From latching on right to dealing with blocked milk ducts, MH has the solutions for you.
WORDS RACHEL LIM
Most pictures of breastfeeding depict a romanticised image of composure, peace, and warmth. However, ask any breastfeeding mother and you’d more often than not, hear stories of franticness, tiredness, pain and sometimes literally, sweat and blood. If you are plagued with breastfeeding problems, give these solutions a try for some reprieve!
1. Wrong Latch
Never continue with a wrong latch. To latch correctly, make sure your baby’s whole body is turned towards you and is close to you. His mouth should be wide open with tongue down and forward; your nipple is centred, and his lower lip curled outwards. Make sure more of your areola can be seen above baby’s upper lip than below the lower lip.
2. Sore Nipples
Offer your baby the non-sore nipple first. Use nipple shields to help you nurse without further pain. Wear breast shells to prevent your clothes from causing friction against your sore nipples. Always smear a little of your own breastmilk on the sore nipples to tap on breastmilk’s natural healing properties to recover faster.
3. Blocked Ducts
Blocked ducts present themselves as localised tender lumps, caused by a duct which is not well-drained. These lumps prevent milk flow. Gently massage the affected area to treat the condition. Offer baby the affected breast for complete drainage.
4. Rapid Let-Down
If let-down is too rapid, your baby may be unable to coordinate suckling and swallowing. Choking may result. Consider feeding lying on your back to alleviate the situation.
5. Frothy Explosive Poop
If your baby passes frothy explosive poop, it could be a sign of foremilk-hindmilk imbalance. To fix this, always allow your baby to finish one breast at a time so that he reaches the hindmilk which is calorie-loaded and has a higher fat percentage.
6. It’s Time Consuming to Pump!
Wear a hands-free bra while you pump and voila! You can now maximise your time and multitask — fold the laundry, reply emails, put on make-up, and the list goes on!
7. Storage Woes
Store expressed breastmilk (EBM) in milk bags and lay them on their side so that they freeze flat. Store EBM in small portions for mixing into cereals using ice-cube trays instead of cups.
8. Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Pregnancy CTS include numbness, tingling, pain or a dull ache in the fingers, hand or wrist. The discomfort may extend to the forearm and upper arm. In severe cases, your hand may feel clumsy or weak. CTS usually goes away gradually after you have given birth. Consider using a nursing pillow if you suffer from CTS so that you do not have to carry the weight of your baby for hours while breastfeeding, especially if your baby is a slow feeder.
Try breastfeeding lying on your sides if sitting up for hours hurts your spine, especially the tailbone.
10. Saggy Boobs
Practice these yoga poses to regain firm boobs — Bridge, Cobra, Warrior, Triangle, and Bow. They expand the chest and stretch pectoral muscles, are gentle and suitable for beginners.