Although we all know breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, the reality is that it can feel far from it. Breastfeeding really is a set of learned skills, both for a mother and her baby.
It can take weeks and sometimes even months for breastfeeding feel comfortable and not require lots of concentrated effort.
Common reasons for maternal discomfort
- Breast engorgement
- Blocked milk ducts
- Cracked and tender nipples
- Painful let down
Is Breastfeeding Really Worth it?
It can be very tempting for mothers to reconsider if breastfeeding really is worthwhile, especially when it is painful. But the overall health benefits of breastfeeding for both a mother and her baby are so clear that it is almost always worth persevering. Don’t feel you are on your own.
Many breastfeeding problems are resolved by ensuring the baby is correctly attached and sucking effectively on the breast.
Frequent feeding, good attachment as well as time and expert support almost always help. Be patient, most breastfeeding problems resolve with time and perseverance.
Taking a Break from Breastfeeding
Occasionally it can be necessary to have a short break from breastfeeding and for a mother to express her breast milk. Reasons vary but are generally related to breast or nipple pain, maternal or infant illness, periods of separation or returning to work.
Ideally, when a baby is not directly breastfeeding, they are having expressed breast milk (EBM) from a bottle or a feeding cup. Feed times can then become an opportunity for partners and family to share this special time with the baby.
How Philips AVENT can help
Philips Avent breastfeeding accessories are designed to make breastfeeding more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Comfort Breast Pumps come in either a manual or electric options. Unlike other pumps, you can sit in a relaxed position without the need to lean forward. Our conic massage cushion gently massage the breast to stimulate the letdown reflex, encouraging milk flow and supply. The Philips Avent Breast pump range provides comfortable, easy expressing options for mothers who are keen to maintain their breast milk supply during periods of nipple healing.
- Breast Pads help absorb leaking breast milk, ensuring comfort and dryness. This is especially important for healing cracked nipples. The pads are contoured and discrete whilst minimising slippage with an adhesive strip. Day and night breast pads are available.
- 2-in-1 Thermopads have a dual function and can be either heated or cooled. When warm, they support milk flow by eliciting a mother’s “let-down” before feeding. For breast pain due to engorgement, a cooled pad provides soothing relief.
- Nipple Protectors (also known as nipple shields) provide relief for sore or cracked nipples. They can also be used for mothers who have inverted or flat nipples and need help with attachment. They can be used alone or in conjunction with the Niplette.
- The Niplette is purpose designed to help draw out or evert flat or inverted nipples. Ideally, it is used before pregnancy and for the first six months of gestation. But it can also be used after childbirth for a few minutes before each breastfeed.
- Breast Shells are a protective cover designed to protect sore nipples and support healing by allowing air to circulate. They are worn inside the mother’s bra and also act as a reservoir for breast milk which would otherwise be absorbed by a breast pad.
Seek advice from a healthcare professional if you need additional support. Using breastfeeding accessories, in conjunction with expert advice, can make a big difference to the overall enjoyment and management of breastfeeding.
For more information about Philips Avent, please visit the Philips AVENT website.