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My approach to breastfeeding problems

I do believe that God created us as women to breastfeed our babies. It is an amazing, dynamic process that can be BEAUTIFUL! Breast milk is the absolute best milk for human babies. The nutrients are all in the correct proportions and breast milk can protect babies against illness and disease, as antibodies are present to help boost the baby’s immune system. There are hormones that flood through a mum’s body, which help with bonding and even getting your uterus back into shape after the baby is born. These same hormones go through to your baby and help him/her to feel contented and loved. In a nutshell Breast Is Best - when it works well. And for the lucky mums it does go well and lives up to all the great expectations that were promised.

BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT IS NOT GOING WELL?

What happens when your nipples are so sore that just the thought of your baby waking up for another feed makes you dissolve into floods of tears? What happens when your milk doesn’t fully come in and your baby is constantly crying and wanting to feed for hours on end – on those sore, bleeding nipples? What do you do when your baby is jaundiced and sleepy and just won’t wake to breastfeed? What happens when you are told that your baby has barely gained any weight?

Your dreams of quiet times spent lovingly looking at your beautiful baby, with feelings of overwhelming love flooding through you, lay in ruins as you dread the next feed. The books you read hadn’t prepared you for this. You feel like you are failing at the very thing your body was created to do – nurture and feed your baby. The feelings of guilt rise up as you hear the voices shouting their condemnation in your head! You read the book again and trawl the internet trying to find the magic answer that is going to make it all come right. You look in your baby’s mouth as you have read that tongue and lip ties seem to be the cause of every breastfeeding problem there is.

What you really need to do is find a lactation consultant who will be able to evaluate what the cause of your difficulties are and to make a feeding plan that will ensure the following:

  1. A comprehensive history must be taken so that you feel that your concerns have been listened to
  2. The prime purpose of breastfeeding is to ensure that your baby is getting sufficient milk to grow and be content.
  3. My approach is – “Feed the baby while we fix what we can”. If breastfeeding alone is not accomplishing this goal, then supplementation with either expressed breast milk (EBM) or formula may need to be commenced
  4. Any damage on your nipples needs to be attended to so they can heal as quickly as possible. This may involve using specific creams or using a nipple shield
  5. Your baby should have a thorough examination of his/her mouth to check for tongue and lip ties (and no, they are not the cause for every breastfeeding difficulty despite what you have read!)
  6. You must be shown positioning and attachment techniques to get the best latch to make feeding as comfortable and as pain free as possible
  7. I believe in honesty rather than giving you false hope which will only set you up for disappointment later
  8. All feeding plans must be doable! Very time-consuming plans can be sustained for a week at best, and should be adjusted according to your ability to cope
  9. Most importantly you should not be made to feel that breastfeeding difficulties are your fault and you should under no circumstance be made to feel guilty about what has happened

I am available for consultations in the Albury - Wodonga region so please contact me for a consultation on 0455 612 229 (please leave a message and if I do not answer my phone I will call you back. Or e-mail me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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