What To Do When These 3 Problems Arise While Breastfeeding

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Published: August 4, 2015

Health + Wellness

Breastfeeding is a worldwide practice not only for nourishment but also as a beautiful bonding experience for you and your baby. Children who are breastfed exclusively for at least 6 months show significantly better social and health outcomes including higher IQ.

“Breastfeeding is best;  it grows children who have been proven to be smarter than children who have been formula fed. It helps you stay connected and bonded to your children in a positive and private way. It allows you to feel strong and empowered because you are able to feed your child all by yourself,” says Claudia Booker, a Le Leche League certified breastfeeding counselor and birth doula at Birthing Hands.

Breastfeeding brings about many changes in your body. For instance “as your breast milk [develops] your breasts become firmer,” says Booker, “[and] your nipple becomes hard like a bullet.” This is just one thing to look out for when you begin breastfeeding and may go without saying. However, some other changes might be more challenging.  Here are three things that may occur while feeding your baby and what to do if they happen.

If you have problems lactating

Producing milk is the most important part of breastfeeding. So when you find that you are not producing enough milk you may begin to panic. But do not worry this can be solved by doing the obvious, breastfeed more.

Breastfeeding your baby often will help with milk production. It is recommended that you feed a newborn at least 7-12 a day and about 7-9 times a day for a 1 month old.

However, if breastfeeding often is not helping it may be a good idea to try a natural herbal tea like fenugreek or moringa  which are both excellent when it comes to lactating. “The most common herb now that we are asking people to take is moringa,” says Booker, “Moringa is a plant that grows in Asia and Africa.” Fenugreek is also an herb used by many people when it comes to breastfeeding, but Booker recommends Moringa powder because of the other health benefit. “It is supposed to work 3 times better than fenugreek tea,” says Booker, “because it is a protein so it’s doing two things at one time.”

If your breasts become sore

Having sore or cracked nipples is also common. If this occurs, coconut oil can soothe the pain, but breast milk works just as well. “You can put coconut oil on your nipple, but if not the best thing is breast milk because it has all types of immunity to heal your breast,” says Booker.

If you develop a clogged milk duct

You can get clogged ducts or engorged breasts. If this happens get into your shower running hot or warm water aimed at your breast then with your fingers squeeze the milk forward. If you find a hard spot take your thumb and break it up this will loosen the milk that has formed in your breasts.

If you experience redness, pain, swelling and warmth along with fever and chills then you should see a doctor. You could be experiencing mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue.

For more breastfeeding tips, visit www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org.

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About Alvieann Chandler

Alvieann is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and minor in African American studies. She is a writer and an aspiring journalist with her eyes set on covering news stories that will inspire and inform others. You can follow her on Twitter @Ms_alvie.

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