4 Common Breastfeeding Challenges and How to Resolve Them

Aug 07, 2023
4 Common Breastfeeding Challenges and How to Resolve Them
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your baby, but it comes with challenges. Keep reading to explore four breastfeeding challenges many mothers face and the steps you can take to resolve them.  

If you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby, you’ve made a great choice. Nursing your child gives your baby the essential nutrients they need for a healthy start. Plus, breastfeeding also offers protection against common health conditions and infections. 

Breastfeeding may be a natural process, but it isn’t always easy. Our dedicated providers at The Center for Advanced Pediatrics in Darien and Norwalk, Connecticut, are here to help. Our team offers comprehensive breastfeeding support with expert help from lactation consultants, nurse practitioners, and pediatricians. 

Since August is National Breastfeeding Month, this is the perfect time to talk about some common breastfeeding challenges and what you can do to overcome them and keep nursing.   

1. Your baby won’t latch on

One of the most common challenges new mothers face is latching problems. A good latch is key for preventing sore nipples and ensuring your baby gets enough milk. If you’re struggling to get your baby to latch on, it’s natural to feel frustrated. 

Here are some ways to resolve latching issues:

  • Make sure both you and your baby are comfortable
  • Experiment with different positions, like the football hold, side-lying position, or cradle hold, to find what works best for you both
  • Support your breast with your hand to help the baby latch on
  • Gently touch your baby’s lips with your nipple to encourage a wide mouth

If you’re struggling with latching problems, don’t wait to contact our lactation consultants at The Center for Advanced Pediatrics for personalized support and guidance.    

2. Your nipples hurt!

If your nipples hurt, it’s difficult to breastfeed successfully. Sore nipples can occur for several reasons, including poor latching, “sliding” while feeding, problematic nursing positions, and issues with your baby’s tongue. 

Here are a few of our favorite ways to prevent sore nipples:

  • Check that your baby is latching on correctly
  • Use lanolin-based nipple creams or ointments after each nursing session
  • Air dry your nipples after nursing 
  • Avoid tight or synthetic materials that may trap moisture
  • Change bra pads frequently to keep nipples dry

If your nipples show signs of infection (e.g., leaking pus), talk to us immediately. 

3. You’re worried about nursing in public

Many women find nursing in public a challenge. It can cause some anxiety, making it difficult to relax or get into a comfortable and effective nursing position. Here are some ways to make it more comfortable for you and your baby:

  • Gain confidence by practicing at home in front of a mirror or with family and friends 
  • Seek breastfeeding-friendly places where you can feel relaxed while nursing
  • Talk to others about the importance and normalcy of breastfeeding to help raise awareness

You may also find talking to other nursing mothers at a breastfeeding support group or class helpful. 

4. You think you’re not making enough milk 

Many nursing mothers worry about making enough milk for their babies to thrive. While most women don’t have an issue producing sufficient milk, it can take time for your milk supply to regulate. Here are some tips for increasing your milk supply:

  • Nurse frequently since the more often your baby nurses, the more signals your body receives to produce milk
  • Practice skin-to-skin contact, which stimulates the release of hormones that promote milk production
  • Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet rich in lactation-promoting nutrients, like leafy greens and whole grains
  • Consider pumping between nursing sessions to further stimulate milk production 

Your provider at The Center for Advanced Pediatrics can provide additional personalized tips based on your needs. 

More breastfeeding help with personalized support

It’s important to remember that every breastfeeding journey is unique. Don't wait to seek support if you’re experiencing persistent trouble or have ongoing concerns about nursing. 

The Center for Advanced Pediatrics and Tiny Tummies Lactation Consultants have joined forces to give our breastfeeding moms around-the-clock support. This means you can get personalized help with breastfeeding issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Some of the breastfeeding concerns we address include:

  • Latching problems
  • Breast and nipple infections
  • Milk supply issues
  • Nursing preemies, multiples, and fussy babies
  • Sore, flat, or inverted nipples
  • Engorgement 

We also help mothers return to work or manage medications while breastfeeding. 

Get started by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at The Center for Advanced Pediatrics.