One of the biggest challenges that breastfeeding women face is overcoming the many common and uncomfortable lactation issues that can occur. In fact, breastfeeding pain and discomfort affect 1 in 3 women, especially in first time mothers. While breastfeeding challenges can happen to anyone, those who take antibiotics during the last trimester of pregnancy, birth or during early postpartum are at a significantly increased risk of developing lactation issues.
A common problem lactating mothers face is plugged ducts, which happens when a blockage in the milk duct blocks the flow of milk, causing discomfort, pain, and inflammation. There are a variety of causes of plugged ducts, including oversupply, irregular feedings, tongue/lip ties, improper latch, sudden weaning, and excessive stress. If untreated, it can lead to mastitis, a painful bacterial infection, so taking care of plugged ducts as soon as symptoms arise is key.
1. Daily probiotic - Probiotic supplementation has been shown to significantly improve breast comfort during lactation.
6. Iron supplement for any history or symptoms of anemia, as anemia can exacerbate plugged ducts
Wow, what a wealth of knowledge and information from Breanna Duncan, BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC! Through her work as an IBCLC at The Mama Mantra, she has been providing a wide range of breastfeeding support for her clients.
The mission of The Mama Mantra is:
"to provide exceptional care to help you reach YOUR goals with guidance, compassion and encouragement so that your breastfeeding journey is enjoyable and optimal. Breastfeeding can be a challenge for both mom and baby. We provide care for every situation, for full-term infants, pre-term infants, infants with breastfeeding challenges due to many reasons and for their mother's who experience difficulties."
Breanna is who I credit for helping me on my induced lactation journey for Luca. I can personally attest to her incredible dedication, compassion, and knowledge, and it has been amazing to continue working with her.
With support, we can navigate and overcome breastfeeding challenges and feel empowered!
Did you experience any breastfeeding challenges? What helped you? Please share in the comments!
Disclaimer: These should not be a replacement for seeking medical care (and having your care provider “ok” the supplements you desire taking) or a replacement for assistance from a knowledgeable IBCLC to determine the best course of treatment based on personal history and to ensure there isn’t another primary reason that plugged ducts are happening (like tongue ties, infrequent feeding, incomplete milk removal, etc.), as those things should be ruled out/fixed first prior to utilizing any specific course of treatment.