Common Problems associated with breastfeeding with solutions

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breastfeeding problems

Problem 1: Latching pain

It’s normal for your nipples to feel sore when you first start to breastfeed, especially if you’re a first-timer. But if baby has latched and the pain lasts longer than a minute , check the positioning.

Solution: Try to achieve an asymmetrical latch where baby’s mouth covers more of the areola below the nipple rather than above. To reposition him, place your index finger inside baby’s mouth to take him off your breast. Tickle his chin or wait until he yawns so his mouth is wide open and seize your opportunity. When he is correctly positioned, his chin and nose touch your breast, his lips splay out and you can’t see your nipple or part of the lower areola.

Problem 2: Inverted/flat nipples

You can tell if you have flat or inverted nipples by doing a simple squeeze test:  Gently grab your areola with your thumb and index finger — if your nipple retracts rather than protrudes, you’ve got a problem.

Solution: Remember that babies BREASTfeed, not NIPPLEfeed. As long as baby can take a good portion of the breast into his mouth (baby’s mouth and gums should bypass the nipple entirely and latch on to the areola), most types of flat or inverted nipples will not cause problems with breastfeeding.

Problem 3: Low milk supply

Breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand process.

Solution: Frequent breastfeeding, drinking 2-3 liters of fluids in a day,  taking nutritious diet and above all feeling relaxed and confident are keys to increase milk supply.

Breastfeeding problems

Problem 4: Baby sleeping at breast

Baby is sleepy in the first couple of months after birth  so falling asleep while nursing is common. All that bonding makes baby relaxed!

Solution: When you notice baby’s sucking slowing down and his eyes closing, remove him from your breast and try to stimulate him by tickling his feet, or gently talking to him while rubbing his back, and then switch breasts. As baby gets older he’ll be able to stay awake longer, so don’t fret.

Problem 5: Clogged/plugged ducts

Ducts clog because your milk isn’t draining completely. You may notice a hard lump on your breast or soreness to the touch and even some redness. If you start feeling feverish and achy, that’s a sign of infection and you should see your doctor. Most importantly try not to have long stretches in between feedings — milk needs to be expressed often. A nursing bra that is too tight can also cause clogged ducts. Stress (something all new mommies have) can also affect your milk flow.

Solution: Do your best to get adequate rest . Also, try applying warm compresses to your breasts and massage them to stimulate milk movement.

Problem 6: Engorgement/high milk supply

Engorgement makes it difficult for baby to latch on to the breast because it’s hard and un-conforming to his mouth.

Solution: Try hand-expressing a little before feeding to get the milk flowing and soften the breast, making it easier for baby to latch and access milk. Of course, the more you nurse, the less likely your breasts are to get engorged.