Breast feeding doesn’t come easy for everyone.
Although most mums initially breast feed their babies, less than half continue to do so after three months and even less after four and five months.
There are many reasons for this:
Tender nipples: The act of breast feeding should not actually hurt but nipple tenderness in the beginning is expected. Allow your baby to self-attach as often as possible while you’re both learning, to avoid damage.
Sore, blistered or cracked nipples: Most likely, your baby is not attaching properly to your breast. This means your baby is not receiving enough milk, which can lead to a blocked duct or mastitis. Try repositioning your baby to ensure it has your nipple far enough back in its mouth. Sometimes a minor position change can really help.
Expressing tips: Have a warm drink or shower beforehand and listen to soft music. Express in a quiet environment, free from distractions, and breathe deeply and calmly. Gently massage your breasts and stroke downwards to the nipple, and gently roll the nipple between your fingers. If difficulties persist, perhaps try an electric breast pump.
Mastitis: Caused by a blocked duct not clearing. Early signs include flu-like symptoms and stressed nipples (red stripes or squashed looking). It’s imperative you drain the affected breast often but very gently. This means your baby must continue to feed from this breast and more regularly, but don’t avoid using your other breast or it may be next. Cold packs help reduce swelling and pain. Your bra should be very loose or discarded. Change nursing pads often and avoid using soaps, shampoos and rough towels that dry out or damage your nipples.
Important nutrients: Calcium, iron and iodine are of most concern. Speak to your doctor about your diet to gauge whether you need to take any supplements.
YouSave Chemist has a wonderful range of Mums & Bubs products. Speak to one of our pharmacists if you need some advice.Reference: http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au