Breastfeeding is often called the most natural thing in the world. But that doesn't mean it always works out right away. Difficulties breastfeeding occur quite often, especially in the beginning. This is due to the fact that newborns have a very small mouth. Some of them don't get the nipple deep enough into their mouths yet because of this. This can cause the baby to accidentally squeeze the mother's nipple too hard and hurt it. In other cases, the baby does not yet manage to drink at the breast and suck the milk properly. You may also feel that you are producing too little or too much milk for your baby. Have an experienced midwife or lactation consultant show you how to help the baby latch on properly. Then the problem is usually solved quickly. If that's not the case, there are plenty of tools out there to help you breastfeed successfully. For example, a midwife or lactation consultant might advise you to pump milk from the breast for a while and give it to your baby with a bottle.
Don't give up if breastfeeding doesn't work right away. It's worth it to keep trying. The close contact with your body is important for the emotional development of your child and breast milk is the best food they can get. Most clinics have nurses who specialize in solving breastfeeding problems right after birth. You can also ask your midwife for advice. Another option is for you to contact a certified Early Help Network (Netzwerk Frühe Hilfen).. There are also breastfeeding groups where you can talk to other mothers and find out what tips have helped them. Contact with such groups can be arranged, for example, by the
Your sensitive nipples may feel irritated when you first start breastfeeding your baby. If your nipples really hurt, it may mean that the baby hurt them. Perhaps you and your baby are lying in an awkward position when breastfeeding, so that too little milk is flowing. This may cause the baby to tug impatiently at the breast. Don't get discouraged. Even a change of position when breastfeeding can work wonders. In many cases, the baby does not take the breast deep enough into the mouth and therefore rubs the nipple. Let someone show you how your baby should drink properly. You can take care of your irritated nipples by rubbing and massaging them with a few drops of breast milk before and after breastfeeding. After breastfeeding, you should let the nipples air dry or gently pat them dry with a towel. There are also special nipple ointments and healing compresses that can help.
If you have swollen and tight breasts, milk engorgement may be the cause. In this case, the milk does not flow out of the breast properly. Breast engorgement can occur when your baby has not emptied your breast enough while sucking. Signs of breast engorgement are hard breasts that hurt, have red spots, and are sometimes very warm. Ask your midwife or lactation consultant to show you how to empty the affected breast. You can also pump the milk. Breast engorgement is not dangerous. However, it can trigger more serious problems if something goes wrong during self-treatment. For example, chest infections, fever and purulent abscesses could then occur. All these problems should definitely be treated by a doctor.
Most of the time, nipples protrude and become erect when touched. With flat or inverted nipples, the nipple is flat or even pointed inward. This can make it difficult for the baby to suckle because they can't get the nipples deep enough in their mouth. To make your nipples stand out, you can roll them between your index finger and thumb until they become firmer and more visible, or you can touch them with an ice cube. Your midwife or a lactation consultant may recommend a nursing cap to help you get started. The nursing cap is made of silicone and has the shape of a large nipple. When it is used, the flat attachment adheres to the breast. At the end of the artificial nipple are holes through which the milk can flow. As soon as breastfeeding goes well, you will no longer need the nursing cap. Then you should wean off it quickly and continue breastfeeding without a nursing hat. A midwife can help you with that.
Many mothers are concerned when the baby is restless or cries while breastfeeding. It is important that you remain as calm as possible and take your time to find out the reason for the restlessness. For example, it happens that babies are overwhelmed when your breasts produce too much milk. In this case, it may help if you pump the excess milk. But there are many other possible causes. Maybe your baby isn't laying right or they’re too far away from the breast. Then a midwife or lactation consultant can help you find a better position for breastfeeding.
When babies spit up milk or vomit, this can have various reasons. Sometimes the sphincter at the entrance to the stomach does not yet work properly. Another common reason is swallowing too much air. If your child vomits repeatedly over a period of six hours, you should definitely see a paediatrician or go to an emergency ward to find out the cause of the vomiting.
Very small infants in particular regularly slumber away while drinking at their mother's breast. This may be because they have not yet developed a fixed sleep rhythm. In addition, nursing at the breast is exhausting for babies. However, your baby may not be able to get to the nipple properly and then gives up and falls asleep. That's why it's important to check your position when breastfeeding. You can gently wake your baby if you feel they are not getting enough food otherwise. To do this, release your baby from the breast and wait until they wake up again and are ready to continue drinking. If your baby falls asleep too quickly, especially at night, it may help if you breastfeed sitting up for a few days.