3 Most Common Breastfeeding Problems

2.22.12
Creative Commons License photo credit: Caitlinator

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural, healthy things that a mother can do for her baby. Still, while it is absolutely natural, that doesn’t mean it is always easy or without challenges.





Fortunately, most of the challenges that breastfeeding mothers face need not stop you from breastfeeding. Often, relatively simple changes can help overcome breastfeeding difficulties. Below are some of the more common breastfeeding problems, and helpful suggestions should you find yourself dealing with them.

  1. Sore nipples. One of the most common problems experienced by breast feeding mothers, sore nipples are usually a sign that baby is not latching on properly. When baby latches on properly, she will usually take about an inch of the areola in her mouth. This will place the nipple towards the back of baby’s mouth, between the palates. Sore nipples are generally the result of baby not latching on properly, leaving the nipple towards the front of baby’s mouth and causing a pinching sensation whenever baby sucks. In addition to the soreness this can cause Mom, it can also mean that baby is having a difficult time feeding. A simple solution is to gently insert your finger into the corner of baby’s mouth and break the latch as soon as you feel pinching. Try latching on again, ensuring that baby gets about an inch of areola.
  2.  Thrush (Yeast Infection) If the skin on your breasts is pink or red, shiny, and itches, you may have a yeast infection caused by thrush. With this condition, your skin may also get flaky or peel and you may also experience symptoms of vaginal yeast infection. Thrush usually affects both you and your baby. TO check for infection in your baby, check the insides of his cheeks for white spots. Diaper rash that refuses to go away is another symptom. If you suspect that you or your baby is infected by thrush, see your doctor right away for recommendations concerning medication. Do not use over the counter medications without a doctor’s approval, as some OTC meds are not healthy for baby.
  3.  Painful Lumps. If your baby is latching on correctly, and you have developed a sore or tender spot on your breast anyway, you may have the beginning signs of an infection known as mastitis. Another possibility is a plugged milk duct. Even if you have a breast infection such as mastitis, it is safe to continue breastfeeding your baby. The antibodies in your breast milk will keep your baby safe. To relieve the pain, and help open the milk ducts, apply hot compresses three times per day for ten minutes and massage your breasts while taking hot showers.


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