Common difficulties with breastfeeding
At times the baby may suddenly want more milk than before. Assure the mother
that this is normal. It means the baby is growing and so is his hunger. The baby
does not need anything else to eat or drink — just let him breastfeed more often
and for as long as he wants. After about 2 days of extra breastfeeding, the mother’s
milk supply will have grown to
meet the baby’s needs.
The baby is getting enough
breast milk if he gains weight and
urinates more than 6 times a day.
Breast milk gives a baby all the water and nutrition she needs.
Some people give water, teas, tinned milk, or other drinks to their
babies — but for the first 6 months this is not necessary and is in fact
dangerous. Giving other drinks can fill the baby up without giving her
nutrition. Water and other drinks that are not clean can cause infection.
Flat or inverted nipples
Some women’s nipples are flat or inverted
(sink into the breast). Even so, the baby can
usually breastfeed without a problem. But
the mother and baby may need some help
in the first few days.
B re astfe e ding with fl at nipple s
• Start breastfeeding right after birth — before the breasts become full.
• If the breasts are very full, remove some milk by hand to
make them softer.
• Gently roll the nipple to make it stand out.
• Cup a hand around the breast and pull back. The nipple
will pop out.
Take the breast
and pull back towards
the chest. The
A Book for Midwives (2010)