Becoming a mother is one of the most exciting, difficult, rewarding, and beautiful things you can experience. While many parts of your journey as a new mother will have their challenges, lactation can be one of the most difficult.
Becoming a mother is one of the most exciting, difficult, rewarding, and beautiful things you can experience. While many parts of your journey as a new mother will have their challenges, lactation can be one of the most difficult. Let us help you with The Breast Place's lactation services!
Hello, Warriors! All of us at The Breast Place hope each of you is doing happy and well out there. We hope you also know that we are here to help and support you no matter what is happening in your life! We understand that life is challenging and we will always be here to listen, treat, and make your life more hopeful. We are so glad you've joined us today! To all of our returning warriors, thank you for your support and we hope you've found comfort, hope, and guidance in our blogs! To all of our new readers, welcome! Let us introduce ourselves a little more before we dive into today's topic about lactation! We are The Breast Place and we work hard to provide hope through wellness and beauty for women facing life's continued challenges. Our team specializes in both malignant and benign breast disease. As a team, we work together with you, educating, treating, and caring for you. We will also grow with you as you change, age, and survive offering self-confidence with scar revision and body contouring, and physical wellness. We offer skincare treatments like resurfacing and rejuvenation using the latest laser technology to address fine lines, wrinkles, and textural issues and antiaging products to keep your skin healthy and youthful. Injectables and IV therapies are available as well!
A part of life's changes and processes that many of our warriors go through is becoming a mother, and one of the most common issues that so many go through is troubles with lactation. Here at The Breast Place, our providers are not only lactation specialists, they have first-hand knowledge of the difficulties of breastfeeding. If you are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding including clogged ducts, mastitis, pain, nipple bleeding or cracking, or fungal infections, please feel free to contact us for a consultation, a latch evaluation, education, and support. Today, we are going to be talking a little bit more about lactation and the difficulties many face while breastfeeding, sharing a little insight on what can cause these issues, and how you can help improve them while waiting to come see us!
The decision to breastfeed your child is a very personal one, and we are here to support and respect your choice. However, if you are wanting to breastfeed, that is today's topic of conversation and this blog is for you! Breastfeeding your child is incredibly healthy, providing them with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that your baby needs. However, it can take a minute for both mom and baby to get the hang of it. So please mamas, don't worry or fret if this journey hasn't been the easiest. It is very common and you are not alone in these struggles.
Today, we are going to give you some insight on how to make this process a little easier and to avoid as many of these situations as possible. Thankfully with our guidance and what we are going to be talking about today, we can help both you and your baby get through any difficulties you face, together. While you may not experience every difficulty that we will be mentioning today, don't think that it will be a perfect ride, either.
- Poor Latch - This can be one of the first hurdles that you and your baby will need to overcome. Latching is when your baby properly and comfortably latches onto your nipple to eat. To guarantee that the milk ducts in your areola are compressed to being the milk flow, your baby needs a good latch to encompass both the nipple and the areola. Not achieving a proper latch can lead to difficulties feeding and nipple pain. Other signs of poor latch can include chewing, a fussy baby, or your baby turning red out of frustration. Practice, getting your baby into the correct position, and trial and error can help improve latching dramatically!
- Breast Engorgement - This is a very common problem with first-time mothers. Your breasts will continue to grow throughout your pregnancy, your milk will come in, and your breasts will grow hard a few days after giving birth. This is a result of your milk production being in full swing, leaving your breast extremely tender and getting used to the amount of milk your producing. Thankfully, this will only last a few days at most and will go away as you continue breastfeeding. Nursing frequently will help with the pain, massaging the breast while feeding will also help, along with wearing a well-fitted bra and switching up positions while feeding can all help with pain related to breast engorgement.
- Cracked Nipples - This can be one of the many results of dry skin, thrush, not pumping correctly, or a very shallow latch from your baby. This might be a little frightening and uncomfortable, but this is a very common result of breastfeeding and is nothing to worry about! One of the best steps in avoiding this is to make sure your baby is in the right position to breastfeed to avoid a shallow latch. Check with your doctor before you move onto other treatment solutions, but make sure you clean your nipples at least twice a day, let some breast milk sit on the cracked nipples after feeding, use over the counter pain meds, cool gel pads, and nursing ointments can all help with cracked nipples.
- Clogged Ducts - This can happen if you've gone longer than normal between feedings or if you're breasts are overly full, milk can get backed up into your ducts and clog them up. One sure way of knowing you have a clogged duct is if you have a hard lump on your breast and if it is sore to the touch and a little red. It can also happen if you're not pumping correctly, compressing your breasts while sleeping, or hitting the breast in the same spot over and over again. Make sure you're getting enough rest, apply warm compresses to the breasts, massage the breasts, and have the baby feed on the affected breast first when feeding begins. Each of these steps will help with your clogged ducts.
- Leaking Breasts - These leaks can happen anywhere and anytime while your body is getting used to the whole feeding cycle and process, and as your body is amping up to supply as much milk as possible. This will usually happen and will last for the first two weeks of your baby's life while the supply of your milk matches up to demand. Nursing pads can help you through these first few weeks, and make sure to use cotton or disposable pads. We also recommend wearing darker clothing with no prints to help disguise any leaks and don't over pump. While you think this might help this situation, over-pumping will actually stimulate the breast to make even more milk. Once your body and baby are in sync, the leaking will begin to slow down and finally stop.
- Mastitis - One of the more serious lactation and breastfeeding issues, mastitis is an infection of your breast tissue that can cause redness, fever, breast pain, and muscle pain. It is usually a result of a clogged duct and the breast milk gets infected from the bacteria from your baby's mouth. Antibiotics will most likely be prescribed by your doctor to make you feel better, along with using over-the-counter pain meds and applying warm compresses. You can continue breastfeeding and will most likely be encouraged to do so!
- Thrush - This is a yeast infection that happens in your baby's mouth and can spread into your breasts. Signs of thrush include red, shiny, and flaky nipples, and also itching or deep shooting pain can also be signs of thrush. Both you and your baby will be prescribed an anti-fungal medication to take at the same time so you don't keep passing it back and forth to one another. You will need to keep your nipples clean, sanitize all pumping equipment, wash all of your bras, clothes, and nursing pads in hot water mixed with vinegar to kill any remaining yeast spores to also help the healing process along.
These are just some of the common lactation and breastfeeding hurdles and issues many women deal with during their first or through every pregnancy. As we've stated before, you might experiences some or just one of these issues, but all of them are common and there are plenty of ways to deal with each issue to help comfort you and your baby. Each healing step is there to help make the breastfeeding process special and enjoyable for both you and your baby. We are here to help you with the whole process. You are not alone, and we are here for you and your baby when you need us most! Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.