Breastfeeding problems and essential tips

Breastfeeding problems and solutions
Breastfeeding problems and solutions

There’s no doubt that breastfeeding is best for your child. But sore nipples and trouble with your breast milk supply can make things difficult. These problems can often be overcome easily. So always ask your breastfeeding consultant or doctor for guidance.

Breastfeeding problems and essential tips

Sore, cracked or bleeding nipples

These breastfeeding problems can occur if your baby isn’t latching on properly, or is in the wrong position. It can even happen if you’re not using your breast pump properly. Ask your breastfeeding consultant to recommend different techniques. In the meantime, try applying nipple cream on the affected area.

Blocked ducts

A sign of blocked ducts can be a small white dot at the end of your nipple, or a painful lump and inflammation in your breast. Regular feeding, using a breast pump, and gentle breast massage can help relieve the pain. Speak to your doctor straightaway if the pain persists.


Thrush can affect you both. If your baby has a sore mouth with white patches in it, or you have sensitive nipples, or if your breasts have a burning sensation inside, it’s likely to be thrush.

Your doctor will be able to advise you on how to overcome it. Keep breastfeeding – although it may be a bit sore in the short term.

Engorged breasts (swollen, tender, lumpy, full to bursting!)

It’s quite natural, but the swelling may even spread to your underarms and you might even get a small fever. It can be painful, but it’s quite harmless and usually goes away over a short period of time - but if it doesn’t, make sure you consult your doctor.

Leaking breasts

It’s quite natural for breasts to leak. While wet patches on your top can be embarrassing, don’t worry - The good news is, the more regularly you feed, the less likely they are to leak. Most mums wear breast pads inside their bras, and find the problem almost completely vanishes after about seven to ten weeks of breastfeeding.

Too little breast milk

Your body is capable of producing enough milk for your baby. Too little breast milk can be a sign that your child isn’t latching on properly. This is why your body produces less breast milk. The good news is that the more you feed your baby, the more milk your body will produce. However, if you’re worried your child may not be getting enough breast milk, speak to your doctor.

Too much breast milk

Once feeding has been established, your body naturally produces the right amount of milk for your baby. But sometimes it can make too much, causing milk to leak or spray. If your baby’s feeding well and you still have plenty left after a feed, try expressing it and storing it for later.

Spraying milk

If you’re spraying milk, try to slow down the flow by hand expressing or pumping before your baby starts to feed. Or let them suckle before latching on, and catch the initial spray in a towel.

Baby Refusing to feed

Try to make an environment that is quiet and free from distractions. Moving them around into different positions might also help. Rocking them gently will also help them feel more relaxed. If they keep on refusing, consult a doctor on breastfeeding.

Preference for one breast

Try feeding them on the breast they don’t favour in the same position as the one they do. Slide them across from their preferred breast to their least favoured one, without disrupting their position, instead of turning them around.

Biting the nipple – ouch!

If your baby’s using your nipple as a teething ring, stay calm, remove them from your breast and say “No!“ They’ll soon learn that biting means losing the breast. If they’re teething, let them have a good chew on a cold teething toy before they start feeding, which will help to numb their gums.

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