Baby care: Breastfeeding problems

Breast milk is the best food for your new baby. Breast milk is healthy and clean. Your baby will grow well with breast milk.

But breast feeding is not always easy. Some women find it hard at first. They worry a lot. They think they haven’t got enough milk. Their breasts feel sore. They want to stop breast feeding. Many women do stop.

But give yourself a chance. Many women have problems at first. Maybe your breasts only have a little milk at first. As your baby sucks, your breasts will make more milk. Your milk will start to come properly. Then there is enough milk for your baby. You will be glad you didn’t stop breast feeding.

THE FIRST DAY
Your milk does not come when your baby is born. First your breasts make colostrum. Colostrum is like yellow-brown water. This colostrum is very good for your baby. Colostrum is a good food for your baby. And colostrum has things in it that fight germs. Colostrum is the best food for your new baby. Every baby should have Colostrum. After about three days your milk will come. You breasts will get bigger when the milk comes.

Maybe you have some problems with breast feeding. Read what to do about some of these problems:

SORE NIPPLES
Maybe your nipples will feel very sore when you start to feed your baby. Maybe your baby will suck very hard. Your nipples are not used to this. They get very sore.

WHAT YOU MUST DO
Let your nipples get used to the sucking. For the first three days, let your baby suck for a short time. But your baby must suck often. Each day let your baby suck a little longer. Your nipples will get used to the sucking. When your milk comes your baby can suck for as long as she wants. Keep your nipples dry between feeds. This will help your nipples to get harder. Don’t pull your baby off your breast while she is sucking. This can hurt your nipples.

CRACKED NIPPLES
Your baby starts sucking. You feel a pain in your nipple. The pain does not go away as the baby sucks. Maybe there is a small crack in your nipple.

WHAT YOU MUST DO
Let the cracked nipple rest. Then it can get better. The nipple will get better after one or two days. During this time only feed your baby from the other breast. Take the milk out of the sore breast. First let the baby suck for a short time. Then take the rest of the milk out by hand. Get a cream called Friar’s Balsam. Put this cream in the sore nipple. Get this cream from a chemist.

HARD SORE LUMPS
There are many tubes in your breasts. These tubes take milk to the nipples. Sometimes one of these tubes gets blocked. The milk cannot get through. You will feel a hard, sore lump.

WHAT YOU MUST DO
Wash the breast often with very warm water. Rub the lump gently before and after you feed your baby. If the lump does not go away, go and see a doctor.

BREAST ABSCESSES
Your breast is hard and red. It feels hot and sore. Maybe you have a fever and you feel sick. You have a breast abscess. Maybe you got the abscess because of a cracked nipple that was not treated. Or because of a lump that was not treated.

WHAT YOU MUST DO
See a doctor at once. The doctor will give you medicine to make the breast better. You can still feed your baby from the sore breast.

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