breastfeeding

Here Are Some Tips To Get Through Nursing When It Doesn’t Come ‘Natural’ Or ‘Easy’ To You

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Milk Protein Sensitivity/Allergies This is something I dealt with the entire time I nursed my son. Some babies are born unable to process the proteins found in dairy products. It can result in bloody stool, gas, wheezing, eczema and a whole host of other symptoms. With my son, it was bloody stool and bad reflux that tipped us off. After figuring out the problem, I gave up dairy and also, soy. Apparently, they go hand-in-hand as far as this issue is concerned. Once the dairy had left my system, his symptoms disappeared and I was able to continue nursing him until we were ready to be done. Giving up all of those foods was no fun, though. I can’t say I would be eager to do it again.

Sore, Bleeding And Cracked Nipples Another one that I have no personal experience with but anyone who does, has all my sympathy. Garden-variety soreness is one thing and even that can be miserable. The bleeding and the cracks are a whole other story. Many women find relief by using a nipple shield and treating the nipple with ointment. If only one side is injured, you can hand-express milk and nurse the baby on the other side until it heals. If both sides are cracked, it can become a very painful experience. Kellymom has great advice but the main thing is to be sure the baby is latching properly (to avoid cracks in the first place) and to keep the nipple clean and dry as often as possible between feedings.

Mastitis Mastitis is misery. It can make a nursing mother literally ill with symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches and tender, inflamed breasts. It can happen when bacteria enters through the nipple. If you suspect you have it, see your doctor. They can get you on anti-biotics. To prevent it from happening, don’t skip feedings because engorgement can contribute to the problem.

Slow Letdown Baby can become frustrated if your milk takes a little time to get going. This happened to me at first with my son and I had to sprinkle a little water on my nipple to keep him interested until something came out. Eventually, my breasts chilled out a little and it didn’t take as long for the milk to come out. If you suspect you have this, try not to use bottles if you can until it evens out. If the baby gets used to the faster flow of the bottle, it can keep them from wanting to nurse once they figure out it comes faster the other way. There are many ways to fix this issue, too many to name here, but I found that time was the best tool for me. Once my breasts knew what to do, let-down occurred more quickly.

For more information on any of these issues, I highly recommend Kellymom.com and Le Leche League’s website.

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