If you are struggling with feeding problems, you aren’t alone. Many new moms run into at least one if not more feeding issues early on in their baby’s life. Fortunately, there are solutions for every problem, and your feeding issues will soon be a thing of the past. Before you go off the deep end dealing with your baby’s feeding problems, try some of these easy solutions.
Solutions to Common Breastfeeding Problems
Although it’s the way nature intended your baby to be fed, breastfeeding doesn’t always come entirely naturally. When your baby doesn’t quite take to the breast with the skill and avidity you expected, it can be disappointing and frustrating. The good news is that most breastfeeding problems can be easily solved with a few minor adjustments.
Problems latching on are one of the most common issues new breastfeeding mothers encounter. Babies who can’t seem to latch on or can’t manage to get a proper latch that doesn’t result in pain for the mother might need a little help. Silicone nipple shields are available that can be very helpful to some babies, especially preemies learning to latch on. In some cases, a different hold or more support is all that is needed to get baby at the right angle. Buy a nursing pillow, or try stacking an extra pillow or a rolled up towel under baby’s head to bring it to the right position for easier latching. Football holds work very well for some babies, while others prefer to nurse with mom lying down. Trial and error are required to get it all just right, but the payoff is well worth it.
If your baby latches on fine but then pulls off the breast suddenly, a strong let-down may be to blame. This may become evident if the milk sprays strongly even though baby stopped sucking! To avoid a strong let-down pushing your baby off the breast, try to feed baby before you become too full. Alternatively, you can try pumping a little before nursing to take the extra pressure off. Don’t do too much though, as it may affect the proper mix of foremilk and hindmilk your baby needs.
Most breastfeeding problems can be solved at home with a little practice, but in some cases you might need help. Don’t hesitate to contact a lactation consultant to give you some expert advice.
Solutions to Common Bottle-feeding Problems
Many of the problems bottle-feeding moms encountered can be resolved either by changing the bottle or changing what’s inside. Bottle-fed babies often encounter more problems with gas than breast-fed babies, and this is true whether the bottle contains breast milk or formula. Babies swallow more air when feeding from a bottle, causing gas problems. Switch to a bottle that is designed to reduce swallowed air, and be sure to burp your baby properly after every feeding. The more of that swallowed air that you can get out through burping, the less will remain in baby’s tummy to cause gas pain.
If your baby is on formula and experiencing tummy problems that aren’t resolved through burping or a different bottle, you might need to consider changing formulas. Your baby could be having trouble digesting cow’s milk formula, or could have an allergy.
When adding a bottle to a breastfed baby’s eating routine, you might find baby is very resistant at first. The nipple on a bottle is very different from the breast, and babies often have trouble adjusting. Look for a wide nipple that is designed to feel more like the breast, and try to warm milk to a temperature similar to breast milk. Put a little milk on the nipple for baby to taste and realize that what’s in there is the same stuff that was provided by the breast.
Most feeding problems can be resolved easily – but if feeding issues persist, talk to your baby’s doctor. Sometimes a little extra help is needed to find out what’s going on!