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Health Information For Parents
Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. Here are answers to some common queries that mothers — new and veteran — may have.
Yes. During the first few days to weeks after delivery, you may feel strong, menstrual-like cramps in your uterus when your milk lets down. This is your uterus shrinking back to a smaller size.
If your baby is latched on properly, you may have 30 to 60 seconds of pain (from the nipple and areola being pulled into your baby’s mouth), then the pain should ease. But if you continue to feel pain, stop feeding momentarily and reposition your baby on your breast. If the pain persists, something else might be going on.
If your baby consistently latches on wrong, sucking on your nipple without getting much of your areola in the mouth, you’ll probably feel discomfort throughout each feeding. Some moms say it’s painful or feels like a pinch as their babies nurse. And you’ll probably have sore, cracked nipples in no time. Consulting with your doctor or lactation consultant can help with these situations.
If your breasts are sore and you have flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, a hard or red area of the breast, or red streaks on your breast, you may have an infection in your milk ducts called mastitis. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor. If he or she finds that you have mastitis, the infection can be easily treated with antibiotics.
You may also have a yeast (or thrush) infection of your breast. It’s important that you call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
Babies with oral thrush may have cracked skin in the corners of the mouth, and whitish or yellowish patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks.
Sore breasts with a lump also may be a sign of a plugged milk duct, in which a particular duct gets clogged. To help unclog the duct and ease your pain:
Women who have inverted nipples (that turn inward rather than protrude out) or flat nipples (that don’t become erect as they should when your baby is nursing) also may have trouble breastfeeding and may have frequent nipple pain. If either is the case, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant about ways to make nursing easier and reduce any pain.
Yes. Contrary to what many people think, you can continue to nurse your baby while treating your breast infection. In fact, continuing to breastfeed can help clear up the infection.
When dealing with sore breasts or nipples, here are some pointers for avoiding pain in the future as well as making yourself more comfortable while your breasts heal:
If you find that you’re consistently unable to nurse your baby without pain, be sure to call your doctor or a lactation consultant.
No. If the breasts are emptied frequently, engorgement (when the breasts become overfilled with milk) won’t happen. Engorgement can lead to mastitis and should be avoided.
But the longer you wait to breastfeed or pump — both initially and throughout your time nursing — the more uncomfortable and engorged your breasts may become.
If you can’t feed your baby right away, use warm compresses and try to pump or manually express your milk. One way you can express your milk is by holding onto your breast with your fingers underneath your breast and your thumb on top. Gently but firmly press your thumb and fingers back against the chest wall, then roll your thumb and fingers toward your areola over and over to help push the milk down the milk ducts.
Also, nursing often (approximately every 2 to 3 hours) and trying to empty your breasts can help with the initial discomfort and prevent engorgement.
Here’s a quick guide to an important part of feeding a baby – burping.
If you’re a new mom, breastfeeding your baby can feel like a challenge. Check out this article for information on common nursing positions, proper latching-on techniques, and how to know if your baby is getting enough to eat.
Learn which nutrients you need while pregnant or breastfeeding, and easy ways to add them to your diet.
These guidelines on breastfeeding and bottle feeding can help you know what’s right for you and your baby.
Here are answers to some common questions about what breastfeeding mothers should and shouldn’t eat and drink.
Here are answers to some common questions about going out in public as a breastfeeding mom – from how to do it discreetly to taming sneaky leaks.
Here are answers to some common questions about pumping your breast milk – from buying a pump to making the process a little easier.
Here are answers to some common supplemental feeding questions – from when to introduce solids to offering breastfed babies formula.
Here are answers to some questions about common breastfeeding concerns – from biting to spitting up.
Here are answers to some common questions about your milk supply – from having too much to having too little.
Here are answers to some common questions about how to keep breast milk and how to clean and sterilize supplies, from bottles to nipples to breast pump parts.
Here are answers to some common questions about breastfed babies and sleep – from where they should snooze to when they’ll finally start sleeping through the night.
Bonding, the intense attachment that develops between you and your baby, is completely natural. And it’s probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care.
Here are answers to common questions about getting started with breastfeeding.
Here’s info about how often to breastfeed your baby, how long it takes to nurse, and much more.
Making a decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a personal one. There are some points to consider to help you decide which option is best for you and your baby.
Here are answers to some common questions about getting a good latch, making sure your baby is drinking, taking your baby off the breast, and more.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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