Stateman Journal Living Well - August 2015
August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, a yearly reminder that when it comes to infant nutrition, breast is best. Studies show that babies who ingest only breast milk for at least the first six months of life are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses. It may even play a role in ruling out childhood obesity in their future.
Something this good and natural should be easy, right? Wrong. What comes easily for some mothers may cause discomfort and stress for other moms and their babies. In fact, some women experience varied degrees of success with each of their children.
- Sore nipples
- Low milk supply
- Oversupply of milk
- Plugged ducts
- Breast infection (mastitis)
- Fungal infections
- Nursing strike
Challenges to breastfeeding can be discussed with a lactation specialist, usually part of your delivering doctor's practice or even the hospital's medical staff. Organizations such as La Leche League offer free mentoring by current or previously successful breastfeeding moms, and can provide practical guidance for babies who struggle to latch and mothers with production or confirmation difficulties. Some women many struggle and experience discomfort while breastfeeding and if complication persist she should contact their doctor immediately if there is constant pain with nursing, or if you develop sudden soreness after weeks of pain-free breastfeeding. These symptoms may indicate a breast infection that should be treated immediately by a doctor.
Additionally, your Hospital is another great educational tool for soon to be moms and nursing mothers. Santiam Hospital's Family Birth Center offers onsite personalized breastfeeding counseling during your inpatient stay and continued appointments and conversations after discharge.