Breast milk is the natural milk meant for a human baby and is tailored perfectly for him. It contains exactly the right amount of fat and nutrients he needs for his particular stage of infancy.
It also contains a whole host of antibodies and white blood cells. These will protect him from whatever infections his mother has encountered or any toxins that are in his immediate environment.
Because breast milk is natural, many mothers think that breastfeeding just comes naturally with no problems. Indeed, it is effortless for some lucky moms, but most breastfeeding moms encounter some type of difficulty along the way.
1. Pain when breastfeeding
Pain when breastfeeding is a common problem when first starting out with your newborn.
It may be down to poor positioning. If your baby is chewing on a nipple that can be agony. To encourage him to open his mouth fully, touch his bottom lip with your nipple, aiming it for the roof of his mouth.
When he latches on, his nose should be nearly touching your breast and at least half an inch of breast around the base of the nipple should be in his mouth, any less than this and it might hurt. If you have the latch wrong, insert your finger into his mouth to break the suction and try again. (1)
Sometimes positioning is correct and it still hurts. This could be due to hormones making your breasts sore or maybe they just have to get used to feeding a baby. With three of my children I was uncomfortable for the first few weeks and then it settled down.
2. Baby doesn’t want to breastfeed
Reluctance in a baby is normal after childbirth. The process of labor and birth is tiring for the baby as well as the mother, and he may just want to sleep. My son was born at 5:39 a.m. after a drug-free birth and was not interested in feeding until 4 p.m. the same day.
If this happens to you, keep offering him the breast.
If you have had an epidural or drugs to stop bleeding, they may reduce your milk production. (2). If you have had Demerol, particularly near to delivery, it may cause your baby to be too sleepy to breastfeed. (3).