Unfortunately, breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy. Here’s what to expect.
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
Dr Christelle Tan, specialist in paediatrics at Raffles Medical, Holland Village lists producing breast milk as another common source of struggle and tension for many mums.
Common Breastfeeding Issues
She says, “Many first-time mums struggle with breast milk production and latching their babies comfortably in the first few days post-delivery, and hence this can be extremely stressful. Mastitis – inflammation of the breast – breast engorgement, and cracked nipples are just some of the common problems met by mums. The stress of producing adequate breast milk can in itself inhibit breast milk production, which perpetuates this vicious cycle. If not handled carefully, this can result in depression and frustration in some.”
KKH dietitian Kellie Kong agrees and has some helpful tips, “Resist losing weight too fast and too much. Mothers who are breastfeeding and anxious to lose weight are advised not to over-restrict their intake as this can have an impact on their breast milk supply, increase postpartum fatigue and have a negative impact on mood. The appropriate rate of weight loss is approximately 2-4kg per month.”
Watch What You Do Eat
If you’re turning to caffeine to keep you awake, Kong explains that this can be the cause of a vicious cycle of less sleep. “It is important to limit caffeinated beverages as caffeine has been shown to pass through to the breast milk and can agitate and interfere with your baby’s sleep. It is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. During breastfeeding, nursing mothers need to limit the consumption of caffeine to less than 200mg per day. This is equivalent to no more than two cups of coffee or tea per day.”
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