FEED­ING is­sues

Too much – or not enough – milk? In pain when you feed? Solve your breast­feed­ing wor­ries with these tips

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Your Body -

Some ba­bies and breasts go well to­gether right from the start, but there are many mums and bubs who need a help­ing hand. Breast­feed­ing is a new skill for both of you, and it can take a cou­ple of weeks be­fore you be­come used to at­tach­ing a new­born to your breast and fig­ur­ing out when she has had enough. But stay calm, work your way through any hic­cups and soon you’ll be feed­ing with ease and en­joy­ment.

FEEL­ING FULL

When your milk first comes in or your baby starts feed­ing less, your breasts may start to be­come en­gorged, feel­ing hard, hot and painful. This hap­pens be­cause there’s more milk in the breast than your baby can con­sume in one feed. To pre­vent en­gorge­ment in the early weeks, feed your baby fre­quently (eight to 12 times in 24 hours). Of­fer the first breast twice be­fore you of­fer the sec­ond to settle the breasts and give you re­lief. A cold com­press on the breast for short pe­ri­ods can help re­duce pain. Parac­eta­mol is also ef­fec­tive and safe for you to take.

SORT­ING SUP­PLY

At first you may find you have so much milk it causes tem­po­rary dif­fi­cul­ties. But this will usu­ally settle down dur­ing the first six weeks of your baby’s life. She may splut­ter at times when the milk ‘lets down’ (you’ll prob­a­bly feel a tin­gling sen­sa­tion), but as the flow be­comes more con­sis­tent, you’ll find your bub feeds more eas­ily with­out splut­ter­ing. In the mean­time, try ex­press­ing a lit­tle milk by hand be­fore feed­ing. And if you are leak­ing milk be­tween feeds, breast pads will help keep the skin’s sur­face dry.

Many women worry about their abil­ity to sup­ply enough breast­milk for their baby. This is nat­u­ral, since you can’t mea­sure how much milk she is con­sum­ing. Signs that in­di­cate bub is feed­ing suf­fi­ciently in­clude cor­rect at­tach­ment, strong suck­ing and swal­low­ing, plus eight or more feeds and about six wet nap­pies in 24 hours.

TEN­DER LUMPS

Some­times one of the tiny tubes car­ry­ing breast­milk can be­come blocked, caus­ing a painful lump. To avoid de­vel­op­ing an in­fec­tion called mas­ti­tis, you need to get your milk mov­ing again. If your tem­per­a­ture is over 38°C, you have mus­cle ache and a hard, red­dened area on your breast, see your doc­tor, who may pre­scribe an­tibi­otics for the in­fec­tion.

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