Glass of Milk

CHALLENGES AND TROUBLESHOOTING

Nursing isn't always easy. There will be good days and bad days, triumphs and guffaws. We discuss some of the more common challenges and offer some suggestions for improvement. This is not a definitive list.

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Biting Babies

It happens... and it sucks. Your baby does not mean to hurt you, baby has never had teeth before so there's a bit of learning curve. 

 

If you are actively being bitten right now insert your pinky finger in baby's mouth with your nipple and remove the mouth from your breast. It might hurt for a moment but it's better than getting chomped on. 
 

If you can distract your baby when you feel the jaw tense and stop the nursing session baby might learn that you don't like what is happening and change the behavior to keep nursing.

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Mastitis

Mastitis literally translates to inflammation in the breast. It can be painful or tender and  your breast may even swell or turn red. 

If somewhere in your ductal system has become blocked you may suffer from this condition. 

If that blockage is not dealt with the area might become infected, in which case it would be more painful.

 

Treat engorgement quickly to avoid it progressing to mastitis, pump and dump if you must - it'll be better in the long run. 

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Flat (or inverted) Nipples

Often just simply looking at your nipples won't determine if they are flat. If you gently pinch your areolar region about and inch behind the nipple and your nipple fails to become erect you may have this minor roadblock. 

Sometimes you need some help coaxing your nipples out, often stimulation around the area is enough. There are also products like nipple shields that can help baby latch if your nipples still don't want to cooperate. If you are trying to explore products that elongate your nipples we suggest that you seek professional guidance so that you utilize proper techniques. 

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Tongue Ties

The official medical term is ankyloglossia and basically it means that baby's tongue does not move in the expected way - restricted movement is common and sometimes the tongue appears smaller than you might expect. 

Often this is a hereditary trait so your family might have experience troubleshooting already.

The degree of limitation is variable from infant to infant and while nursing is still probably possible it will present with a variety of difficulties for which we recommend enlisting the help of a professional. 

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Reflux 

We've all heard the term colic, but sometimes baby just has acid reflux and has become irritable or starting spitting up after feedings. 

Reflux occurs when the food comes back up the wrong way and is typically painful, causing a burning sensation in the throat. Most of us have experienced it at some point. 

Try to avoid uncomfortable situations by increasing the feedings but for less time. Don't move your baby around a lot (milk shakes are not good this way) and upright after feedings so gravity can work in your favor and offer lots and lots of supportive cuddles.

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Sore Nipples

Your nipples probably never got so much action. We understand that you are likely to experience soreness. 

If baby is improperly latched you will be undoubtedly sore. Find nursing positions that are comfortable for you - this frequently helps. 

Lanolin or even some of your own breast milk applied topically to the sore nipple may help. 

Cabbage leaves beaten up and applied to the breast as a cool compress also can help with soreness as well as engorgement and they're totally safe for baby. 

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