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【Dr. Karen Chan - Breastfeeding Challenges and Suggested Advice】

Thursday, October 15, 2020
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Mastering the proper techniques will help you overcome the difficulties of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding complications is one of the main reasons affecting a mother’s decision to breast feed. The below information will provide support for mothers who are facing difficulty in breastfeeding and suggest methods to assist them.

Difficulties encountered in breastfeeding:

  1. Delay in milk let down
  2. Sore or cracked nipples
  3. Mastitis (blocked milk ducts)

Advice to Mothers during breastfeeding:

  1. Try not to multitask when breastfeeding, focus solely on breastfeeding, relax, observe and bond with your baby.
  2. Are you in a comfortable position and supported with pillows? Remember to maintain a good posture to prevent stress on your body.
  3. Is your baby positioned correctly? Wrongly positioned babies can be a cause for persistently sore nipples. Position your baby lying on its side with the front of his body against the front of your body. Keep the baby at the same height as the nipple. The mouth of the baby needs to be directly in front of the nipple. The baby’s mouth should attached on the areola (dark area around nipple) not the nipple itself. You can use a firm pillow to help.
  4. During breastfeeding, the baby should completely drain one breast before starting on the other breast.
  5. Does your breast feel out of shape or pulled too tightly in one area during feeding? If so, detach your baby and start again.
  6. Use your hands correctly. The left hand should hold the left breast and stroke downwards towards the ducts as the baby drinks, while your right hand gently supports the baby’s head and gently lift the head to the breast. You should hear swallowing and the baby’s jaw moving.
  7. Bring the baby to your breast. Do not lean forward into your baby, he will not get proper attachment and slip off the breast and onto the nipple.

Helpful hints for breastfeeding mothers:

  1. Women who’s partners and family members support breastfeeding are also more likely to breast feed.
  2. Prepare bottled breast milk in the freezer, so you can feed even when you feel tired or someone else can assist you breastfeed.
  3. The mother may be experiencing headaches, neck, shoulder and lower back pain which can affect breastfeeding, hence chiropractic treatment can provide effective relief in this area.

Most breastfeeding difficulties can be resolved through correct advice and technique. It is best to seek advice on your technique from a midwife or a lactation consultant and from other experienced mothers who have successfully breastfed.