Almost every expecting mother is given a lengthy speech about the benefits of breastfeeding, but this doesn’t prepare you for the potential frustration and discomfort that come with nursing. Attending lactation appointments can help you learn how to better breastfeed and help you decide what supportive options are best for you.
At Physicians for Women in Madison, Wisconsin, our team of women’s health specialists, including gynecologists, board-certified obstetricians, and certified nurse midwives, can help you with all stages of prenatal and postnatal care, including lactation and breastfeeding.
Common breastfeeding complications
Breastfeeding is often portrayed as effortlessly natural, but there are many reasons you might struggle to nurse your newborn. Even if you get your baby to latch and nurse that first night at the hospital, the days following might pose some problems. In fact, the first two weeks are considered the most difficult when it comes to breastfeeding.
Combined with postpartum symptoms, pain, and lack of sleep, you might struggle to cherish and enjoy the special time you’re “supposed” to have with your baby while nursing them in the days, weeks, and months after giving birth.
Some of the most common breastfeeding complications include:
- Sore, dry, and/or cracked nipples
- Difficulty getting your baby to “latch”
- Trouble using a nipple shield
- Producing too little or too much milk
- Breast engorgement
- Duct blockage or infection
Regardless of what you’re facing or how frustrated or defeated you feel, there were women in the past who struggled with the same thing. Our midwives have seen and heard it all and have solutions for your lactation frustration.
Managing breastfeeding issues through lactation appointments
There’s no “wrong” way to feed your baby, as long as they’re getting the nutrition they need. Breastfeeding, pumping, and supplementation using baby formula are all acceptable. Pumping makes it easy to prepare and save milk for later, while formula can help fill in when breastmilk supplies are low.
However, many women, especially first-time mothers, struggle with nursing for weeks or months before realizing they simply need a little help. In the majority of these cases, a single visit to a lactation consultant could have resolved things much sooner.
At Physicians for Women, our lactation appointments take place in a quiet, comfortable atmosphere. It’s important that you feel at ease. You might be the only patient in the room, or you might be accompanied by other mothers seeking the same thing.
While nursing, you can keep to yourself or socialize. Many women feel lonely and isolated following the birth of a new child, and lactation appointments can be a great way to make friends and share frustrations and solutions with your peers.
As you nurse your baby, a specialist will come around to answer questions and address any concerns you might have. We might help show you how to hold your baby differently while nursing, provide tips for taking care of your nipples, advise that you try a different bra, or recommend that you express excess milk to avoid engorgement.
Breastfeeding not only nourishes your baby and bolsters their immune system, but it also reinforces the bond between mother and child. If you’re having trouble, call us at 608-227-7007, or request an appointment online.