There are so many different challenges that a breastfeeding mom can face. All of the challenges below are obstacles that I faced while breastfeeding Theo. Thankfully now, 15 months in, things are smooth sailing. We certainly had a lot to overcome in the beginning. Part 2 is coming soon, which will discuss challenges that other moms have faced.
I spoke about ties briefly in the post about my breastfeeding experience, but tongue and lip tie can cause pain for mom while nursing & ineffective transfer of milk, both which can lead to other issues for mom and baby. Ties can be clipped at an ear nose & throat doctor, or removed with a laser at a pediatric dentist. For more info on ties, my lactation consultant (LC) is a great resource.
Due to Theo’s tongue and lip tie, it caused me severe nipple trauma early on as I was breastfeeding. This caused me a TON OF PAIN. Like so much pain. Pain I had never experienced before (I had a medicated birth but I still felt a lot of it because no one reminded me to hit the epidural button and I forgot that it existed). I tried every nipple cream on the market (Lanolin based creams or ointments made it worse for me). A nipple shield helped, but I hated using it, so I just suffered through the pain. It wasn’t until I tried this MediHoney as recommended by my LC and a doctor I saw who specialized in breastfeeding. It is pasteurized so it’s safe for use with baby and does not have to be wiped off before feedings (unless it’s globbed on there, then it’s just a sticky mess, so I’d wipe it off). The MediHoney along with his second tongue tie revision fixed my issues with breastfeeding for good.
Because of Theo’s latch issues, I also had reoccurring clogged ducts on my right side. Clogged ducts can lead to mastitis, if you don’t get them unclogged. I swore by sunflower lecithin daily to keep my milk flowing! Also, once we got Theo’s ties fixed once and for all, it solved my issue.
I got mastitis because of the nipple trauma I had, when Theo was about 6 weeks old. It was a terrible experience. It felt like a horrible version of the seasonal flu. I didn’t sleep for 36 hours. I had a fever that just wouldn’t quit. I went to urgent care because I felt so sick, but I didn’t present with the red rash that appears until days after I first got sick, so I suffered through without antibiotics. The day my fever broke, I also got the rash, so I started on antibiotics then.
Low Milk Supply:
My personal tip on this? Eat a LOT of calories and drink a lot of water and Gatorade (I preferred blue G2 and I buy it in this powder form because it saves a lot of plastic as well as room in your pantry). Also, Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies were my secret weapon (however, not nutritious at all). When Theo was about 12 weeks old, I decided to try Weight Watchers, and as a breastfeeding mom you get extra points! It tanked my milk supply, so after a week or so, I stopped. And don’t be afraid to supplement with formula. I had to do this during times in which my milk supply did not meet demand.
Are there any breastfeeding topics you’d like to see discussed here? Did you face any of these challenges while you were breastfeeding?
Disclaimer: This blog post contains the authors researched opinions as well as actual experiences, and not one of a medical professional. Please consult to your medical professional for their official opinion on items referenced here, and defer to them in case of any conflict. This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.