Maternal Problems During Breastfeeding

Synonyms in a broader sense

Breast pain, small breasts, nipple discomfort, breast inflammation, family allergies

Also read:

  • Breastfeeding
  • childish problems with breastfeeding
  • Behavior during breastfeeding

Small nipples and inverted nipples

In principle, every child can rely on the nipple the mother - even if a little patience is sometimes necessary. The child also sucks in the surrounding areola so that the nipple alone is not decisive (see also female breast).
In the case of nipples that are turned inwards (nipples), the nipple can be turned forward with little tricks, such as the use of vacuum hand pumps before the child is placed. Carrying curved plastic cups as nipple shapers is also a preparation for that Breastfeeding already in the pregnancy possible. Basically, every woman should try out what is comfortable for her and what suits her individual needs.

For more problems related to pregnancy, read our topic Pregnancy nipples.

Small breasts

The breast milk-producing glandular tissue (see Breast milk) is usually equally pronounced in every breast - the size differences are only due to the respective fat content of the breast. The amount of milk is therefore independent of the breast size, so that women with small breasts can also have a lot of milk.

Aching breasts

maternal problems during breastfeeding

A few days after the birth, there is a change in milk production - the so-called milk injection. The breasts often swell, become hot or painful due to the increased production of milk. There are a few tricks that can help:
Lay the child on as often as possible to relieve the pressure. Before breastfeeding, warm compresses often help to support the subsequent flow of milk.

Read more on this topic: Milk congestion
Further information on the topic can be found here: Milk Obstruction - What Can You Do?

Cool compresses, on the other hand, are good for you after breastfeeding. Quark and cabbage often work wonders here. Applied several times a day after breastfeeding, they have a decongestant, pain-relieving effect and curb any inflammation. Cotton towels are suitable for this, on which the quark is applied and which should then be left on the chest for about 25 minutes. For the cabbage wraps, organically grown cabbage leaves should first be pressed flat with a rolling pin or similar and then, wrapped with a cloth, should also remain on the chest for about 25 minutes. It should be noted with all envelopes that the nipple and the surrounding area are left out.

Read everything about this topic at: Chest pain while breastfeeding

If the pain is caused by an overproduction of milk, the child should only drink one breast per meal, the other is then emptied manually. This reduces milk production. A hand pump should not be used for emptying - it would also stimulate milk production. The amount of milk can also be reduced by enjoying a few cups of peppermint or sage tea.

If the breasts are very hard, tender, red and hot, the cause may be blocked milk. Usually general symptoms such as fatigue and fever also appear. To correct the problem, get plenty of rest and breastfeed at least every 2 hours. Before breastfeeding, the affected breast can be warmed and then applied first. The child's lower jaw should point in the direction of the stasis. Cooling compresses after breastfeeding have a pain-relieving effect.

If the symptoms of congestion last longer than two days and the fever rises even further, it is usually a bacterial breast infection. Strict bed rest should be observed, but not weaned! The treatment is the same as for milk congestion (frequent breastfeeding!), But the application of heat should not be exaggerated, otherwise the inflammation can worsen. Attention should be paid to a good breast emptying - if necessary, help must be given. If there is no improvement after one or two days, antibiotic therapy or alternative healing methods must be used.

In the worst case, a breast infection can develop into an abscess. In the process, pus has accumulated and encapsulated. Therapeutically, the abscess is surgically opened and a drainage left for a few days. Breastfeeding is not a problem as long as the abscess was far enough away from the nipple. The other breast can be passed on in any case. After about five weeks, the wound should be healed.

You can find more information on the subject here: Inflammation of the mammary gland during breastfeeding

Problems with the nipples

Since the nipples are exposed to constant stress while breastfeeding, complications can easily arise here.

There are numerous possible causes for sore nipples, such as incorrect posture or position, pelvic floor exercises during breastfeeding (cramping), improper expressing, application of unsuitable care products, a damp environment due to wet nursing pads and incorrect sucking of the child.
It is very important to be sure to put it on correctly (please refer Breastfeeding). It often helps to trigger the milk ejection reflex before putting it on so that the otherwise particularly painful sucking process is made easier.
Furthermore, it should be ensured that the child does not slide down during the breastfeeding process, as otherwise it pulls the nipples with it. Frequent and therefore short breastfeeding with a constant change of breastfeeding position is advisable.
Milk and saliva residues can be left on the nipples with a clear conscience - they have a wound-healing effect (like pure lanolin ointment or wool fat).
Care should be taken with nursing pads that they are made of wool and / or silk, as these, in contrast to pure cellulose, promote wound healing and prevent a damp environment.
Also wearing a pewter alloy cap (Cappellinos) has proven itself, as the nipples are in constant contact with the beneficial breast milk. If the breastfeeding process is still too painful, milk can be emptied manually or by pump and a suitable pain reliever (pain reliever during breastfeeding) can be used.

The use of nipple shields should be avoided, as they can aggravate the inflammation and, due to the lack of skin contact, can negatively affect both milk production and milk flow.

If the child develops teeth, care should be taken not to chew on the nipples. Once the hunger is satisfied, it should be removed from the breast quickly.

If you find that your child cannot push their tongue beyond the lower jaw, it is likely that the frenulum is too short. As a result, the child cannot suckle properly and injures the nipples. This problem can be solved with a little intervention.

If you are in pain, although you have the feeling that the breastfeeding process is basically correct, a fungal infection (thrush) be the cause of the discomfort. The skin is usually red, shiny and itchy or burns. A smear should be taken for a definitive diagnosis. If there is actually a fungal infection, it should be treated with a local antimycotic (fungal cream) (even the child's mouth!). In addition, special hygiene is required: after every contact with the breasts, hands must be washed and a dry environment in the chest area must be ensured! Things that have come into contact with the child's mouth should be thoroughly boiled once a day. The cause can be antibiotic therapy or a diaper infection.

Read more on the topic: Pus from the nipple

If a vesicle is visible on the nipple, there is usually a plug in the milk duct behind it. Breastfeeding is then often very painful. To loosen it, a warm, damp cloth should be placed on the breast shortly before breastfeeding. If the blister does not go away on its own after a short time, it should be opened with a sterile object. The breast should then be emptied manually and this milk discarded.

Family allergies

It is particularly important for babies who are at risk of allergies for six months exclusively to breastfeed! It has been proven that the expression and occurrence of a allergy (e.g. asthma) can thus be significantly reduced. If breastfeeding is not possible, it is advisable to feed with hypoallergenic baby milk (H.A. food).

Homeopathy for discomfort while breastfeeding

How many complaints can the Problems with breastfeeding be treated homeopathically. We have written the following topics for this purpose:

  • Homeopathy for discomfort while breastfeeding
  • Homeopathy for too little milk
  • Homeopathy for exhaustion from breastfeeding