Q: I’m really struggling with breastfeeding my four-month-old. Latching on is fine, but I don’t seem to be producing enough milk and it’s painful, and I find it tiring to breastfeed through the night. I planned to breastfeed for at least a year, but can’t see me doing that now.
Dru Campbell, Lactation consultant and midwife at Healthbay Polyclinic in Dubai, says: “There are lots of issues people have with breastfeeding – the most common include sore, painful nipples and a concern that milk supply is not adequate.
“Breastfeeding can feel tender in the beginning, but should not be painful. If it is painful, or there is any trauma to the nipple, it means the attachment is not correct. In this case, I would recommend seeing a qualified midwife, or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBLCE) to review the position and to latch your baby to the breast.
Sometimes just a small adjustment in the positioning, or attachment of your baby can make a significant difference.
“Many mothers who are breastfeeding are concerned about their supply. There are many signs that will show you that your baby is getting enough breast milk, such as a weight increase of 120g–150g per week in the first four months of life, six wet nappies in 24 hours and yellow, frequent stools.
“The most common reasons for mums to cease breastfeeding are pain, infection and a concern she is not producing enough breast milk for her baby.
“Infection of the breast (mastitis) can occur if the breast is not being emptied effectively. It can also occur if there is excessive expressing, which results in the breast producing more than the baby requires. This can cause milk to leak within the breast and can develop into an infection.
“Demand-feeding can assist to reduce the risk of developing mastitis. You will know that your baby is getting enough breast milk if he or she is putting on weight and is having at least six wet nappies in 24 hours.”