Every time a new mother sets out to breastfeed, she is vaguely aware of what’s coming. And in her effort to master herself in the ‘art’, she’ll look up to ‘reliable’ sources, which can be anything or anyone, from the mother-next-door to the always-a-click-away online search engine, for information and guidance. However, despite her best efforts, breastfeeding often ends up being an anomaly of what is expected versus the reality. And truth to be told, it is in no way an easy task and each mother has an experience which is unique to her.
If you are a new mother, then you may have begun to follow some of the common do’s and don’ts about breastfeeding already. However, if you have been facing some situations and are not sure if these are normal, then we list here 6 things that should ‘NOT’ happen when you are breastfeeding. Read on to know if some of your issues figure in this list:
1. Unusually Long Cluster Feeding
A cluster feeding is when your baby feeds in spurts, or short periods of time, throughout the day. Though it helps to stimulate the breasts to produce more milk, you should be concerned if your baby continues to latch on to you for almost 24 hours. This could mean that either your breasts are yet to produce milk, your baby isn’t latching well, or you are producing less milk because of which the baby remains hungry, in which case you may check with the doctor.
2. D-MER (Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex)
If you have been experiencing a wave of negative feelings, like anger, anxiety, or sorrow, seconds before your newborn begins to feed, or has just started to, then you may be suffering from D-MER (1). This condition occurs due to a decrease in the hormone, dopamine, and requires medical intervention if it persists for a long time.
3. Painful Breastfeeding
If breastfeeding is giving you pain in your breasts due to poor latching techniques or bacterial infections, then this may cease after a few days. However, if you have breast or nipple pain before and after feeding, then it may be Nipple Vasospasm, or constriction of blood vessels. Apart from pain, it can also cause deep cuts in your breasts and nipples, for which prescription medications, Vit B6, heat application, and breast pumping may help.
4. Burning Sensation Or Redness Of Breasts
If your breasts feel hot to touch, have a burning sensation, or redness, then chances are it may be due to mastitis, or breast infection (2). Because mastitis can have serious complications and requires prescription medications, a visit to the doctor is a must.
5. Baby’s Weight Loss Or Lack Of Weight Gain
Losing a few grams of weight soon after birth is normal for a baby. However, if your baby has lost more than 7 percent of his/her birth weight and not gaining any, then, according to American Academy of Pediatrics, it is mandatory to get your baby checked to make sure he/she is feeding well (3). Or else, you’d need to supplement their diet with formula or breast milk.
6. Lump In The Breast
It is common to experience some lumpiness or bumps during breastfeeding. However, if you have a hard lump, which refuses to go, gives you pain and itchiness, then this could be a sign of cancer and requires immediate medical attention (4).
You may or may not be experiencing any of these problems during breastfeeding. But remember, do not breastfeed at the cost of your health or under any other pressure, especially if it is not benefiting your baby and you. Breastfeeding is a great way to bond with your newborn. But should you choose not to breastfeed due to any reason, it’ll definitely not take away your love for your baby!