4 common breastfeeding concerns you shouldn't be stressing out over
If you're stressing out over these common breastfeeding concerns, relax! These experts will put your mind at ease
New mums have a tendency to stress out, overthink, and worry about everything regarding their babies. Can you really blame them? They're new to this parenting thing, and they only want the very best for their babies! Their anxieties are coming from a good place, and we're here to assure new moms everywhere that in some cases there's nothing to worry about!
The folks over at Glamour Health recently shared an article that puts to rest some of the most common concerns that mothers worry about when breastfeeding. We figured we'd spread these wise words by composing our own article on the same topic. Experts like Diane L. Spatz, Ph.D., a professor of perinatal nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and nurse researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, seem to believe “Many of the commonly-reported breast-feeding difficulties could be completely avoided with good prenatal education of what to expect and how to get breast-feeding off to the best start."
So, relax nursing moms and soon-to-be-mummies, these are 4 common breastfeeding concerns that you shouldn't be stressing out over:
Your breastmilk is a baby's primary source for nourishment, so, it's not surprising that your baby is a little overeager to latch on. It's only natural that your baby would be a little "aggressive" when trying to get food. As a result, you may feel a little pain when the baby latches on.
While you needn't worry about a slight pain when breastfeeding, there are some ways to make your baby's quest for nourishment a little more efficient. According to Dr. Spatz, “The mother should feel a rhythmic vacuum pressure. The baby has to have a good mouthful of breast.” Essentially, you should make sure your baby is getting the nipple and breast in the mouth properly.
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As a result of nursing, you may find that your nipples have become cracked or sore. This can be due to the fact that your baby isn't latched on properly. This is completely normal and you certainly aren't the only one who's experienced this problem. That said, the problem can be easily resolved.
One way to fix the problem is to rub breastmilk on your nipple and let it air dry. If problems persist, Marianne Pastore, R.N., a nurse and certified lactation consultant at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that Lanolins and gel pads can serve as an alternative. Though, her "first recommendation is mum’s own milk.”
Many times, mums struggle to produce as much milk as their babies need, or even as much as they expect. Pastore claims, “Women think they have a problem—baby is eating a lot and they don’t seem to get a break, so they incorrectly think they’re not producing enough milk."
In cases like this, mums will supplement their baby's diet with formula. This isn't a god approach because your body produces milk at an "as needed" pace. So, by switching your baby to formula, you're actually perpetuating the low supply problem. If you feel as though your breastmilk supply is low, you should immediately consult your doctor. Don't cause any more stress to yourself by assuming something's wrong, though.
Mastitis, in case you didn't know, is inflammation of the mammary glands that may result in a feeling of pain and soreness in parts of the breast. It's a very common occurrence and is certainly no need to overreact.
The best way to deal with this problem, is to prevent it. According to Dr. Spatz, you should avoid ill-fitting bras and ones with underwire. Also, and more importantly, you should be pumping as much as possibly to empty out your supply. “Don’t ever skip breast-feeding or pumping sessions,” she suggests. "The most important thing is to get the milk out—don’t stop breast-feeding." If problems persist, speak with your doctor who may prescribe harmless antibiotics that can relieve the problem.
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them with us!