Once again, please keep in mind that I’m not an expert and that everything I’m saying is based on my own experience breastfeeding. If you need expert assistance, find a lactation consultant.
Low milk supply was definitely the worst problem I had to deal with, but others came along. I suppose I was lucky that at least they didn’t come up until after my supply had increased.
I first noticed a blister on a particularly active duct on the right side. It wasn’t particularly painful, but I was afraid that it would become so – and I have zero pain tolerance. My lactation consultant (LC) suggested that I alternate nursing positions, and that helped the blister heal. It has also kept it from coming back.
As soon I resolved the blister on the right side, I noticed a crack on the left side. I noticed the crack because I kept feeling a sharp pain when Alex was nursing or when I was pumping. Eeek! Regular application of lanolin helped, and I became strict with Alex about his latch – if he didn’t open his mouth wide, I did not put him on. I also re-latched him as often as necessary to maintain a good latch.
This was also when I decided to switch to Gerber’s washable pads (I found them at Target, where they were cheaper than at Babies R Us). I was already looking for a good washable pad because of the cost of the disposable pads, but I was also motivated by reading that a breathable pad would help prevent cracks and blisters (the disposable pads have a waterproof backing).
When I thought I was finally in the clear and breastfeeding was at last going smoothly . . . Alex started pulling off, coughing, and I was spraying milk across the room. I had done enough research by this point that I immediately realized it was an overactive letdown problem (when the letdown is so forceful that the baby can’t suck and swallow according to his own rhythm). To deal with this, I tried to nurse Alex before I got engorged and reduced my use of More Milk (since overactive letdown is often the result of oversupply). This was easily the least of my problems – after combatting low supply, I was thrilled to have too much milk.
I’ve been told that breastfeeding gets easier once the baby has pretty good neck control. Alex is almost able to hold his head up for long periods of time, so I am optimistic that breastfeeding is just going to get better and better for us.
I hope this information was helpful. Good luck!