If you're experiencing problems breastfeeding absolutely the best treatment is information and support.
Below is a list of some of the most common breastfeeding problems as well as links to excellent information about their symptoms, causes and treatments.
Please remember, if you're having any problems at all (even if they seem minor), don't be slow to ask for help! You can telephone any of the numbers listed to the side of this blog for help, or post in our online forum.
People really DO care enough to help (usually completely free-of-charge!) and they will be more than happy to support you with any problems you might be having.
You only have to ask.
Painful/ Cracked Nipples
(help healing cracked nipples)
- http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/sorenipples-older.html (older baby)
(explanation of different types of nipple pain and their possible causes)
Help with positioning and attachment
('how to' guide, with pictures)
- http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/positioning-and-attachment.html (additional links)
Newborn Fussing/ Unsettled at the breast/ Growth Spurt?
- http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html (first few weeks)
- http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051200.asp (generally fussy, not just during breastfeeds)
- http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gassybaby.html (colic/ trapped wind and breastfeeding)
Blocked duct/ Mastitis (breast painful/ possibly lumpy/ possibly hot, possibly red patch visible, possibly fever/ flu-ey feeling)
- http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/recurrent-mastitis.html (recurrent)
Thrush (nipple pain, itchiness, possibly cracking, shiny-ness, sometimes deep breast pain after feeds, baby may also have white patches in mouth, both mother and baby need to be treated)
(perfect for printing off to take to the doctors with you!)
Milk Blister/ Bleb (tiny white dot on nipple)
Baby not/ doesn't seem to be gaining enough weight
(sensible advice from a trusted source)
(WHO weight charts for both sexes - v important that your Health Visitor fills the correct chart in correctly!)
(tips on increasing weight gain without resorting to formula)
(to help increase babies calorie intake at the breast)
(video showing breast compression)
Tongue Tie (a percentage of common breastfeeding problems - including painful nipples, blocked ducts/ mastitis/ nursing strikes/ and poor weight gain - can be linked to this condition which affects the movement of a baby's tongue)
Nipple Blanching/ Vasospasm (nipple pale/ white and painful/ burning sensation)
I don't think I've got enough milk!
Medications and Breastfeeding
(links to up-to-date information on the most common types of medications and their safety when breastfeeding)
(American Drugs in Breastmilk search facility)
- UK - Breastfeeding Network Drugs in Breastmilk Helpline: 0844 412 4665
- US - Infant Risk Centre (806) 352 2519
Night Feeds/ Co-sleeping and Bedsharing
(wealth of information re. breastfeeding/ co-sleeping and safe bed-sharing)
- http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Leaflets/3/sharingbedleaflet.pdf (UNICEF/ Baby Friendly advice on co-sleeping and safe bed-sharing)
- http://bednest.org/documents/breast_feeding_bedsharing_infant_sleep_ball_2003.pdf (research into bed-sharing and breastfeeding)
CONCLUSION: 'An understanding of the role of infant feeding practice on infant sleep and parental caregiving at night is a crucial element in breastfeeding promotion and enhancement of infant health. Health professionals should discuss safe bed-sharing practices with all parents.'
Baby won't feed/ Nursing Strike
(re. above two links: occasionally a baby refuses to feed because they are in pain from acid reflux or from an undetected physical problem)
Baby spitting up a lot (please note - some possetting is normal for any baby, whether breastfed or bottle-fed. It is really only a problem when there is weight loss associated with the sickness or the child is in pain)
(severe sickness NB. not every baby with gastric reflux vomits, some have silent reflux)
You can express by hand or using a breastpump. This can be useful if you have to be separated from your baby for whatever reason. Remember that expressed breastmilk does not have to be given by bottle (cup feeding works very well for even young babies), and you should never introduce a bottle until breastfeeding has been properly established. This process takes several weeks at least.
- http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/HandExpression.html (video showing hand expression in the early days)
- http://www.drjacknewman.com/help/Expressing%20Milk.asp (info about expressing breastmilk)
- http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/cupfeeding.html (info about cup-feeding)
- http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Supplement-Using-Cup-Feeding-106168963 (video showing cup feeding)
- http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/expressing-and-storing-breastmilk.html (info on expressing and storing breastmilk)
- http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/expressing-and-storing-breastmilk.html (website with info about breastpumps and expressing milk)
- http://community.babycentre.co.uk/groups/a1669245/pumping_mummies (online support group for mums who express a lot or exclusively express)
- http://www.breastandbottlefeeding.com/ (website with advice about expressing and introducing bottle feeds)
Social/ Family Concerns
(sensible advice if you're not sure breastfeeding is for you, and links)
(great videos full of tips for those nervous about nursing in public)
(thoughts on dads/ partners and breastfeeding and suggestions on how they can help)
(a little bit about why feeling down after stopping breastfeeding is normal..)