Breastfeeding problems : Know the warning signs

Breastfeeding problems can  arise quickly. When they do arise, they can  get worse quickly and   interfere with milk production or your baby’s ability  to get the nutrients she needs. For these reasons, it is essential  to get help immediately if you’re having any problems .

breastfeeding problems

Common breastfeeding problems

  •  Your baby’s nursing sessions is either extremely short or very long :  Short nursing sessions ( less than about 10 minutes)   could mean  that the baby is not getting enough milk and that not enough milk is being removed to stimulate the ongoing milk production. Very long sessions  ( longer than about 50 minutes) may indicate that the  baby isn’t receiving enough milk due to ineffective suckling or low milk production.
  • Your baby seem hungry after most feeding : You may want to visit your pediatrician and have the baby’s  weight checked to make sure she’s ingesting enough milk and gaining the right weight. However you also have to double-check her latch-on and position at the breast to try to increase the milk she is getting.
  • Your baby misses feeding sessions frequently and sleeps through the night : It is important for new babies to frequently feed around the clock. The baby needs this to gain enough weight to thrive. If a newborn sleeps longer than 4 hours , wake her up and feed her.
  • By two weeks of birth, the baby is still under the birth weight or hasn’t started gaining at least 5 to 7 ounces a week since the milk came in :  Baby not gaining the right amount of weight is a  strong indication that the baby is not getting enough milk.
  • After a week, your baby has fewer than 6 wet diapers and 4 bowel movements per day, her urine is dark or specked with  red or her stool is dark rather than yellow and loose : Keep an eye on your baby’s bowel movement and urine output if you’re worried about her food intake.
  • After 5 days , your milk  hasn’t come in or your breasts doesnt feel as though they are filling with milk :If you feel this way, have your baby’s weight  checked immediately to make sure she getting enough milk. You may also want to have your breasts examined.
  •  You experience severe breast engorgement :  Breast engorgement can make it difficult for the baby to latch on correctly and discourage both you and your baby from nursing. In this case, you may need to manually express the milk or use an electric pump until the breast softens a bit.
  • The fullness and hardness of your breasts does not decrease with breastfeeding  :  The baby may not be sucking effectively or drinking enough milk.
  • Severe pain interferes with breastfeeding : Your baby is probably not latching on correctly.  If you have severe nipple pain or cracked nipples, consult your doctor or lactation consultant.  You may be checked for infections such as mastitis  or latching problems. You may need to start breastfeeding on the less sore breast or even use an electric pump until the nipples have healed.
  • Ater a week or two, you don’t notice the sensations associated with your milk let down reflex :  This could be nothing but it could also mean that your milk production is low. Get the help of a lactation consultant.
  • read more

    Postpartum blood clots

    Postpartum blood clots are blood clots that develop after childbirth. The risk of developing blood clots increase about 6 to 8 weeks after childbirth. Blood clots typically occur in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis. This disorder is known as deep vein thrombosis.

    postpartum blood clots

    Some of the blood clots break loose and travel through the blood stream into the lungs and block blood flow. This blockage is known as pulmonary embolism.

    Blood clots can also occur in the veins just under the skin in the legs. This disorder is known as superficial venous thrombosis. read more

    How soon after childbirth can you use tampons again ?

    Using tampons after childbirth

    You should not use tampons at least 6 weeks after childbirth. You have to use sanitary pads in the first few weeks after childbirth as the body expels  the lochia . Lochia is the discharge of blood, mucus and tissue from the uterus.

    tampons

    You still have a wound at the site the placenta was attached as long as lochia continues to flow. You may also have tears or cuts in and around the vagina. Wounds are vulnerable to infections so it is important to avoid tampons until you’ve completely healed inside . This is because tampons can introduce bacteria and result in an infection. read more

    How soon can i travel after giving birth ?

    Traveling after childbirth

    If you had a complication free childbirth or just a few complications and are  recuperating well,  you can travel after one to two weeks after vaginal delivery and 3 to  4 weeks after a c-section. However  the travel shouldn’t be too strenuous. You also have to   carefully listen to the signals your body is sending.

    Recovering from childbirth takes time. You need to rest and get assistance from people. Traveling can be stressful and very tiring. The first few weeks after delivery  can be emotional and breastfeeding can also be tough for especially first time mothers. Virginal discomfort may persist for sometime if extensive postdelivery stitching was needed. Vigorous exercise can make this worse. read more

    Leaking breasts during pregnancy

    Leaking breasts during pregnancy

    It is normal for your breasts to leak during pregnancy. Most mothers begin to leak colostrum while they are pregnant usually sometime in the third trimester while others don’t. Either way it is normal. You might want to wear nursing pads in the bra to protect your clothes if your breasts  are leaking.

    leaking breasts

    Colostrum  is a thick, yellowish fluid that contains antibodies that help protect new babies from infections. For women who choose to breastfeed, this milk will nourishes  your baby until your milk comes in. Colostrum is more protein and less fat and carbohydrate than mature milk. It is easily digestible and has the right amount of nutrients the baby needs in the first few days of life. read more

    Diastasis Recti

    Is it postpartum depression PPD or “regular” depression ?

    Postpartum depression can be misdiagnosed. It can be missed completely but it is not usually confused with regular depression . These two forms of depression share common symptoms,  however regular depression is not related to childbirth while PPD occurs after the delivery of a baby. PPD is usually diagnosed within a year after having a baby but can go beyond it.

    Certain signs distinguish  PPD from  regular depression. Apart from the regular signs of depression such as the following read more

    Does breastfeeding help the uterus shrink to its pre-pregnancy size ?

    Yes , breastfeeding stimulates the pituitary gland to release  the hormone oxytocin, This hormones primary acts to contract the smooth muscles  such as sacs of milk in your breast. Contraction of the breast causes your milk to move to the front of the breast making it available for your baby. With each feeding the hormone oxytocin causes the smooth muscles in the uterus to contract, enabling to get to its pre-pregnancy size.

    Oxytocin has one other important effect . They induce a  loving feeling in moms towards the baby. This is why it is called the love hormone. read more

    Bloodshot eyes after childbirth

    What are the causes of bloodshot eyes  after childbirth ?

    Intense pushing during the second stages of labor can burst the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in your eye. This can cause blood to build up in the white part of the eye. Bloodshot eyes  can also result from vomiting , lifting , coughing or anything that strains the eye muscles. It is more likely to occur  if you have high blood pressure  or take blood thinners but it is a common condition that can affect anyone.

    blood shot eye

    What should i do ?

    You don’t have to get any treatment for this. It goes away on its own as the body reabsorbs the blood. You should not use over the counter eye drops for red eye caused by dryness or irritation because they wont help the blood reabsorb more quickly. read more

    Can a breastfeeding mom get a flu shot or other vaccines ?

    Yes, it is safe for a breastfeeding moms  to get flu shot.  Moms spend a lot of time with the newborn so getting a flu shot is strongly recommended . Children under the age of 2 are at high risk of complications from flu. It is important to keep healthy  to protect your baby. The shot is also recommended once a year for children who are older than 6 months.

    flu shot

    The virus in the injected flu shot are inactive or dead. They stimulate your body to produce antibodies to the flu which will fight the virus  when you are exposed to flu later in the season. Because the virus in the flu vaccine is dead, there is no way it  can give you or your baby a case of flu. read more