breast feeding awareness week

Common Problems In Breast-feeding

On the note of breastfeeding week  which falls in the first week of August, we aim to focus on the baby's health and encourage new mothers to breastfeed. Instead of opting for infant formula and other alternatives, the health benefits of breast milk has proved to be the best source of nutrition for the baby's progressive growth.

There are difficulties and challenges faced by the mother once they start to breastfeed. The guidance of the doctor and nurses plays a crucial role in ensuring the baby is fed and develops healthily.

Problems in Breastfeeding

  • During the first week of nursing the baby, most women experience pain while breastfeeding. Sometimes when the baby does not latch on properly the pain tends to occur. Infections could also be a possible reason for the uneasiness. Well, it is better to check with the lactation expert or a physician to understand the underlying deets.
  • Another concern that mothers have is that whether the baby is fed in the right manner. There might be instances when the infant feels hungry even after breastfeeding. In this case, it could be probably because the child is not able to ingest the milk.
  • For the woman who just faced her first pregnancy, the changes will be rapid and new. She needs to learn to be patient with herself and the child. There will be soreness in the nipples in the initial nursing stages but it will eventually settle down once the mother is comfortable and experienced.

Breastfeeding Hygiene Tips

  • Commonly, once breastfeeding starts, there will be dryness and sometimes cracking in the nipples. Mothers opt for nipple lotion and creams to change these effects. So, it is important to ensure scented products are not used as it will be harmful to the baby.
  • Cleaning of the breasts is vital before and after the feeding. It will help in removing the traces of saliva and maintaining it clean for the next feed. Rinsing few times in the day with warm water and patting with a dry cloth is recommended.
  • Wearing the right clothing will help the mother and baby to experience a smooth breastfeeding session. Nursing mothers can opt for loose shirts and nursing bras for a hassle-free experience.

Breastfeeding & Cancer

Breastfeeding has the health advantage of protecting the baby and the mother from cancer. According to the research conducted by the American Institute For Cancer Research, breastfeeding is shown to lower the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen, the female hormone responsible for reproductive health significantly drops after birth and when the breastfeeding stage begins. Studies have indicated women who have high exposure to estrogen have increased risk of breast cancer.  There is a significant need for spreading breast cancer awareness to help women detect breast cancer at an early stage.

The chances of ovarian cancer are reduced with breastfeeding. As the process of ovulation is prevented at this stage there is lesser interaction with the estrogen hormone. Hence, it lowers the risk of cancer in the ovaries. There is successful medical treatment in India  for cancer and related conditions. But for any kind of cancer, early detection is the key to prevent its transition into an advanced stage.

Once a new mother starts with breastfeeding, it is common for her to have doubts. So, it is better to check or consult with a physician or a lactation specialist to avoid misconceptions.