“For how long should I bear the pain of breastfeeding?” This is a common question that runs in the minds of many new mothers. They report that feeding that bundle of joy comes with excruciating pain from the breast and the swelling of nipples. Doctors recommend that you should breastfeed your child for at least six months. Statistics, however, report that more than 70% of new moms cannot withstand the pain for that long.
Many mothers find themselves with feelings of guilt due to considering baby formula before the six months are over, while others develop anxiety from the discomfort and try to suppress these feelings by all means possible. Some feel that they are failing as mothers and are left in the dilemma of choosing between their welfare and that of their babies. If you are a mother, you may relate to this. We will help you find ways to cope with all these during the breastfeeding stage.
Visit a Lactation Consultant
The end of maternity leave where you to have to report back to work, can be challenging for the breastfeeding phase. That is why a lactation consultant can help you get pumps for you to express your breast milk comfortably as you continue with your busy schedule. Get two pumps so that you can always substitute them and practice pumping milk for your child to feed when you are away. Ensure that the milk remains in the freezer until the baby needs it.
Your consultant will teach you how to nurse your child and raise your confidence. Therefore, do not miss such appointments or overlook them even if you are not new to breastfeeding. Each baby may be different in how they feed.
Visit a Child Care Center
A child care center gives you counseling and teaches you how to handle breastfeeding in the right way. They can also recommend the right babysitter to stay with your baby as you continue working.
Find the Appropriate Flange
Sometimes, expressing milk becomes painful if you don’t have the right tools to do it. A flange that matches the size of your nipples would come in handy while you express milk. Remember that every woman has different sizes of breasts and nipples. You need to find a flange that fits your size to reduce the pain.
Make your Schedule Flexible for The Baby
Even with a busy schedule, every lactating mother should always prioritize their child. The first months after delivery may be hard to breastfeed but you are stronger than you know. Do not make your schedule too busy for your child. Even if you have a babysitter, breastfeed your child at least once or twice when you are free.
In a survey carried out by pediatrics, they reported that most new moms raise concerns about how much time it takes to breastfeed. The latching or sucking during the first weeks is devastating for some women, and it makes them develop anxiety.
It may not be easy, but this does not mean that it is impossible. Take each day at a time and remain patient and dedicated to your child to make the process easy. Feeding your baby may not come as natural as pregnancy. It is a learning process that requires time for you to be a pro at it.
Avoid Anxiety pills
Some women turn to pills such as Xanax to help them through the breastfeeding phase. Such drugs can be passed to your child through breast milk and lower their energy while affecting their immune system. If you are among them, seek help here to prevent drug tolerance so that you can find better ways of dealing with emotional issues during the phase. You can talk to a counselor in such an institution and find better parenting skills.
Get Help from Your Family Members
As a mother, you cannot do everything by yourself. Allow the father to help you with responsibilities such as bathing the child, putting them to sleep or changing their diapers. They can make the duties less overwhelming for you and give you time to catch a break.
If your mother is present, she has a better experience at parenting than your husband. Allow her to help you with the child in all ways possible as you learn from her. Such support will make the guilty feelings to disappear and raise your esteem knowing that you have help whenever you need it.
See a Doctor in Case of Pain
According to statistics, about 33% of women develop cracked nipples as well as bruises from latching. Some encounter bleeding and blisters from breastfeeding. If it gets to this, see a doctor who can help you evaluate what the problem may be. Sometimes, such conditions occur due to the incorrect breastfeeding positions. Your doctor can teach you the proper positions to lactate your baby to minimize the pain.
Some mothers assume that the pain is due to breast infection. They consider over-the-counter- antibiotics without further analysis from an expert. Learn to differentiate between a breast infection and latch problem. If your breasts are infected, they may turn red, become tender and cause fever.
A latch problem, on the other hand, does not cause your temperature to change. Unlike an infection, latch problem does not call for an antibiotic. That is why you should seek a second opinion from a lactation practitioner before self-diagnosing.
Give Time For Your Breasts to Heal
Interchanging breastfeeding and pumping for some days may give your breasts some time to heal. Though pumping may be uncomfortable, it may cause less pain than breastfeeding directly. Therefore, alternate the two and see your breast recovering.
Whenever you think of the pain of breastfeeding, gauge it with the intensity of the pain of delivering your baby. This will help you see that it is just another stage that is less painful and will pass. Remember that your baby will be healthy if you feed them with breast milk for the recommended time. Seek support if you need it and feed your baby right. It will also help the two of you bond more, and you will eventually love it. Good luck!