Your baby might have a tongue-tie for which you may see your pediatrician or lactation consultant, who can help you. If your baby doesn’t have a tongue-tie, and you are still having trouble in nursing, you can check if there is a lip-tie by lifting upper lip of the bay.Estimated Reading Time: 11 mins
Hand express or pump a little milk to soften the breast, areola, and nipple before breastfeeding. Massage the breast. Use cold compresses on your breast in between feedings to help ease the pain. If you are returning to work, try to pump your milk on the same schedule that your baby breastfed at home.
The truth is, there are several things that can pop up along your nursing journey, throwing up roadblocks on what might already be a pretty bumpy road. What is easy? Getting great advice from the experts that know breasts and babies best. We asked them for their best tips for how to handle the most common breastfeeding problems new moms face. Remember, both you and baby are learning the ropes here, so an improper latch is one of the most common breastfeeding problems to surface. For more latching how-to, check out our latching guide. This is one of those breastfeeding problems that can be the result of many different things: a shallow latch, pumping improperly, thrush and sometimes even dry skin. During your first week of breastfeeding, when baby is just learning to latch, you may even experience some bloody discharge, says Jane Morton, MD, a clinical professor of pediatrics emerita at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, and founder of Droplet , an online resource for breastfeeding moms. Cracked nipples might be a little frightening and uncomfortable , but this breastfeeding problem is nothing to worry about. Solution: Your first step is to make sure baby is properly positioned. Morton also suggests letting some milk stay on your nipples after a feeding and air dry to aid healing. And because cracked nipples can allow for bacteria to enter the breast, wash your sore nipples with soap and water at least twice a day. For even more on how to heal your cracked nipples, see our primer. Engorged breasts aka breasts bulging with a whole lot of milk are very full, firm and taut, making it hard for baby to latch—and yes, like so many breastfeeding problems, engorged breasts can be pretty uncomfortable for mom. Your breasts may become engorged at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey when your milk first comes in and your body is still figuring out how to regulate milk production. Solution: Try hand-expressing a little before feeding baby. This will get the milk flowing and soften the breast, making it easier for baby to latch and access milk, says Morton. Of course, the more you nurse, the less likely your breasts are to get engorged. For more tips on relieving engorgement, read our guide on how to find relief. Other causes of clogged ducts include: Compressing your breasts while sleeping; using wrong-sized pumping parts or an inefficient pump or having something hit your breast in the same spot, like the underwire of your bra. Solution: For clogged milk ducts, Morton encourages getting adequate rest you should recruit your partner to pick up some slack when possible. You can also try feeding baby on the affected side first at each feeding until the duct is cleared. Applying warm compresses to your breasts and massaging them can also help break up the clog. Mastitis is a bacterial infection in your breasts marked by flu-like symptoms such as fever and pain in your breasts, Morton says. Solution: The only way to treat mastitis is with antibiotics. You may also experience an itching sensation or deep, shooting breast pain. If you and baby are not both treated at the same time, you can easily pass the fungi back and forth, prolonging the healing, says Morton. To keep the yeast contained, make sure to sanitize all pump parts that come in contact with your breasts. In theory, breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand system. The more you nurse or pump, the more milk your body should make. Solution: Frequent nursing and pumping during the day can help up your breast milk supply. For more in-depth info on upping your supply, see more pro tips here. Newborns can be especially sleepy in the first few weeks after birth, so nodding off while nursing is common—and even expected. Solution: Milk flow is always fastest at the start at a feed, with the first let-down. Unsure about the state of your nipples? Gently pinch your areola with your thumb and index finger. If your nipple retracts rather than protrudes, you may have inverted nipples. Solution: In addition to getting some pro help, you can use a breast pump to get your milk flowing and pull your nipples out as much as possible before placing baby at your breast for a feed. You might also consider using nipple shields. But for some, the sensation is felt deep in the breasts and can hurt or be achy, especially when milk production is in overdrive. Solution: When this pain develops due to an excessive amount of milk, try feeding baby longer on one particular breast and switching to the other only if you need to. However, if your prickly feeling morphs into more of a tiny-daggers-poking-your-breasts feeling, visit your healthcare provider. You may actually be experiencing a yeast or bacterial infection in your breasts. She is also the founder of Droplet , an online resource for breastfeeding moms. Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances. How to Eat a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet. Getting Pregnant. Popular links under Pregnancy First Trimester.