5 common breastfeeding problems and how to solve them

5 common breastfeeding problems and how to solve them

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish and build a deep bond between you and your baby. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t always go smoothly. 

Many mothers face challenges along the way, and that’s actually normal, especially for new moms. If you’re experiencing issues, know that you’re not alone and there’s plenty of support available to help you and your baby. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore five common breastfeeding problems and provide detailed solutions to help in your breastfeeding journey.

Problem 1: Latching Difficulty.

This is when the baby finds it difficult to hold on to your breast to suckle effectively and get a consistent flow of milk and it’s the most frequent breastfeeding problem. 

Incorrect positioning, where your baby isn't lined up well with your nipple, can make latching difficult. Nipple shape, whether flat or inverted, can also present a challenge for some newborns. Even your baby's mouth itself can play a role - a tongue-tie, for instance, can affect their ability to latch on securely.

Solution: Make sure your baby is positioned properly. Hold your baby close, with their tummy facing your body and their nose level with your nipple. This alignment helps the baby open their mouth wide and latch deeply. Try different techniques and positions to find what works best for you and your baby. The 'C' hold, where you use your hand to support your breast, can guide the baby’s mouth to the breast more effectively. 

Other positions like the football hold, where you tuck the baby under your arm, or the side-lying position can also be beneficial, especially if you’re recovering from a cesarean section or need to rest.

Problem 2: Insufficient milk supply

Some common signs of insufficient milk supply include; fussy baby after nursing, baby keeps searching for more milk, or your baby might appear frustrated at your breast. You might also notice a decrease in wet diapers (less than 6-8 a day) that feel light and pale, including slow weight gain or even weight loss. 

Solution: Frequent nursing is key! Aim for every 2-3 hours to stimulate milk production. Remember, the more you breastfeed, the more milk your body makes! Staying hydrated with plenty of water and eating a balanced diet rich in protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is also important. Pumping after feedings helps empty your breasts completely, signaling your body to produce more. Double pumping, using a pump on both breasts at once, can be particularly effective. If you’ve tried all these and notice no improvement, it’s time to consider seeing a lactation specialist. 

Problem 3: Engorgement

Breast engorgement happens when your breasts become overloaded with milk, feeling hard, warm, and tender to the touch. This can make it tough for your little one to latch on comfortably. Watch out for breasts that are unusually swollen and shiny. Some of the causes include; skipping feeds for too long, a sudden surge in milk supply, or even weaning.

Solution: Frequent feeding is your best weapon against engorgement. Nurse your baby often, at the first signs of hunger, to keep your breasts from becoming overloaded. Cold compresses work wonders in between feedings, it helps reduce swelling and discomfort. 

Before nursing, switch to warm therapy. A warm shower or wet cloth applied to the breasts, can help milk flow more easily and soften the area for a better latch. If latching is difficult due to engorgement, express a little milk by hand or pump to soften things up before offering the breast again. This will not only make feeding easier for your baby but also keep your milk production flowing smoothly.

Problem 4: Sore or Cracked Nipples

Sore or cracked nipples can be very painful for breastfeeding mothers, some signs include red, blistered, or even bleeding nipples that cause significant discomfort during feeding. This condition can arise from several factors, including a poor latch, leading to excessive friction and pressure on the nipple. Prolonged feedings can also contribute, as extended periods of nursing without adequate breaks can irritate the delicate skin. Dry skin can also worsen the problem, making the nipples more prone to cracking and soreness. 

Solution: To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latched correctly. A deep latch minimizes friction and tension on your nipples. Applying nipple creams or pregnancy-safe moisturizing balm to your nipples can soothe and heal your nipples. These natural remedies promote healing and reduce pain—ensure your nipples are dry before covering them. Allowing your nipples to air dry after feedings can help prevent moisture buildup, which could lead to infections. Additionally, avoiding tight bras or clothing can prevent further irritation. Using nipple shields temporarily can protect your nipples while they heal.

Problem 5: Mastitis

This is the Inflammation of the breast tissue, often accompanied by infection. The most common symptom of this is a red, swollen, warm, and painful area on the breast. Alongside these localized symptoms, you might experience flu-like symptoms, including fever and chills, which indicate an infection. Mastitis can be caused by blocked milk ducts, which prevent milk from flowing properly and lead to buildup and inflammation. 

Engorgement, where the breasts become overly full of milk, can also contribute to this condition. Also, bacteria can enter the breast through cracked nipples, leading to infection and inflammation. Prompt treatment, which may include antibiotics and continued breastfeeding or pumping, is important to prevent complications.

Solution: To manage mastitis, continue breastfeeding or pumping to keep the milk flowing, as this helps clear blocked ducts and reduces inflammation. Though it might be painful, continued milk removal is essential. Make sure you get plenty of rest and stay hydrated, as rest helps your body fight the infection and recover more quickly.

Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods to support your immune system. Applying warm compresses to the affected area before feeding can help relieve pain and improve milk flow. Gently massaging the area while applying warmth can also aid in unclogging blocked ducts.


Breastfeeding can be challenging, but knowing how to address common problems can make the journey smoother. If you’re facing difficulties, don’t hesitate to seek help from lactation consultants or healthcare providers. 

Remember, you’re not alone, and with the right support, you can overcome these challenges and continue to provide the best nourishment for your baby. Your persistence and dedication to breastfeeding are commendable, and you can navigate through these obstacles successfully.

Stay connected with a community of breastfeeding mothers and professionals who can offer advice, share experiences, and encourage each other. Breastfeeding is a journey, and every step you take, whether smooth or challenging, contributes to the bond you’re building with your baby.

Before you go…

We appreciate your time taken to read this blog to the end. We hope you found it helpful. Let’s share a little detail about us. Pure Baby and Mama is a brand that offers safe and effective skincare products for pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and their little ones. Feel free to explore our website or send us a DM for product recommendations.
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