Breastmilk is a rich source of vitamins and minerals that are specifically required for a baby’s growth. The milk also provides immune nutrients that help develop the baby’s immunity. Breastfeeding is not all about feeding the newborn, it is much more than that. A woman becomes a mother when she gives birth, but It is through breastfeeding that the newborn gets to know its mother. It is through breastfeeding that they connect and form a bond. More than the act, it is an emotion for both – the mother and the child.
Having said that, breastfeeding is not all fun and games. You will be able to relate if you are a new mother. It only seems simple until you have to do it for the first time. Once you start breastfeeding, there are several problems or challenges that you might encounter. So if you are a new mother, or you are to be one soon, read on, this will help you prepare better.
Here are the most commonly faced challenges while breastfeeding
New mother’s anxiety –
You might have been preparing for this, mentally and physically, but when you give birth and it is time to feed the baby, it is mostly totally different from what you imagined. When you are a new mother, you are handling all the baby stuff for the first time, it is a whole new experience. You want to be there for your baby, you want to give it the best of all. But these thoughts can become overwhelming at times and might cause anxiety. Don’t let the anxiety win over, it is your baby and you are doing great! Just hang in there!
Latching for the first time –
Latching is the way your baby attaches to the breast. Latching is crucial because that is how the baby also connects with the mother. The angle of the baby should be such that it should be able to look at the mother’s face. That is how the bond is developed and the child starts recognizing the mother. If the baby is not able to latch well, you will not be able to nurse.
Sore and painful nipples
Mild soreness in the beginning for a few days is absolutely normal. That is your body getting used to nursing. But pain or itching is not normal. Babies latch around the areola, so there is no pressure applied to the nipple. If there is mild pain, the probability is, the baby is not latching properly. Try adjusting the position and angle while nursing. If the pain continues or if you see signs of infection like redness and swelling, consult a doctor right away. These can be signs of yeast infection and can be transferred to your newborn.
Milk production can be affected due to several factors. It also depends upon the type of delivery. It generally takes up to 3-6 days for a normal flow. Up till then, colostrum is secreted, a thick and yellowish liquid packed with antibodies and nutrients essential for the baby’s initial development.
Various techniques like using the breast pup frequently, massaging breasts, and using hot water bags to stimulate milk production are practiced by many women. Although some of these methods do help people, if the milk is produced in required quantities, inadequate breastmilk can be managed well.
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