Common Breastfeeding Challenges & How to Face Them
Breastfeeding your baby is no small feat. Many moms are surprised to find that something they
were biologically designed to do can come along with so many unique challenges. It is important
to be informed about common breastfeeding challenges to help prepare for what lies ahead.
Below we’ve listed some common breastfeeding challenges and how to face them.
It is common to worry about whether or not your baby is getting enough milk since it is nearly
impossible to gauge how much milk they are getting with each feeding. Each time you take your
baby to a pediatrician’s visit, the doctor will make sure that your baby is gaining enough weight.
This helps to confirm that your milk supply is adequate. To confirm that your milk supply is
adequately nourishing your baby in the short term, pay attention to how many wet diapers they
have each day. Your baby should have about 6 to 8 wet diapers per day. If they’re meeting this
criterion and they seem comfortable, then your milk supply is probably fine.
Some babies suffer from feeding restrictions due to a tongue tie or lip tie. This condition which
involves the tissues of the lip and tongue can make breastfeeding painful and challenging. Many
babies with tongue ties are able to feed just fine without any type of intervention while some
babies require a procedure to separate the tie. Work with a lactation consultant to see if you’re
able to sort through the issue on your own.
Most women who breastfeed will experience the uncomfortable feeling of engorgement.
Engorgement is a painful discomfort that occurs when your breasts become very full. This
happens more frequently during the early postpartum days since your body hasn’t yet figured
out how much milk needs to be produced. It can also occur if you go a longer-than-usual stretch
between feedings. The best way to manage engorgement is to feed your baby. If they aren’t
hungry or don’t want to feed at the time, you can manually express some milk into a washcloth
or burp cloth.
Soreness is a common discomfort that comes with breastfeeding. You’ll likely experience some
pain and soreness in your breasts and nipples when you first begin breastfeeding since it is new
to both you and your baby. It may take some trial and error before your baby learns to latch
properly and improper latching can cause excess pain. If you are experiencing ongoing pain while breastfeeding, then you likely need to work with a lactation consultant to help your baby
Being a working mom is a major challenge that gets in the way of breastfeeding. It is important
to note that even moms who work full-time jobs are entirely capable of breastfeeding. If you’re a
working mom and you want to breastfeed your baby, here are some tips:
● Purchase a breast pump that works well. Lightweight, wireless options are great for
taking to work with you.
● Have an extra pump that you leave in your car or office so that you don’t run the risk of
going to work without it.
● Make sure that your job has a clean and comfortable space where you can pump that
isn’t a bathroom (legally, they’re required to).
● Before you return to work from your maternity leave, make sure to pump a large supply
of breastmilk. Breastmilk can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
● Take 2 to 3 breaks to pump throughout your workday (or more if you work longer shifts)
and make sure to drink plenty of water and eat throughout the day.
When Breastfeeding Isn’t An Option
Not every woman is lucky enough to be able to breastfeed and some choose not to for personal
reasons. If you’ve decided to stop breastfeeding and resort to formula, make sure to choose a
high-quality option. Organic Baby formula always tries to provide for an organic baby formula that is free from additives and other harmful ingredients. Some babies do better with goat’s milk-based formulas since they can be
easier to digest.
Pushing through some of the challenges that come with breastfeeding can be wholeheartedly
worth it. You can likely expect some ups and downs with breastfeeding and in the end, you’ll
likely be glad that you persevered when times were tough. Seeking out help from a lactation
consultant may be all that you need.