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Solutions for common breastfeeding problems

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural, beautiful way to feed your baby. It can also be challenging, especially in the first few weeks as you and your baby are learning. It’s okay if breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally to you and your baby. If you are going through some tricky breastfeeding situations, know that you aren’t alone.

Mother holding baby in nursery
Northpoint Pediatrics has certified lactation specialists on staff because we know that many women need help at different stages of breastfeeding. Here are some of the most common breastfeeding problems we see and a few solutions for each.

Your baby suddenly seems to not like your milk.

The taste of your milk can change based on what you’ve eaten, medication you’re taking or even strenuous exercise. Keep track of what you eat and do and if you notice your baby not wanting to feed in the same way, see if you can relate it to a change in your diet or activity. If so, eliminate the change and see if things go back to normal.

Consider not using perfumes, lotions or heavily fragranced soap while breastfeeding as they could potentially change the taste when your baby latches on.

Your baby is fussy and agitated, feeding in short bursts.

It could be that your milk letdown is happening slowly. Try hand expressing milk before feeding to help the flow come faster.

If your baby is suddenly resisting feeding after weeks or months of successful breastfeeding, this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics can help pinpoint other common issues: Common Feeding Problems.
Mother breastfeeding child

Baby’s first teeth have appeared.

The appearance of teeth on their own doesn’t mean your baby will start biting while breastfeeding. However, sometimes the baby will nip or bite towards the end of feeding. If this happens, remove your baby from the breast and say no firmly. If your baby is not done feeding you can continue breastfeeding at that point. As with any discipline it will take some reminders but you can teach your baby not to bite while feeding.

You have clogged milk ducts.

If your breast becomes sore or you notice a small lump on your breast that is red or irritated and hurts when you touch it, you might have clogged milk ducts. These can be very uncomfortable and lead to infection if not treated right away. Continue breastfeeding so that your breast does not become engorged. Use massage and heat on the affected areas and feed with that breast first to help drain it fully. Learn other tips to help treat and prevent clogged milk ducts from the American Academy of Pediatricians.

Your nipples are sore.

If your nipples are continually sore during or after breastfeeding, it is most often due to poor latching or baby positioning. Get a latch evaluation from a certified lactation specialist to see if there are new methods you can try that alleviate the soreness. To help relieve discomfort, use lanolin or express breast milk and let air dry your nipples several times a day.

Looking for more breastfeeding tips? Check out these breastfeeding help suggestions from our lactation specialists.

Breastfeeding 101

Our FREE breastfeeding class is offered once a month at our Noblesville location. This class reviews the basics of breastfeeding: how to get through the first few weeks, latching and positioning, how often and how much for feedings, how to know if it’s going well, pumping and going back to work.

Interested? Learn how to register.

NorthpointPeds Checklist BFS
Baby girl with pony tail in white