Many women struggle with breastfeeding issues and there are too many of them. For example, you may not be producing enough or sufficient milk or you producing quite a lot of or too much milk. Or probably, there could be “latch” issue or you may be having mastitis. Even, it could be that your nipples are bleeding and cracking, or you don’t like feeding.
So, things can go awry in breastfeeding and “this wrong” does not discriminate. It can go wrong even for the healthiest of healthy people. Jillian Michaels talks about a woman, who did not produce enough milk and this caused her get into the grip of inferiority and insecurity. Well, she is not the only one. Many women out there are struggling with this issue. Jillian says that the breasts are meant for breastfeeding, but the reality could be far from it in many cases.
Michaels adds that the first few weeks could be really tough as you just start understanding about nursing. It is not very easy for women since it doesn’t come naturally to them in opposition to the common belief that it is very natural for mothers.
Breastfeeding is good for the baby and you too. It helps you burn 300 to 600 calories every day. Here, Jillian discusses some common issues associated with breastfeeding.
There are loads of information available over the Internet. However, Jillian advises to consult a lactation consultant instead of relying on the Internet. New mothers sometimes do not put enough portion of the nipple in the child’s mouth. So, a demonstration by a lactation consultant can be a great option.
Get a lactation consultant to visit you after the childbirth. Majority of the hospitals would arrange one for you upon request. Let the doctors know the issues you are facing and keep asking them until you are comfortable with breastfeeding.
Once you are back home, you could attend a seminar on breastfeeding. You need at least one session to work out on your issues. Breastfeeding should not hurt. If it does, then you are not doing it the right way. After getting hands-on experience of feeding correctly, you will find that it feels amazing. Plus, it helps strengthen your bond with the baby.
You may not be knowing what mastitis is. Jillian Michael says it is the swelling in the breasts due to bacterial infection. When you have mastitis, you will pain in the breasts and find it difficult to touch. You may also get fever and your symptoms may resemble that of flu.
Infection may happen as the milk ducts get clogged or bacteria can enter through cracked and sore nipples. This is a serious medical condition and calls for an immediate medical attention. Most probably, the doctor will put you on antibiotics. The more quickly you will seek the treatment, lesser would be chances of complications.
Mastitis can happen during any stage of breastfeeding, but it generally it occurs in the very first month of pregnancy. This is because you have not fully understood the nuances of nursing by that time. Some tips to manage mastitis along with treatment are discussed below:
- Get Enough Rest: Mothers, who are tired and stressed have greater likelihood of developing this condition.
- Ensure Solid Latch: Adopting good breastfeeding practices and techniques will help you prevent cracked or sore nipples.
- Nurse Frequently: This will keep the milk flowing and breasts will remain empty.
- Drain Your Breasts After Each Feed: If there is milk in your breasts after you are done feeding, you can use a pump to get rid of extra milk.
- Massage: Massage the affected breast to get the milk out. Repeat the process.
- Wear Nursing Bra That Fits You Nicely: Do not wear bras that are very small or have an underwire.
- Do Not Stop Breastfeeding: Despite having mastitis, continue breastfeeding your child. It will empty the breasts and will be good for the baby too. This however does not hold when the baby is in neonatal intensive care.
This is because mastitis may increase the sodium content in the breastmilk and is not suggested for small babies in neonatal intensive care. Else, it is absolutely safe.
Sore or Cracked Nipples
In most cases, it is the latch issue, which cause this because the baby is only sucking the end of the nipple instead of putting the entire nipple in the mouth while sucking out the milk.
Now, this is the time when a lactation specialist could be helpful. Nipple shields are used by some people, but it can lead to latch problems. Lactation specialists do not recommend its use. But, it could be helpful for those, who have not nursed before. Also, after breastfeeding, apply some breast milk on your nipples. Fresh breast milk can heal cracked nipples as it protects against bacteria. It is a trick that truly works.
It is a yeast infection (oral) that babies contract and spread on to their mothers. It can be hard to be treated. Women, who have had caesarian sections, have greater likelihood of having this condition because of antibiotics prescribed after the surgery. This causes the yeast to grow.
To avoid this, take probiotics and add some to your baby’s milk too. Also, forgo sugar as yeast feeds on sugar. You can use nipple creams prescribed by your doctor and use coconut oil. If you are suspecting thrush, consume foods containing natural probiotics like yogurt, and drink good amounts of water. If your child has thrush, doctor may recommend some treatment, but it goes away on its own after some time.
Low Milk Production
This can cause anxiety in women. It is the chief reason why women stop breastfeeding. Maybe you’d be required to be supplemented with some formulation. There are some tips you can follow to increase the supply of milk:
- Nurse on Demand: Do it for as long as you can. Aim for 8-10 minutes, so that the baby can get the nutrition-rich foremilk and the hydrating hindmilk. Nurse as often as you can.
- Dr. William Sears,: a famous pediatrician, says that the three b’s of breastfeeding are –baby, breasts and brain. The baby is required to stimulate the breasts so that signal can be sent to the brain for production of more milk.
- Hydrate: We can’t emphasize this one enough. Don’t remain dehydrated as it can stop the production of the milk.
- Avoid Alcohol: Research says that women, who drink wine or alcohol, produce little milk and also take long time to release the milk. So, take care of this!
- Consider Herbs: There are many herbs, which claim that they are magical when it is about breastfeeding. Also, consult a doctor prior to use of any supplement.
Jillian concludes by saying that there are multitudes of benefits of breastfeeding, but if you are not able to breastfeed or do not do it by choice, that’s fairly all right.