Breastfeeding body battle
TV personality Josie Gibson gives us a candid behind-the-scenes look
In a recent Instagram pic with her baby son Reggie-james, Josie, 33, showed just how breastfeeding can be tough on mums.
‘Nipple pain is often triggered by the baby not latching on correctly,’ says pharmacist Daniel Brash*. ‘Try different feeding positions and avoid using nipple shields – they can restrict the flow of milk to the baby, which can make the breasts engorged. For nipple cracks, use a lanolin ointment or a Rite Aid Hydrogel Breast Disc (healthcare4all.co.uk), which allows rapid healing to take place underneath it.’
If you are suffering with mastitis – an inflammation of the breast tissue – Daniel warns there can be infection due to a blockage of milk flow. ‘It’s essential to keep breastfeeding throughout and seek advice from your health professional,’ he advises.
But although some mothers encounter problems, there are benefits, too. ‘There is a definite reduced risk of cancers, especially breast and ovarian,’ says Daniel. According to CRUK, the longer you breastfeed, the lower the risk – possibly because ovaries don’t produce eggs as often during breastfeeding, and breastfeeding alters cells in the breast so they may be more resistant to changes that lead to cancer. ‘Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of obesity,’ adds Daniel. Plus, according to La Leche League GB, it burns 800 cals a day. So if you can, breast is best!