I think I am not producing enough as my baby still cries even after breastfeeding and am noticing sores and crack on my left nipples.

Question: I just had my baby but presently having issues with breastfeeding. I think I am not producing enough as my baby still cries even after breastfeeding and am noticing sores and crack on my left nipples. I really want to stop breastfeeding and start using formula feed. What do you advice?

Doctors Response: The most common reasons mothers give for abandoning breastfeeding are inadequate milk production and sore and cracked nipples. Both these problems can be overcome by correct positioning of the baby on the breast. The mouth should be placed over the nipple and areola so that suction created within the baby’s mouth draws the breast tissue into a teat which extends as far back as the junction of the soft and hard palate. The tongue applies peristaltic force to the underside of the teat against the support of the hard palate. In this way, there should be no to-and-fro movement of the teat in and out of the baby’s mouth, thus minimizing friction. You should also learn how to implement the rooting reflex (when the skin around the baby’s mouth is touched, the mouth begins to gape).



At this point, you should reposition your baby so that the lower rim of the baby’s mouth fits well below the nipple, allowing a liberal mouthful of breast tissue. When the baby is properly attached, breastfeeding should be pain free. The use of creams and ointments for cracked nipples has not been shown to be beneficial and the use of a nipple shield merely reduces milk production.

Advantages of breastfeeding include breast milk being readily available at the right temperature and ideal nutritional value, cheaper than formula feed and it is associated with reduction in childhood infective illnesses, especially gastroenteritis. It is also associated with a reduction in fertility creating amenorrhea (no menses), reduction in atopic illnesses e.g. eczema and asthma, reduction in necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm babies, reduction in juvenile diabetes, childhood cancer especially lymphoma and pre-menopausal breast cancer.

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