The most crucial act for a mother and baby post childbirth is breastfeeding. It is so basic, yet, its benefi ts are many for both mother and child. The sad truth, though, is that this beautiful bonding experience can sometimes be problematic. Several women are ashamed of admitting that what they’ve been told is a natural and relaxing process, is actually rife with issues that few folks talk about.
WE DISCUSS THE THREE MOST COMMON BREASTFEEDING CHALLENGES AND TELL YOU HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM:
1. Working Moms: New moms face a terrible dilemma: they can either delay their return to work so they can breastfeed their baby for as long as possible to make them stronger and healthier, but stand to risk professional suicide, or they can rely on formula and return to work immediately but deal with missing work constantly, to attend to a sickly child. Solution? Breast pumps. They help you express your milk, which can be stored at room temperature for up to six hours, or refrigerated and fed to the baby while you are away at work. These lifesaving devices even come with a special storage compartment. Introduce your baby to bottle feeding as early as four weeks so they don’t reject it when you return to work.
2. Public Nursing: There is much debate about how appropriate it is for mothers to breastfeed in public. While it is nobody’s business to shame women for this natural activity, you can reduce the potential embarrassment or heckling by doing these simple things:
● Wear loose clothing with easy to open buttons in the front.
● Drape a small blanket or large scarf over your shoulder so it covers your breast and the baby’s head. You even get baby slings or nursing covers.
● Look for a lounge or private room if you are at places like the airport, department store or movie theatre.
3. Pain & Soreness: Not everything about nursing is rainbows and butterflies, so be prepared for a certain amount of pain. Avoiding breastfeeding because of this is foolish as it will lead to overfilling of the breast, which is unbelievably painful and even more dangerous for the mother.
Following these simple tips can work wonders on your breastfeeding journey. Alternatively, consulting an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in your quest to provide your child with the best nourishment and care, can really go a long way!
When Your Nipples Become Sore:
- If the baby sucks only on the nipples, position her correctly until it feels less painful and try and get her to suck the areola as well.
- Once you’re done with feeding your baby, apply a little breastmilk to your nipples to help them heal.
- Air dry them and always wear loose clothes.
- Avoid soap and never wear the same nursing bra over and over again. Eating healthier also helps.
When Your Breasts Become Sore:
- Also known as engorgement, it can happen when your nursing schedule is irregular and your breasts get too full. Make a regular schedule and stick to it.
- If you’re at work, use the pump in sync with your baby’s normal breastfeeding schedule.
- Avoid giving your baby anything like juice, water or formula. If you do, your child won’t be hungry and will not nurse effectively.
- Use the hand pump for a short while just before feeding to reduce pressure on the breast.
- Try and get fitted for a good nursing bra.
- Use a cold compress to relieve pain.
- Get adequate rest and nutrition.