Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do for your baby. It provides them with antibodies, helps them sleep better and allows them to develop a strong immune system. But breastfeeding can also be hard! If you have struggled with breastfeeding, you have likely considered giving up. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life. Still, only five percent of Canadian babies meet this target due to many factors, including tongue ties and lip-ties which can cause breastfeeding pain or make it difficult for mothers to latch their babies on properly.
On top of this, new moms are often struggling with postpartum depression, which means they may not be able to focus on feeding their babies properly, leading to even more problems if left untreated.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a common condition affecting around 10% of new mothers. It can be a single episode, or it can be recurring. The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to those of regular depression, but they tend to be more intense, last longer and involve sleep disturbances and appetite changes.
Postpartum depression may occur in women who have never experienced any type of mental illness before. However, women who have suffered from depression before pregnancy are at higher risk for postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding can be hard.
You may be thinking, “Breastfeeding is hard?” And you would be correct. Breastfeeding can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. Here are five reasons breastfeeding is hard:
- It’s a skill you must learn—like riding a bike or swimming underwater. It takes practice before you can do it well enough to feel confident doing it yourself.
- Babies have to learn how to breastfeed, too—and they don’t always take their first steps immediately (or ever!).
- You may need time and patience with your baby as he or she learns how best to latch onto your nipple and suckle from each breast at different times during the day or night—and this can sometimes lead to frustration if things aren’t going smoothly all the time!
- There will probably be times when breastfeeding feels like nothing more than an endless cycle of pain and discomfort for both mother and child—it’s not always easy for either party involved!
- Sometimes even though everything seems fine on paper (i.e., baby latches well; the mother produces plenty of milk), there could still be deeper issues lurking beneath the surface. These can cause problems such as low milk supply/production, leading to postpartum depression if left untreated.
What are tongue-ties and lip-ties?
Tongue-ties and lip-ties are sometimes diagnosed at birth but often go undetected. They restrict the range of motion of the tongue and lip, respectively. Tongue ties can cause problems with breastfeeding and speech development, while lip-ties can cause issues with breastfeeding or make it difficult for your child to eat solid foods.
Tongue-tie is commonly referred to as ankyloglossia, a frenulum that restricts the movement of the tongue tip past its base. It’s also known as the Labial Frenulum (the tissue that connects your upper lip to your gums). Regarding treatment, you can visit an ENT specialist or pediatric dentist. They will likely recommend laser or scalpel excision procedures that release the muscles holding down your baby’s tongue (often done during circumcision). Another option is to remove your baby’s frenulum entirely (in some cases, there isn’t enough tissue on either side).
If you think one of these might be an issue for your child, ask their doctor about it when they’re born!