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Factors inhibiting breast milk
A. Psychological factor:
A shock, strong pain, anger, anxiety or 'worry can affect the "Let-down" reflex. The mother should be encouraged and given support by a calm and positive attitude to develop a. confidence that any difficulties may be overcome.
She should be explained the proper technique of relaxation and feeding. She should make sure that the neonate is sucking and should be encouraged to feed more often to increase sucking stimuli. In a case of severe anxiety, the doctor for a short time may order sedative.
B. Early breast engorgement:
During the early period after delivery, breasts may be felt full and uncomfortable. Some mothers get hard engorged breasts with the pain.
This problem can be solved by application of warm compresses to the breast and then expressing the excess milk. Later, the milk production gets adjusted according to demand of the baby.
C. Flat and inverted nipple:
If nipples are flat and it is difficult for the baby to get hold of the nipple and pull it into the mouth, stimulation of the sucking reflex may be interrupted. A flat or inverted nipple may be pulled outward with the fingers to stimulate erection.
After making the nipple erect, the baby can be gently put to the breast. If it is not successful, the nipple-shield may be used. Some babies who get accustomed to the nipple shield may be reluctant to return to the mother's nipple.
Therefore, wearing a specially prepared plastic cup between the feeding may be helpful.
D. Sore nipple:
Nipples may be sore because of faulty sucking technique, such as the baby takes an insufficient amount of areola surrounding the nipple into the mouth, while nursing. Also, it may be sore due to a long period of vigorous sucking, sucking in a bad position, engorged breast, fissures, and oral thrush of the baby. Sore nipples are very painful.
Sore nipples can be prevented by proper antenatal care. Decreasing the length of the feeding time and increasing the frequency of feeding may also help. The use of soap on the breast should be avoided as it causes drying.
The cream may be used by the doctor's advice or any edible oil can be applied on the nipples between feed.
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