How to Improve Your Breastfeeding Experience
Advice for Overcoming Common Breastfeeding Challenges
Every breastfeeding journey is different and unique to mothers and their babies. While breastfeeding is natural and provides countless benefits to moms and infants, that doesn’t mean it comes easy in the beginning. If you experience any of the following issues while breastfeeding, they are not normal and you should seek help or guidance from a lactation consultant.
In the beginning, potential breastfeeding challenges may include:
- Latching and positioning. Having a good latch is essential to your baby getting enough breastmilk and both of you having a comfortable experience. Talk to your lactation consultant if you have any questions on how to get a good breastfeeding latch.
- Perceived small amount of breastmilk. A newborn baby's stomach is very tiny and can’t consume that much milk. Healthy mothers make more milk than their baby needs.
Download and register for our free Pregnancy App and sign-up for Memorial Family Birthplace online breastfeeding classes.
Datasource: Breastfeeding 101 with Lissette Paonessa
As breastfeeding continues, potential challenges may include:
Painful BreastsIf you are experiencing any pain in your nipple or breast while you’re breastfeeding, this is not normal. Reach out to your nurse or lactation consultant to minimize long-term problems from the beginning.
Pain can be a sign that something is not quite right when you are nursing. Normally, breast pain is caused by the following issues:
- Improper latch due to improper positioning. A lactation consultant can do an oral assessment to help your baby get a good latch.
- Your baby has a tongue or lip tie that keeps them from latching well.
- Engorgement of breast.
If your baby is positioned well and is latching well, most of your areola is in their mouth as they are feeding and their lips are flanged out around your areola. You should talk to your doctor about possible medical conditions, like thrush or mastitis, that might be causing your pain.
Perception of Low Supply of Breastmilk
Many women perceive they have a low supply of breastmilk. In reality, low supply of breastmilk is rare because the breast is a gland, so it is never dry or completely empty.
In the beginning, you’re not going to produce that much milk. After about a month, it’s normal to produce 24 ounces (four ounces per feeding) of milk per day. Once you're well established or after the first several weeks, you should produce one ounce of milk an hour.
You can help ensure a good supply of breastmilk by:
- Nursing your baby within one hour of their birth.
- Nursing your baby on cue (e.g., sucking on fingers, rooting, smacking lips, biting fingers) or every two to three hours.
- Offer both breasts during a feeding (think of one being dinner and the second as dessert)
- Pumping your breast milk if you're not able to breastfeed.
- Eat to your hunger, drink to your thirst, and rest in between.
If you continue to have a low supply, you should consult a lactation consultant.
Some moms think they have a low supply because their breasts are soft, but that is normal. It is also normal for your baby to want to eat more frequently than every two to three hours. This is called cluster feeding and it is very common when your baby is hitting a growth spurt or when your milk first comes in. The best thing you can do for your supply during cluster feeding is let your baby eat as much and as often as they want.
Baby is Finished Eating, But You Still Have Milk
Babies don’t overfeed, they stop feeding when they’re done.
Having too much breastmilk, also called oversupply, is much more common than low supply. If your breasts still feel full after feeding, release a little milk, but don’t pump.
For some moms and babies, oversupply isn’t an issue. For others, oversupply can cause issues like:
- Baby choking or coughing because milk is flowing too fast
- Breast engorgement leading to clogged ducts and mastitis (inflammation of breast tissue)
- Diarrhea in babies that looks like green, frothy poop
- Lots of spit-up after feedings
- Nipple pain due to a bad latch
If you are facing any struggles, Memorial Family Birthplace certified lactation consultants can provide you with comprehensive breastfeeding and lactation services. We offer support to mothers right after birth while they are in the hospital, and after you and your baby have gone home from the hospital. Learn more about our breastfeeding and lactation services, classes, and support groups.
Lactation Community Resources
Memorial Family Birthplace Hospital Breastfeeding Helplines
- Memorial Hospital Miramar: 954-538-5181
- Memorial Hospital West: 954-844-9908 (telehealth appointments available)
- Memorial Regional Hospital: 954-265-4078 (telehealth appointments available)
Memorial Nursing Mothers’ Online Support Groups and Parenting Classes
To reserve your place in one of our free breastfeeding support groups or other parenting classes, visit our Birthplace Classes page.
- Memorial Miramar Outpatient Pharmacy: 954-538-5550
- Pill Box Pharmacies: Pines West 954-443-7455; Pembroke Pines 954-432-7455; Weston 954-389-7455; Davie 954-475-7455
- Hollywood Discount Pharmacy: 954-989-6300
- Broward County WIC Breastfeeding: 954-467-4511
- Miami-Dade County WIC Breastfeeding: 786-336-1336
Private Practice Lactation Consultants
Care Beyond Birth (formally known as Birthing and Beyond, Inc.): 954-274-5386
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