‘white noise’ – noise that is occurring constantly, and, as a result, we’ve ‘tuned it out.’ There are many items in our house that create white noise that we might not even realize – our air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, clothes dryers, or fans all create white noise as they operate. Other things such as running water, an analog clock with a ticking second hand, or a fish aquarium also create white noise. These noises might actually help ‘drown out’ the disruptive external noises that are keeping your baby, and thereby you, from a good night’s sleep.
Another option might be to run a favorite lullaby on continuous play in your baby’s room. There are many options out there for newborns and toddlers alike in the music department of your favorite store. You could even put together a special mix just from mommy and daddy on your personal computer. Better yet, put together a recording of mommy and daddy’s soft, soothing and gentle voices, and baby will be back in dreamland before you know it – and so will you!
The practice of baby-swaddling dates back centuries and is still common in many cultures. Swaddling involves wrapping a baby securely from shoulders to feet with a small blanket. American Indians and people from the Middle East use bands and more sophisticated swaddling techniques, but more traditional swaddling techniques are still practiced in such countries as Turkey, Afghanistan and Albania.
Not only can swaddling be a great way to calm and sooth a fussy infant, it’s also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). At the age of three months, when the risk for SIDS is greatest, traditional American swaddling techniques allow a baby to escape. It allows the baby to stay in a more stable position while sleeping, thereby lowering the SIDS risk. In addition, swaddling has been shown to help babies sleep longer and more restfully by preventing the sudden movements that can cause them to wake up, thereby improving mom and dad’s sleep quality and quantity also. Babies who are swaddled are said to feel secure, similar to how they felt while in utero. It can also assist in temperature regulation, keeping baby nice and toasty warm while sleeping.
A couple of additional perks to swaddling come during waking hours, too. A swaddled baby is easy to carry and hold – an adorable, compact little package. It can also help baby focus on breast or bottle feeding by keeping little hands out of the way.
Swaddling usually works best from newborn to approximately four months, but if baby is used to being swaddled, and then it might be utilized even longer. Babies just being introduced to swaddling may require an adjustment period. Modified swaddling, such as leaving arms free while swaddling the rest of baby’s body, might be needed when first introducing the practice to your baby. The blanket should always feel snug but not tight. Take special care to ensure baby’s circulation is not compromised in any way or that baby is not uncomfortable. Ask a nurse, physician, midwife or other knowledgeable healthcare practitioner to demonstrate the correct technique for swaddling your baby.
Most women don’t have a problem with producing enough milk to breast feed. The ideal way to make sure that your baby is getting enough milk is to be sure that he’s well positioned, attached to the breast, and feed him as often as he gets hungry.
Some mom’s that are breast feeding will stop before they want to, simply because they don’t think they have enough breast milk.
There are signs that might make you believe your baby isn’t getting enough milk. If your baby seems hungry or unsettled after feeding, or if he wants to feed often with short pauses between feedings, you may think he isn’t getting enough milk – which are often times not the case.
There are however, two reliable signs that let you know your baby isn’t getting enough milk. If your baby has poor or really slow weight gain, or is passing small amounts of concentrated urine, he’s not getting enough milk.
All babies will lose weight within the first few days after birth. Babies are born with supplies of fat and fluids, which will help them keep going for the first several days.
Once your baby regains birth weight, he should begin putting on around 200g for the first four months or so. To get back to their birth weight, it normally takes a few weeks.
If the weight gain for your baby seems to be slow, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse to observe you breast feeding. This way, they can make sure that your technique is right and if they think your baby is breast feeding often enough.
To help you with your breast feeding, here are some ways that you can increase your supply of milk:
- Be sure that your baby is positioned correctly and attached to your breast.
- Let your baby feed for as long and often as he wants.
- If you feel that your baby isn’t breast feeding enough, offer him more breast feeds.
- During each breast feed, make sure you feed from both breasts.
- If your baby has been using a dummy, make sure you stop him.
- Some babies may be sleepy and reluctant to feed, which may be the cause of problems with milk supply.
By following the above tips, you’ll do your part in making sure you have enough milk when it comes time
to breast feed. If you are uncertain or have other questions, be sure to ask your doctor, as he can answer any type of question you may have.
The milk production in the breasts, much like so many other things, work on the shear principal of supply and demand. The more breast milk your baby consumes, the more your body will need to make.
Breast pumps are generally used to insure continued production of breast milk when you cannot feed your baby – whether you are back to work, traveling, taking medication, or just out of town.
Basic types of pumps
Breast pumps can either be battery operated, hand operated, semi automatic electric, or even self cycling electric.
Manual hand pumps are designed to use the strength of your hand or arm muscles for pumping one breast at a time. You can also get pumps that will use the leg and foot muscles for pumping both breasts at one time. Mothers that with carpal tunnel syndrome may want to consider using a pump designed for the arm or leg muscles or even an automatic model.
Philips AVENT BPA Free Manual Breast Pump by www.toysrus.com
Battery operated pumps
Pumps with battery operation are the best for women who have an established supply of milk and want to pump once or even twice a day. These pumps use batteries to create suction, minimizing any type of muscle fatigue. Most battery type pumps are designed for pumping one breast at a time and are recommended for occasional usage.
Even though electric pumps are more efficient than hand or even battery operated pumps, they also tend to be more expensive. You can however, rent them if you need to. Electric pumps can normally plug directly into an outlet and are designed for pumping both breasts at a time and even frequent use. Hospital grade pumps are the most efficient for initiating and maintaining milk supply, and are available for rent or purchase.
For some people, the process of breast feeding seems to come natural, although there’s a level of skill required for successful feeding and a correct technique to use. Incorrect positioning is one of the biggest reasons for unsuccessful feeding and it can even injure the nipple or breast quite easily.
By stroking the baby’s cheek with the nipple, the baby will open its mouth towards the nipple, which should then be pushed in so that the baby will get a mouthful of nipple and areola. This position is known as latching on. A lot of women prefer to wear a nursing bra to allow easier access to the breast than other normal bras.
The length of feeding time will vary. Regardless of the duration of feeding time, it’s important for mothers to be comfortable. The following are positions you can use:
- Upright – The sitting position where the back is straight.
- Mobile – Mobile is where the mother carries her baby in a sling or carrier while breast feeding. Doing this allows the mother to breast feed in the work of everyday life.
- Lying down – This is good for night feeds or for those who have had a caesarean section.
- On her back – The mother is sitting slightly upright, also a useful position for tandem breast feeding.
- On her side – The mother and baby both lie on their sides.
- Hands and knees – In this feeding position the mother is on all fours with the baby underneath her. Keep in mind, this position isn’t normally recommended.
Anytime you don’t feel comfortable with a feeding position, always stop and switch to a different position. Each position is different, while some mothers prefer one position, other’s may like a totally different position. All you need to do is experiment and see which position is best for you.