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Common Breastfeeding Discomforts and How to Deal with Them

Breastmilk is the best diet for your baby, especially during the first year of their life. Surprisingly, you find it challenging to breastfeed your baby because you might have some discomfort.
  • Published on: 16 Feb 2021
  • 5 min read
Common Breastfeeding Discomforts and How to Deal with Them

Breastmilk is the best diet for your baby, especially during the first year of their life. Surprisingly, you find it challenging to breastfeed your baby because you might have some discomfort. In this case, you should know that proper breastfeeding should not cause pain. However, if you find breastfeeding hurting, you should inform your lactation consultant or health care provider to help you get it figured out. Most importantly, you should ask the nurses to help you ensure that you are breastfeeding appropriately before you leave the health care facility. Health care experts can also assist you even when you are at your home. In summation, while nursing your baby, you may experience several breastfeeding discomforts below are some of the common ones and helpful tips on how to ease them.

Breast Engorgement

It is normal for your breasts to feel swollen and full, especially during the first weeks after giving birth. If you feel discomfort such that your breasts feel hard, you might be experiencing engorgement. Admittedly, if you happen to produce a large amount of milk, your breasts will get full within a short period and you might find it painful. In particular, engorgement results due to inadequate removal of breastmilk. In this case, your baby might not suck milk often or long enough, making your breasts become overfilled with milk. In most cases, the discomfort might disappear once you begin to breastfeed your baby regularly. It is advisable that if you wish to ease the breast engorgement discomfort, you can adopt the following tips:

common breastfeeding discomfort
  • You can also place a warm compress on your breasts or take a warm shower to encourage the flow of breastmilk.

  • Try not to go a long period between the feedings or skip the night feedings.

  • You can try to express a small amount of milk manually or using a breast pump between the feedings

  • Let your baby breastfeed often to remove more milk from your breasts.

  • You should not attempt to take pain relievers or other kinds of medicine without consulting your health care provider.

  • You should try practicing various breastfeeding positions to ensure that your baby does not swallow a lot of breastmilk within a short period.

Breastmilk leakage

Most of the new mothers experience milk leakage especially during the early months when the body establishes milk production levels. Although milk leakage is physically harmless, you might find it embarrassing when breastfeeding. Not only that, breastmilk leakages can ruin your clothes, increasing the number of clothes that wash every week. To avoid such issues, the following tips can help you:

  • You should not go for a longer period without breastfeeding your baby.

  • Placing the soothe organic nursing pads in the cups of your bra can assist to absorb the wetness and curb milk leakage. You should also avoid pads that have plastic liners that can capture moisture against your skin and contribute to the soreness of your nipples.

  • If you experience milk leakage but you cannot breastfeed your baby, you can gently press your breast to stop the leakage.

  • In case your breasts leak at night, you should sleep with a nursing bra and organic nursing pads.

Plugged ducts

Breast milk might get blocked within your breast ducts, makings your breasts look red or sore. Having sore nipples is one of the common breastfeeding discomforts that women face. Such a problem results from the improper latch. In this case, you might feel that your breasts do not empty when you breastfeed. Fortunately, you can overcome the problem through:

  • You should massage the sore breast where you feel a hard spot before you breastfeed.

  • Ensure you start every feeding on the sore breast. Although it might hurt, it can assist to get most of the milk from the breast.

  • You can manually express your breasts to release the remaining milk after breastfeeding your baby.

  • You can put a moist and warm towel around your breast after breastfeeding or take a warm shower.

  • Achieving an appropriate latch would assist to overcome sore nipples. In this case, you may wish to achieve an asymmetrical latch, where your baby’s mouth covers more area below the nipple. You can also place your index finger inside the mouth of the baby to unlatch and reposition him/her.

Mastitis

breastfeeding pain

It is important that regularly empty your breasts to avoid experiencing pain in your nipples. However, if women notice a hard bump in their breasts, or begin to feel achy and feverish, they could have a mastitis infection. In particular, you will have a fever and flu-like symptoms that are characterized by swollen, hard, red, hot, and painful breasts. Notably, wearing a tight nursing bra can contribute to plugged or clogged ducts. The infection can also occur when you have plugged duct, you delay or miss breastfeeding. Moreover, you might experience pain, aches, chills, or fever as a result of the breast infection.

  • You should continue breastfeeding your baby even if you have sore breasts. Fortunately, the infection cannot harm your baby, and instead, frequent breastfeeding assists to clear it.

  • You can express milk from the infected breast.

  • You might also be required to see your doctor receive antibiotic prescriptions that can clear the infection.

  • You should avoid wearing bras with underwires.

Thrush

While breastfeeding yeast infection (oral white thrush) can develop inside your baby’s mouth that might spread to your breasts. The thrush causes soreness and itchiness and rashes around the nipples. If you suspect that your baby has thrush, you can visit your health care provider for medication.

Nipple pain

nursing pads

Most women feel nipple pain during the first days they begin breastfeeding. If you experience nipple you should:

  • Change positions every time you breastfeed.

  • Ensure your baby latches fully while breastfeeding.

  • Wash your nipples using clean water but you should avoid shampoos or soaps with a strong scent that can affect your nipples.

  • You should not wear tight clothes or bras which can pressurize your nipples.

  • If you use nursing pads, you should change them often once you get wet. In particular, you can buy the soothe organic nursing pads to cushion painful nipples.

Notably, breastfeeding pain can also result from thrust or mastitis

Breastfeeding is a convenient and natural way to feed your baby, especially in their first year. Surprisingly, in most cases, people do not discuss the idea of breastfeeding causing discomforts. Not only that, it is a fact that women who breastfeed know that this activity can inevitably discomfort them especially during the first months after delivery. Unfortunately, most of the new mothers uncover the discomforts such as breastfeeding pain, thrush, mastitis, breastmilk leakage, cracked nipples, tender lumps, and engorged breast when they are tired, on their own, and a few days into breastfeeding. In short, if you adopt the above strategies, you can overcome most of the breastfeeding discomforts.

 


Avery K.

Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Avery K.

When she isn’t looking after the many needs of her 2 kids, Avery enjoys taking walks in the park, enjoying nature, and getting her daily fix of caffeine.

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