The Most Common Breastfeeding Problems and Solutions

The Most Common Breastfeeding Problems and Solutions

You must have often heard of the benefits of breastfeeding babies. It is the best way to ensure that your toddler gets a healthy start in life. However, many women suffer from various nursing problems that can make it difficult to breastfeed their babies. This article will talk about various breastfeeding problems and how you can overcome them.

Common Breastfeeding Problems and Their Solutions

Breastfeeding is best for both mother and her baby—no denying that fact, as that’s true. However, you may face certain common breastfeeding problems, like bleeding or cracked nipples, white marks on nipples, red areas on the breast, and small lumps in it. Given below are simple ways by which you can easily solve these problems and continue nursing your child.

#Sore Nipples

A common complaint of many feeding women is that of sore nipples. If you have sore, cracked, and even bleeding nipples, it can be because of the wrong breastfeeding position. Use a comfortable nursing pillow to latch your baby onto your breast correctly.

If your baby is not sucking the milk properly, it can lead to sore nipples. In addition, not positioning your baby properly while breastfeeding him is another common cause of sore nipples. Thus, you must take care of these things to avoid being troubled by the problem of sore and cracked nipples.

#Low Milk Supply

There are times when you find your baby being underfed due to a lack of adequate milk in your breasts. There are certain simple tips by which you can increase your milk supply.

These include applying warm compression on your breasts before feeding and pumping your breasts to stimulate the milk supply. In addition, breastfeed your baby at frequent intervals.

#Tender Breasts

Many women complain of tender breasts that pain during the nursing process. This can be due to ducts and lumps in the breast. You should consider wearing soft and supportive nursing bras to prevent this problem. In addition, massage your sore area and use warm compression to naturally dissolve the lumps and decrease the pain associated with lumps in the breast.

#White Marks

Along with the above problems, another common complaint with nursing moms is white marks on their breasts. These are usually a result of your taking antibiotics. Application of antifungal creams can help you out, but you must use them only after the doctor’s consultation.

#Breast Engorgement

In the early experience of breastfeeding, most women face the problem of breast engorgement. This happens when breast swells due to increased milk production, making it slightly uncomfortable for you. The best treatment of this problem is by removing milk from your breasts by nursing your baby on demand, at least 8-10 times a day. Consider wearing feeding nighties and kaftans with easy nursing access to ease frequent nighttime feedings.

A massage can also help provide relief. Sometimes tender, small lumps also develop in breasts due to the wrong way of sleeping or wearing a tight bra. Massaging the area using a warm compress can help. Also, if possible, position your baby in such a way that his jaw is near the lump so he can feed and help dissolve the lump.


Another problem that often troubles nursing mothers is that of Mastitis or breast infection. Usually, women with breast infection have red, tender, swollen areas of the breast and can experience chills, headaches, and nausea. As mentioned earlier, many women also face the problem of bleeding, sore and cracked nipples. This usually happens due to the wrong positioning of the baby during breastfeeding, as a result of which the baby suckles the nipple and not the breast. Change the child’s position to avoid this problem, and you can express milk and rub it on the nipples to heal it.

Breastfeeding Problems Caused by Pre-existing Conditions

Breastfeeding may be affected if the mother has any record of pre-existing conditions. A few of the pre-existing conditions that may affect breastfeeding are explained below:

#Breastfeeding and Herpes

Mothers who are infected with herpes may infect the child also. In this case, breast milk has no role to play in transmitting the infection. The virus does not transmit through breast milk. But the blisters on the breast can infect the child. So, mothers with blisters on the breast will have to be very careful while breastfeeding.

#Breastfeeding and Lupus

Mothers taking medications for lupus will have to be extra careful while breastfeeding as these medications get mixed up with breast milk and may prove fatal to the child. Mothers who are nursing should take up medicines that do not mix with breast milk. Other medications like Cytoxan and Imuran are not recommended as they pass through the breast milk. Guidance of an experienced lactation expert must be taken while breastfeeding.

#Breastfeeding and HIV

Mothers who are HIV+ should drop the idea of nursing their babies since there is a chance of getting the baby infected with the virus. Though there are also chances of transmitting the virus to the child during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and delivery apart from breastfeeding, the risk of infection is higher in the latter. The risk of infection may increase with the duration of breastfeeding.

#Breastfeeding and Pierced Nipples

Though pierced nipples do not disturb the process of milk production, they may cause inconvenience to the child while he is feeding. In some cases, scar tissue is formed because of this piercing which may interrupt the flow of the breast milk. Leakage of the milk from the pierced holes is also seen in some cases.

Other pre-existing conditions that affect breastfeeding are Biopsy, lumpectomy, other minor breast surgery, Breast augmentation (implants), Breast reduction, Cancer, diabetes, Flat or inverted nipples, Hepatitis A, B, or C, Mastectomy, Underdeveloped (hypoplastic) breasts.

Final Thoughts:-

Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your little one. Though it’s a personal decision only you can make, the benefits are plenty for both you and your baby. Whatever the problem, it can be easily solved, and you should not just stop breastfeeding your child. If the problem persists or aggravates, consult your doctor.

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