Becoming a mother is a journey that includes taking a lot of missteps, growth and a lot of learning. You get to know your baby and enjoy the pleasure of your baby wrapping its tiny fingers around one of your fingers. However, with the joys of being a mother comes a lot of responsibility and areas for development. Parenthood is a skill and not something you get good at overnight. Just like ‘parenting’ in the first step towards your baby’s nourishment that is breastfeeding, there are a lot of things that a mother needs to learn and acquire that skill.

Dr. Kavita Singh, Consultant Lactation Counsellor and Physiotherapist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida, shared for HerZindagi readers, some frequently asked questions about problems that they face while breastfeeding.

Is the engorgement of the breasts something to worry about? 

Engorgement basically means the heaviness of the breasts. Due to engorgement, the breasts tend to become very sore. One may experience this right after birth or few Days following the birth. What one can do is, they must feed or pump regularly at least 8-12 times in 24hrs.  Applying a warm compress on your breasts before you feed and a cold compress after you feed may help. For some, massaging the breasts while expressing milk also seems to work. 

Why does one feel flu-like symptoms along with breast pain? 

This is a common condition called clogged duct which later can lead to mastitis. This condition occurs, when you are unable to empty your breast effectively. This is an indicator to meet the lactation counsellor to resolve this issue.

breastfeeding one

Is getting sore, cracked, or bleeding nipples common?

Sore, cracked, or bleeding is one of the most common things that mothers face while breastfeeding. Do not freak out about this. This is because your nipples are not used to the harsh suck of the baby. What one can do is check the breastfeeding position to ensure a good latch for the baby. One can expose the breasts to get some air after each feeding session. One can also apply the same breast milk on your nipples after feeding the baby. If it reoccurs again and again that means you need to work on baby latch and positioning. Breastfeeding is never painful if you feel pain it means you are doing something wrong.

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Is leaking of breasts natural?

It is very common and nothing to be worried about. This may happen due to the let-down reflexes that the mother’s body has around the baby or probably because there is a lot of milk accumulated in them. What one can do is breastfeed on-demand or one can wear special nursing pads that absorb the extra milk.  

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Is inverted nipple something to be worried about? 

The milk duct is in the black portion of the breast, a nipple is just the attachment. Some doctors suggest massaging the nipple area to make the nipples protrude or one can even use a suction device for the same purpose. 

What can one do with blocked milk ducts? 

Blocked milk ducts can trigger engorgement. This may happen if one is producing too much milk at a very fast pace. Massaging and applying hot compresses may help. 

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There is a poor supply of milk, what can I do? 

It is not uncommon to find mothers who have a low supply of milk. There can be a variety of reasons as to why your body is producing less milk. To avoid this one can make sure that their baby is being fed to his or her contentment and if not, then a breast pump must be used to extract the milk.

The best is to be vocal about your problems and check with your doctor instead of being your own expert.

Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on breastfeeding and tips for new moms.