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Common Breastfeeding Problems

Common Breastfeeding Problems. According to "How Good is Breastfeeding, Really?" on Pregnancy.org, breastfeeding is designed to be the best form of feeding for a baby because a mother's milk is naturally full of nutrients a baby needs. Breastfeeding is a bonding time between mother and child. However, with breastfeeding, it is common to experience problems, particularly within the first few weeks, such as sore nipples, engorgement and infection.

Overview

According to "How Good is Breastfeeding, Really?" on Pregnancy.org, breastfeeding is designed to be the best form of feeding for a baby because a mother's milk is naturally full of nutrients a baby needs. Breastfeeding is a bonding time between mother and child. However, with breastfeeding, it is common to experience problems, particularly within the first few weeks, such as sore nipples, engorgement and infection.

Engorgement

In the article "Engorged Breasts" in January 2012, the BabyCenter Advisory Board indicates that engorgement refers to the breasts flooding with milk. This usually occurs sometime between two and six days after giving birth. When the breasts begin filling with milk, excess blood and lymph fluid also fills the breasts. This combination makes the breasts swell and feel tender, warm, overly full and even lumpy. This fullness can even be felt near the armpit. Engorgement may also cause a low-grade fever. For some women, excessive engorgement may occur and cause extreme discomfort; for others, slight engorgement occurs and is hardly noticed. Either way, engorgement is a temporary problem, usually subsiding within 24 to 48 hours. To ease the pain, nursing often, pumping milk between feedings, wearing a supportive bra and applying ice packs may help.

Infection

Infection is common while breastfeeding. Such infections are usually caused by a clogged milk duct or mastitis, writes Colette Bouchez in "Common Breastfeeding Problems" on WebMD.com. Typically, a sore spot or painful lump is a sign of such an infection. If you experience this problem, contact your health care provider. Your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics, suggest applying hot compresses to the area, and advise massaging the breast to prevent the clog from becoming an infection.

Cracked or Sore Nipples

Moms who breastfeed may experience cracked or sore nipples. This is typically caused by improper positioning or latching on by the infant on the nipple. If the baby has latched on incorrectly, pressure from his mouth may be applied directly to the nipple, causing it to become sore and cracked and sometimes it may even bleed. Ensuring your baby has latched on correctly may help you avoid this problem. If suckling causes pain, remove your baby and have him latch on again. Applying vitamin E and ice packs may also soothe cracking and soreness.

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