Some breastfeeding problems may occur in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. They can range anywhere from sore nipples, engorgement, a blocked duct to problems with the baby latching onto the breast incorrectly.
You may experience some breast engorgement in the first few days when the milk comes in. You can relieve engorgement by placing ice packs on the breasts after nursing or a warm cloth on the breast while nursing to help the milk flow and relieve congestion in the ducts. If the breasts are too full, using a breast pump for a couple of minutes on each breast can relieve the feeling of engorgement.
However, the breast produces milk according to supply and demand so it is important that pumping the breast at this time is kept to a minimum to avoid further breast feeding problems and more engorgement within the breast. In the first couple of days colostrum is produced in the breast and this first milk provides antibodies that provide immunity to protect the baby.
A plugged duct or ducts may occur when the breast has not been emptied by the nursing baby or if the mother is wearing an under wire bra that may put pressure on the breast. Plugged ducts can lead to a breast infection called mastitis and make a mother feel quite ill. It is important that you seek medical care as soon as you develop a fever, chills and headache especially if you have a history of a plugged duct. It is easily treated with antibiotics and the baby can continue nursing.
Sometimes a mother may experience sore nipples when breastfeeding during the first few days. Sore nipples can be prevented with proper positioning and making sure the baby is correctly latched onto the breast. Seeking the help of a lactation specialist in those early days can prevent this breastfeeding problem.
Proper positioning ensuring correct latch on by the baby is important in order to ensure that the baby nurses efficiently and avoid sore nipples. The cradle and football holds are common positions used in nursing and if the baby is placed correctly you can avoid those common breastfeeding problems.
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