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Breastfeeding Problems

By on December 8, 2009

There are many problems involved in breastfeeding, whether it is while nursing or much later in life too. It is important to understand these problems and find amiable solutions in order to continue breast feeding without pain. Some of the issues include, breast pain, breast refusal, leaking breasts, engorged breasts; presence of toxins in the breast milk, overabundant or low milk supply, blocked ducts, cracked or sore nipples and mastitis. Discussed further are the possible solutions to some of the problems.

For women experiencing breast engorgement, it is best to frequently empty breasts either naturally through breast feeding or by using a breast pump or milking by hand. It is important to note that over stimulation through a breast pump could worsen the problem of engorgement. Massaging and using ice packs may help in reducing pain and discomfort.

Another common problem while breast feeding is nipple soreness, cracking or blistering. This usually occurs when the infant is unable to latch on correctly or the child is positioned incorrectly. Moisturizing or using nipple ointments may help in reducing cracks and blisters. It is best to consult a physician before the soreness develops into infection.

Blocked ducts are also an issue when the flow of milk is stopped due to plugging of skin cells and milk. A sign of blocked ducts is a reddened lump that forms gradually first in one breast. Regular emptying of breasts especially from the affected breast will help boost milk flow.  A massage and warm water bath or shower may help in increasing milk flow. If the problem persists for days, it is best to consult a medical practitioner to obtain professional medical attention.

Mastitis is breast infection with symptoms of a red hard swollen area on one breast and a high temperature with chills and muscle pain sometimes. The best solution is to continue breast feeding and taking medicine for the pain and infection. There is no risk of infection being transferred to the infant; therefore breast feeding should not be stopped. Getting ample rest and breast massage may help lessen any discomfort. In consultation with the doctor, necessary medication and antibiotics must be taken to treat the pain and infection effectively.

There are many issues during and after breast feeding. Good care and rest must be taken by the mother to ensure a smooth breast feeding period. Regular massages, cold and warm water baths and necessary medication will help in reducing pain or discomfort. One of the important aspects to keep in mind is to breast feed as much as possible unless advised otherwise. Not only is it healthy for the infant but it also helps the mother deal with her health issues.