Common Lactation Issues: Part 2
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In our last blog, we began a discussion about some of the most common lactation issues. Many women face a variety of challenges when it comes to breastfeeding. For some women, these issues continue even after they stop breastfeeding. We discussed issues such as soreness and tenderness, mastitis, and clogged ducts. If you are interested in learning more about these lactation issues, we encourage you to check out our last post!
Before we continue with today’s topic, we’d like to make you aware of what we have to offer at The Breast Place this month. January is almost coming to a close! This month, we are offering $50 off Emsculpt NEO for body contouring, as well as 20% off all EltaMD skincare products! If you or a loved one is interested in body contouring or you want to enhance your skincare routine, Now is the perfect time to get started! These specials are for the month of January only, so don’t miss out on these deals. Reach out to us if you have any questions or would like more information!
Today, we’ll be continuing our discussion about lactation issues. For a quick recap, lactation refers to the process of making human milk, which is secreted through the mammary glands. This process begins naturally during pregnancy due to hormonal changes that signal the glands to begin producing milk for your baby. Mammary glands have several parts that work together during this process, including alveoli, milk ducts, areola, and nipple. It is not uncommon for women to experience challenges when breastfeeding. It is important that you are aware of these possible challenges so that you know how to identify and handle them. If you are interested in learning more about lactation issues, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.
While it is normal to experience changes in your breasts after your baby is born, some women experience a feeling of fullness in their breasts. This feeling is accompanied by pain, and the breasts can be warm to the touch and may feel hard. This is referred to as engorgement, and it happens when milk isn’t fully removed from the breast. Engorgement can occur at any time, but it is most common when your milk transitions from colostrum to mature milk. Colostrum is the first form of milk your body produces during pregnancy, with ideal nourishment for a newborn. Mature milk forms later, providing a different balance of nutrition. Engorgement is also more likely to happen if there are sudden changes in how you are nursing, such as skipping feedings. Engorgement can lead to clogged ducts or a breast infection, so it is important to address it as soon as possible. To prevent engorgement, you can try breastfeeding your baby often in the early weeks, or expressing milk every 2 to 3 hours. Additionally, take care of yourself by eating well, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting enough sleep. If you are suffering from engorgement, you may find relief by placing a warm washcloth on your breasts or taking a warm shower before feeding. You may also find that massaging your breasts before and after feedings can provide relief. For most women, engorgement goes away within a few days after taking these measures.
Unfortunately, fungal infections are common during breastfeeding, such as yeast infections, sometimes referred to as thrush. Thrush is a type of yeast infection caused by a type of fungus called Candida. This infection, called candidiasis, forms on the nipples or in the breast. Many types of yeast live naturally on our skin, but an overgrowth of Candida can cause infection. This is most likely to happen with cracked nipples, as this provides a warm and moist environment for the fungus to grow. Additionally, your baby may infect you with thrush, as it is an infection of the mouth that is common in babies. This infection can pass to your nipples during breastfeeding. Some of the most common symptoms of a fungal infection include sore, itchy, cracked, or blistered nipples, achy breasts, a burning or stinging sensation in the breasts, or a rash with small blisters. You may also notice white spots on the inside of your baby’s cheeks, tongue, or gums. Contact your doctor right away if you suspect a fungal infection, so that you and your baby may be treated right away. This will prevent you both from passing the infection back and forth to one another. Treatment for thrush usually involves the use of an antifungal medication in the form of a cream or ointment. To prevent fungal infections, make sure to keep your breasts clean and dry, and wash your breasts and nipples with warm water after breastfeeding.
Low Milk Supply
Having low milk supply is a common worry among breastfeeding moms. However, most mothers make exactly the amount of milk that the baby needs! As you feed your body, your body adjusts to produce the correct amount. If you are questioning whether or not you are making enough milk, keep track of wet and dirty diapers in a notebook or a smartphone app. Additionally, pay attention to your baby during the feeding. If you can see or hear your baby swallowing, they seem happy and relaxed after feedings, and they are gaining weight, you are likely producing enough milk. If you want to increase your milk supply, breastfeeding frequently is the best way to do so, especially in the first hours, days, and weeks. You should also make sure that your baby is latching well. If the latch is comfortable and pain-free and your baby’s mouth opens wide around your whole breast, not just the nipple, then you most likely have a good latch! It is also important that you empty your breasts at each feeding– This will signal your body to produce more. If you are still concerned about having a low milk supply, reach out to your medical provider.
As you can see, these are a few of the most common lactation issues. It is important to keep in mind that breastfeeding looks different for everyone, and it is a journey with ups and downs. Whatever the issue is, you can overcome it! We hope you found this article informative, and we encourage you to reach out if you have any further questions or concerns. Our lactation specialists are here to help! Here at The Breast Place, we are dedicated to providing services and education surrounding breast health. We offer breast imaging services and provide consultations, clinical breast exams, and dedicated treatment plans. We also encourage you to check out our aesthetics and wellness clinic, Empower, which is dedicated to helping you feel more confident in your skin. Empower offers injectable treatments such as Botox, Juvéderm, and Dysport, as well as other facial rejuvenation services such as laser treatment and more! Additionally, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to our service areas– We are committed to empowering women, and we are proud to offer treatments and products to help you look and feel your best. Thank you for taking the time to read today’s article and we hope you’ll check back in for future posts about treatments, wellness, and more!
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