5 Common Breastfeeding Concerns New Mothers Have
Childbirth and all that precedes and follows it is a transformative time. While every woman has her own personal and intimate experience with pregnancy and birth, when it comes to breastfeeding, many new moms experience similar roadblocks. Here are 5 common concerns that new mothers experience.
It hurts when I breastfeed
When a new mother experiences pain during breastfeeding, it is usually due to sore, tender, and sensitive nipples. Milk “comes in” a few days after birth and newborns typically require feeding every couple of hours — thus leading to cracking, chafing, and in some cases, bleeding.
While the tried and true solution is patience as your baby grows, it can be beneficial to look into how your baby latches or even consulting a lactation specialist if the pain becomes too much. A specialist can help look into latching issues and work with you to find the most comfortable solution.
My baby is not latching
While this can seem frustrating, it’s important not to take it personally. Latching issues are incredibly common. However, they are seen primarily in those with inverted or flat nipples, and those with premature babies.
Some simple solutions for latching difficulty include investing in nipple shields to give your baby a larger, firmer target to attach to, or making minor adjustments during feeding until both mother and child feel comfortable and are able to latch/feed without difficulty. Of course, if all else fails, consulting with a lactation specialist is always a good idea.
My breasts are hard
Full, hard breasts are often a reality following pregnancy. This uncomfortable engorgement can mean pain and trouble latching. However, frequently feeding your baby can help negate this painful, but common issue. While 8-12 times is recommended per day, you and your doctor can help find the most comfortable schedule for your body. It’s important for both mother and child to feel comfortable.
If the fullness and hard feelings persist, it could be beneficial to see a healthcare professional— especially if you’re experiencing a fever or other additional symptoms.
I don’t have enough milk
The hormonal changes that trigger milk production initially happen slowly, so not having enough milk isn’t a very typical concern. This may cause you to feel concern for your child and wonder if they are full and are getting enough to eat. During the first few days worry only if your baby is losing significant weight or is showing signs of dehydration.
While it can be tempting to feed your newborn on a schedule, it will ultimately be more beneficial for the child if you’re feeding when the demand is there. The frequency can be exhausting, (every two to three hours!) but will help you in the long run with milk production.
My breasts are leaking
This common concern is actually incredibly normal. While you can, of course, invest in nursing pads to absorb the extraneous milk, there are now devices that fit inside your bra and collect the additional milk so no one drop goes to waste! Typically, leakage starts to subside six weeks post-pregnancy. If you continue to be concerned about the extent you are leaking, we encourage you to make an appointment with our specialists.
Whether this is your first child or your fifth, La Follette is here to help you have the best post-pregnancy experience possible. Give us a call to discuss how we can help you prepare before, during and after childbirth: (415) 461-1949.