Breastfeeding challenges

With the right support almost every mother can breastfeed but many women give up because they get cracked nipples or they think they’re not producing enough milk. The fact is, breast is best, which is why your lactation consultant, midwife and Plunket nurse are standing by to help.

Top 10 Tips

1. It’s really important that your baby latches on correctly at every feed, or your nipples can become grazed, blistered and may even bleed.

2. Leaving a small drop of breast milk to dry on the nipple can be soothing.

3. Try leaving your breasts uncovered or loosely covered between feeds to help them heal.

4. Avoid using soap on your breasts.

5. One cause of cracked and sore nipples is tongue tie. About 10 babies in 100 are born with a tongue tie and four of these babies may have difficulty breastfeeding as a result. Talk to your midwife or GP if you have concerns.

6. Most women experience engorgement when their milk first comes in, around day three. The best way to relieve the pressure is to feed your baby but if your breasts are too full for your baby to latch on easily, try expressing some milk before each feed, either by hand or using a pump.

7. It is important to never miss a feed when your milk is coming in. Things will calm down after a few days once your body has worked out the right amount of milk to produce.

8. Watch for mastitis or breast infections. Flu-like symptoms and a sore red patch on your breast will alert you that all is not well.

9. Keep feeding your baby if you have a breast infection.

10. Contact your midwife, lactation consultant or GP for advice. You may need to take antibiotics.

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