Common breastfeeding issues

Here are some common concerns that breastfeeding moms sometimes encounter and solutions to minimize discomfort. Call your doctor if your breast is sore and hot, has an area of spreading redness, or if you feel feverish.

Hard, swollen breasts

They result from the accumulation of milk as your breasts adjust to your baby’s needs. Engorgement can also occur if your baby is not latching on properly and cannot drain the breast completely.

  • Breastfeed your newborn every two to three hours even if you need to wake your baby to do so.
  • Take a hot shower or place a warm, wet cloth on breasts to relieve pain.
  • Express a little milk (by hand or pump) if your breasts are too full for your baby to latch on.

Plugged ducts

    A small hard lump may form in your breast. It may disappear on its own after a few days.

  • Start nursing with that breast first and let your baby nurse longer on that side.
  • Massage the area between feedings.
  • Apply a warm, wet cloth before nursing.

Cracked nipples

    Vigorous suckling or improper latching on may cause sore or cracked nipples.

  • Try a new feeding position.
  • Air-dry your nipples after feeding.
  • Rub your own milk around your nipples.
  • Wear only cotton clothing.

Leaking milk

    Milk leaking from your breast is a normal reaction before feeding or when you hear your baby cry.

  • Use absorbent nursing pads inside your bra.
  • Change padding often.

Breast tingling

You may experience some tingling as your breasts adjust to breastfeeding. If tingling only occurs when your baby starts breastfeeding, it’s a normal sign of ‘let down’, or your body releasing milk. If you have a fever or if one of your breasts is sore and hot, you may have a breast infection. Call your doctor.

Milk reduction

Just as plenty of rest and fluids help build your milk supply, fatigue can reduce it. Pay attention to your milk supply as you start getting back to your routine. If you notice a reduction, take it easy and drink more water.

Difficulty latching on