Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Several mothers are contacting me worried about their breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding is a learning process (a bit like learning to drive so to speak) and, especially during the first few weeks, mothers and babies can encounter difficulties if not properly supported and guided. I will therefore take a cue from your questions to illustrate the main problems that could arise. "My milk is not substantial or sufficient" First of all I want to point out that breast milk is ALWAYS substantial. It may happen on some occasions that it is not sufficient in quantity, but the quality is perfectly calibrated to the needs of your baby and, in addition to nourishment, it offers important immunizing factors completely absent in formula milk. That said, during the first weeks of breastfeeding and during growth spurts, many mothers are led to think that breast milk no longer satisfies the baby, who wants to latch onto the breast very often and never seems to be full. If the number of dirty diapers is always the same and the pediatrician is not worried about the growth of your baby, try not to supplement the feedings with artificial milk. In fact, this would lead the baby to latch on to the breast less and for less time and your milk production will gradually decrease. Simply breastfeed the baby every time he asks for it and, if you have the opportunity, use the breast pump between one feed and the next. "Breastfeeding is painful" It is normal for the nipples to be sensitive or even painful in the first few weeks, but this should resolve easily once breastfeeding is started. If you are in doubt, get advice from an expert, a wrong attachment of the baby can lead to pain and delay or even compromise breastfeeding. If, despite everything, the pain persists, medical attention may be required. Pain and persistent itching, sensitive and bright pink nipples, sore breasts even after feeding and white rash on the nipples are, in fact, all symptoms of thrush (or candida infection). In the event of an infection, both you and your child (who will likely have a white coating on the tongue and cheeks) should start the necessary treatments as soon as possible. Continue breastfeeding safely but maintain good and regular hygiene, wash your hands before and after breastfeeding or after changing your baby's diaper, wash bras, undershirts and any object that comes into contact with the baby's mouth. The problem should go away within 5-7 days.