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World Breastfeeding Week: Common problems faced during breastfeeding

By Hindustan Times

World Breastfeeding Week: Breastfeeding is an extremely important part post-delivery of the baby. Breastfeeding or nursing is the act of feeding breast milk to the newborn baby, directly from the breast. Breastfeeding is recommended by health experts as it serves the most healthy and important nutrients for the newborn. Every year, World Breastfeeding Week is observed from August 1 to August 7 in order to raise awareness on the significance of breastfeeding and also encourage people to nurture and promote breastfeeding. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr. Divya Kumar, Sr. Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Accord Super Speciality Hospital, Faridabad said, " Breast milk is the optimal source of nutrition for virtually all babies. It meets almost all of the nutritional needs of a full-term baby until approximately six months of age."

Even though breastfeeding is recommended for six months after giving birth, often mothers stop breastfeeding due to multiple problems faced by them. Dr. Monika Singh, Gynecologist, Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences said, "It doesn't always go as smoothly, but some babies latch on and breastfeed successfully right away. It takes a lot of mothers and babies some time to learn how to breastfeed. You can experience difficulties that prevent you from nursing during the first week after the birth of your child. However, problems can still arise even when breastfeeding is started and progressing smoothly. Breastfeeding issues can hurt and distress a new mother, and they can make a baby restless and angry."

ALSO READ: World Breastfeeding Week: Lesser known facts of breastfeeding for mother, baby

Dr Monika Singh and Dr Divya Kumar further noted down the common problems faced during breastfeeding:

Cracked nipples: This is one of those breastfeeding issues that can be brought on by a variety of different factors, including a shallow latch, poor pumping, thrush, and perhaps even dry skin. Even some bloody discharge may occur in the first week of breastfeeding, when the baby is still learning to latch.

Breastfeeding and thrush: It's possible for thrush infections to develop if your nipples sustain injury or cracks. This implies that the candida fungus, which causes thrush, can enter your breast or nipple.

Blocked milk duct: If breast engorgement persists, a milk duct may get clogged. There could be a little, sensitive bump in your breast. Regular feedings from the afflicted breast could be beneficial. If at all possible, place your infant such that their chin is facing the lump so that they can feed from that area of the breast.

Breast engorgement: When your breasts become overly full with milk, you experience breast engorgement. They could feel uncomfortable, tight, and firm. Engorgement can occur in the early stages of breastfeeding while you and your baby are still getting used to it. A few days may pass before your milk supply catches up to your baby's demands.

Mastitis: Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the breasts that causes flu-like symptoms like fever and breast discomfort. The infection is frequently brought on by other breastfeeding issues, such as clogged milk ducts, engorgement, or even damaged nipples, which can allow bacteria to enter the breast and create the infection. It can also occur at any moment while nursing.

Breast abscess: Mastitis can result in a breast abscess that may require surgery to drain if it is not treated or if it does not respond to treatment.

Inadequate milk: Mothers typically discontinue breastfeeding because they believe their child is not receiving enough milk. Typically, that is not the case. However, if you're supplementing with formula or delaying feedings, particularly when caring for a newborn, your breasts won't be encouraged to produce enough milk. It may also be difficult for women to produce enough milk if their medical conditions, like as thyroid illness, are not under control.

Inverted Nipple: When the nipple retracts inside from the level of the areola rather than pointing outward, it is said to have inverted nipples, which give the appearance of a breast dimple. Depending on the degree of inversion and other latching issues such tongue or lip knot, some nursing difficulties may arise. This could result in weak sucking or difficulty latching.

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