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Common breastfeeding problems

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Some mothers may have difficulties to breastfeed. When this happens it is necessary to give them more support and guidance.

The unpleasant feeling in the breasts (hardened breasts) may happen in two situations: when the mother produces more milk than the baby needs or when the baby does not suck enough to empty the breast. This may occur several days after the labour.

When the breast is hardened the teats become hard and full. The milk accumulates and gets thick. This makes it difficult to get out and some stones can be formed.

When the breasts are full the baby does not manage to suck in the right position, causing pain to the mother and irritation to the baby. Therefore it is important that the mother takes out the milk from her breasts (milking procedure).

Leader, to prevent hardened breasts, it is recommended that the mother:

Begin breastfeeding as early as possible;

Breastfeed the baby whenever he/she asks, emptying the breasts as much as possible, one at each time;

Breastfeed with baby put in the right sucking position;

Do not give other food or liquid to the baby before six months of age;

Always wear bra

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In case the breasts become hardened, you can help the mother to take the milk doing the milking procedure (consult this Guide on page 170).

Leader, if the mother is nervous, find a way to quieten her in order to help the milk to come down.