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Health & Baby

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Breast-Feeding - Common Problems

Problems during feeding

  • Latching on. Sometimes it can be hard for your baby to latch on, but there are some techniques that can make latching on easier slideshow.gif.
  • Biting the nipple. When your baby's primary teeth start to come in, usually between 6 and 12 months of age, you both have to make a few adjustments. Your baby may have a temporary loss of appetite because his or her mouth is sore. Teething babies may bite the breast, not knowing that it causes pain. Usually, a firm "no" and a stern expression are enough to control this behavior. It may also help to stop breast-feeding when your baby is finished actively nursing and then give him or her cold teething items to chew on.
  • Poor let-down. Practice some relaxation techniques, eat properly, and drink plenty of fluids. And try to breast-feed in comfortable, quiet, and familiar spots.
  • Arousal during feeding. Some women notice that they become aroused during breast-feeding. Although this sensation is similar to a sexual response, it isn't sexually driven. It's your body's way of preparing for breast-feeding.

Problems in moms

  • Being sick. You can keep breast-feeding when you have a minor illness (such as the flu or a cold). Try to rest as much as you can, and drink fluids. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about breast-feeding when you are sick or if you need to take prescription or over-the-counter medicines for your symptoms.
  • Feeling depressed. Breast-feeding problems can be exaggerated if you have postpartum depression. Many women have some feelings of depression in the first few weeks after childbirth. This is commonly known as the "baby blues," and it usually resolves on its own. But some women's bodies respond to changing postpartum hormone levels with a lasting depression that requires treatment. Talk to your doctor if your baby is more than a few weeks old and you continue to have trouble sleeping (insomnia) or concentrating, or if you often feel sad, tearful, anxious, hopeless, or irritable.
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