Breastfeeding for new mothers:
The miracle of childbirth brings forth countless new experienced for first time mothers, unfamiliar with managing routines, baby nursing, hormonal changes, physical changes and numerous other things that may take times and patience to adjust to. The most prominent and perhaps intimidating of this is breastfeeding. Especially for new mothers bringing their firstborn into the world, there may be countless questions, numerous areas where guidance is required and other information needed. It is true that first time breastfeeding can pose a lot of hurdles and problems particularly for a new mother. Some of the most common problems faced by young mothers before or during breastfeeding have been enlisted and discussed comprehensively as follows:
– Sensitivity or soreness of the breasts or nipples: It has been noted that most new mothers complain of nipple or breast soreness/pain/sensitivity during or after child nursing. Unless it is very pronounced or unbearable, this sensitivity is completely normal and natural. The pain usually subsides within a couple of weeks once the breasts adjust to the new routine and practice. It is important to consult the family physician or gynecologist if you are experiencing abnormal pain or bleeding from the nipples while nursing.
In some cases, the soreness and sensitivity results from cracked nipples. One of the most effective tips to manage this condition is to apply a medicated ointment or petroleum jelly in the nipples to prevent scab formation. Keeping the areas moisturized may decrease sensitivity and make nursing must easier to manage.
– Leaking: Leaking or ‘letting down’ is another very common problem faced by young mothers. Milk spontaneously leaking from the nipples even upon the thought of the child crossing the mind is completely normal and happens to just about every woman once she enters motherhood. Socially, this may get rather embarrassing but lucky there is a very effective and easy solution t this problem. Bra liners are easily available and can be placed conveniently in the bra to absorb any milk that leaks out, without causing any discomfort. If bra liners are not available, or too expensive, an old clean cloth can be cut into small pieces and can be used to line bras to serve the same purpose in a much more economical way. Once the liners or cloths have absorbs the excess milk, they can either be replaced, or washed and reused in case of cloth liners.
– Thrush: Thrush is a common infection that can manifest in the form of soreness and a pink tinge to the nipples. If you detect thrush, it is essential to immediately book an appointment with your physician or gynecologist. It is possible that by the time you detect the infection, you can have already transferred it to your child because it is very contagious. Luckily, it is not a difficult infection to treat and requires the regular usage of antifungal topical agents or medication for you and your baby both. These over the counter drugs and creams can effectively cure the problem. However, if the symptoms do not subside, you may have to book an appointment with your gynecologist once again.
– Inflammation of the breasts: Also known as mastitis, inflammation of the breasts is another problem commonly encountered by new mothers during or after their first experience with child nursing. The inflammation may occur due to the new changes in the body and generally subside within a day or two. Some of the common symptoms of this condition include dull, aching pain, red patch on the skin, tenderness of the breasts, increased general body temperature of that of the breasts specifically, and lethargy. The important point to note here is to never discontinue breastfeeding unless the problem gets unbearable. According to experts, inflammation of the breasts subsides spontaneously if breastfeeding is continued, and healing occurs at a faster pace.
New mothers generally have concerns associated with the feeding routines, requirements, positioning and timing of the child. While all these are concerns that can easily be addressed by attending nurses, midwives and doctors, consulting a family health care consultant or gynecologist is always the best option. Prior to breastfeeding, it is encouraged that all women acquire as much information on the matter as possible to ensure a comfortable, stress free experience for themselves and their child.