Breastfeeding is a natural process, yet it may be difficult to master it, especially for first time moms. As the bundle of joy is delivered into your lap, it is natural to feel anxious whether you will be proficient in the task of satisfying the little one’s hunger. We have compiled a list of the 9 common issues moms worry about and some breastfeeding tips to address them.
Worry 1: Is my position while breastfeeding correct? Breastfeeding while sitting in an awkward position places unnecessary strain on your neck and back muscles, leading to fatigue and chronic ache. While breastfeeding, find a comfortable armchair, either with a straight back or slightly reclining back, or sleep on your side with a pillow behind your back to give you support.
Worry 2: Am I holding my baby correctly while breastfeeding? Support your baby by the nape of the head. Do not try to push baby’s head forward as this will trigger resistance, and the baby may clamp down hard on your nipple, hurting you. Instead, gently guide the baby to your nipple, bringing the baby’s mouth level with your nipple. The baby should be tummy to tummy to you so that it does not need the head to seek your nipple. The baby’s head should be tilted slightly back, keeping the baby’s nose clear, to allow comfortable breathing while feeding. When positioned correctly, the baby should latch onto the entire areola, not just the nipple.
Worry 3: Am I breastfeeding enough? Let your baby decide how much to breastfeed. As you get familiar with your baby’s mannerisms, you may even be able to anticipate feeding time before the baby starts crying. Babies will stop feeding as soon as they are full. If your baby loses the latch onto your nipple, gently guide the nipple back into the baby’s mouth but if this happens repeatedly, don’t try to force-feed the baby.
Worry 4: My baby keeps on sleeping at night. Do I need to wake up the baby to feed? You may be one of the lucky few mothers whose babies sleep at a stretch at night. Do not wake the baby to feed. When the baby gets hungry, the baby will not leave you in any doubt that it’s time to feed the baby.
Worry 5: My breast keeps on leaking milk. Is there something wrong? Leaking from the breast is normal and natural. It happens in quite a few mothers. It can happen in response to another baby crying nearby when your baby has been breastfed for an unusually long time or even by simply thinking about your baby. It may be more in the initial period after delivery, gradually decreasing in frequency as time passes.
Worry 6: Will breastfeeding be painful? For first time moms, initially, there may be mild discomfort, especially if the baby suckles vigorously or latches on firmly. But the nipple and areola skin soon adapts, and this disappears. As you nurse regularly, the nipple and areola skin can become dry and chapped, causing pain when the baby breastfeeds. This can be easily prevented by a good breast care regime, which consists of avoiding over washing the areolae. Dry your breast with a soft clean cloth after every feeding. Avoid tight, warm dresses. If needed, use a moisturizer approved by your doctor.
Worry 7: Am I producing enough milk? Your body produces milk in response to how much your baby is consuming. As long as the baby is sleeping well and gaining weight regularly, you need not worry about the adequacy of your breast milk production.
Worry 8: Why is my breast becoming engorged? Engorgement occurs when the breast produces more milk than the baby consumes. To avoid engorgement, feed as much as the baby needs, use both breasts evenly for feeding and, if the engorgement still persists, evacuate the breast using a breast pump.
Worry 9: My baby keeps on falling asleep while breastfeeding. What should I do? It is natural that as it tummy fills up, the baby becomes drowsy and falls asleep. Simply nudge the baby gently, or tickle the baby’s feet or gently stroke the baby’s chin to wake the baby up.
You will soon become an expert at feeding your baby as it will all fall into place naturally. However, if there is any confusion or cause for concern, do not hesitate to reach out to our experts. At Ovum Hospitals, we have a dedicated staff managing our breastfeeding services. We are there to support and guide you during this crucial phase of motherhood. This is the period when you develop an eternal bond with your child. Allow us to accompany you on this beautiful journey.