For the new mother, life has just introduced plenty of new situations that she may not feel prepared for. Fortunately, many of the new problems she may face are common and the solutions are well within reach. All it takes is a little knowledge, and knowledge is power.
Here are a few of the problems that may face a nursing mother:
1) Increasing your milk supply
When a baby goes through a growth spurt, she will want to breastfeed more frequently and many mothers will worry that they can't provide enough milk.
But allowing her to nurse as often as she wants will increase your supply. Usually within a few days, the frequent nursing should subside to the more usual pattern.
And as always, mom should be drinking plenty of water. During these more-frequent nursing rounds this is even more important.
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2) Blocked milk ducts and mastitis
A breast may become sore if the flow of milk is blocked. The breast may or may not have a hard spot, and may or may not be red.
This condition can be caused by a blocked milk duct. Treatment is necessary to prevent infection, also known as mastitis, which will make the mother achy, feverish, and feeling worn out. Antibiotics are sometimes, though not always, called for.
Breastfeeding often, applying heat to the area and getting as much rest as possible is recommended by La Leche League International (LLLI). Showers or baths, and massage with a warm cloth may be beneficial.
The frequent breastfeeding helps reduce inflammation, and helps to decrease the blockage. Generally, continued breastfeeding is safe for the baby.
If relief does not begin with 24 hours, call your doctor.
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A yeast infection known as thrush can affect the nipples. It can cause itchiness and a burning sensation. Pinkness or redness can appear, along with flakiness or a shiny appearance. A rash with small blisters may emerge.