October 03, 2019 6 min read
Breastfeeding is the feeding of young babies with breast milk that begins immediately after childbirth. Most health experts recommend that a baby should be breastfed for 6 months exclusively before introducing them to other foods as breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants.
A mother gets to bond with her young one during breastfeeding and it also helps them shed extra calories and lose some of the baby weight gained during pregnancy. Breast milk has a lot of benefits to the baby as it contains antibodies that help fight viruses and bacteria, protects the baby from allergies, respiratory illnesses, constipation, and diarrhoea. With breastfeeding comes a lot of challenges for both the mother and the baby.
There are ways in which moms can overcome these challenges and some are outlined below:
Mothers’ nipples come in different variations of size and shape, while normal nipples protrude outwards, some may be inverted, flat or cracked making nursing a difficult experience. The amount of fat in your breasts, the length of your milk ducts and the density of connective tissues beneath your nipples all play a role on whether or not your nipples protrude, lie flat or an inverted.
The baby forms a teat from not only the nipple but the surrounding breast tissue as well. There are several steps to take to correct flat/inverted/cracked nipples but first of all it’s important to undertake a nipple pinch test to determine whether you have a common, flat or inverted nipple.
A truly inverted nipple is caused by adhesions at the base of the nipple that bind the skin to the underlying tissue. While the skin does become more elastic during the third trimester of pregnancy in preparation for nursing, some of the cells in the nipple and areola may stay attached. Sometimes the stress of vigorous nursing will cause the adhesion to lift up rather than stretching or breaking loose causing cracks in the nipple tissue and pain for the mom.
The degree of inversion varies ranging from the nipple that doesn’t protrude when stimulated but can be pulled out manually, to the severely inverted nipple that responds to compressions by disappearing completely. How much difficulty a flat nipple poses on a nursing baby depends on the baby and degree of inversion.
There are different ways to make your breastfeeding experience painless and stress-free and these include:
Shopping Guide For Breast Feeding Moms
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