Breastfeeding is a learned skill and sometimes – for all kinds of reasons – things don’t go as expected.
Sometimes it’s mechanical; your nipples may not be the best shape for feeding. Sometimes there are health reasons. However, most breastfeeding problems come about because women don't recognise problems when they start to emerge. Getting help early is the best way to avoid some of the more serious breastfeeding issues. Recognising problems early can be tricky because sore nipples are often considered an inevitable part of learning how to breastfeed; aches and pains associated with mastitis might be confused with the tiredness of being a new mother. Checking in with a healthcare worker, preferably a lactation consultant; a maternal and child health worker; or a midwife is a worthwhile exercise in your early learning. Even if you feel confident, ask for someone to check your attachment and position. It may help you avoid problems later on.
Breast & nipple thrush
Breast and nipple thrush can cause strong pain in the nipple and breast. The pain may be severe enough to lead to early weaning if the condition is not treated.Learn more
Vasospasm occurs when blood vessels constrict (or tighten). It can be very painful and is usually worse when you are cold.Learn more
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. Mastitis can feel like you have the flu; you may feel hot and have body aches and pains.Learn more
Inverted or flat nipples
If you have flat or inverted nipples, breastfeeding can be very hard. However, it is still possible to breastfeed using nipple shields.Learn more
Low milk supply
Most mothers do produce enough milk for their babies. Your milk supply is considered low when there is not enough breast milk being produced to meet your baby's growth needs.Learn more
Tongue-tie can affect a baby's ability to breastfeed effectively. It might lead to nipple pain and trauma, poor breast milk intake and a decrease in milk supply over time.Learn more
On day three or four after your baby is born, your breasts start to produce lots of milk. This is known as the milk ‘coming in’. Your breasts may produce much more milk than your baby needs and feel full and uncomfortable.This will only last for a few dayLearn more
The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.