New Moms Breastfeeding

Posted by on Sep 9, 2010 in Breast Feeding - Before Delivery | 2 comments

New Moms Breastfeeding

Common Problems New Moms Face When Breastfeeding

If you are planning on breastfeeding, you have probably given it much thought and have your own personal reasons for doing so. While most experts agree that breast milk is best for baby, breastfeeding comes with its own set of hurdles and challenges. Breastfeeding can be very rewarding for most moms, so learning about the challenges can help anyone stay on track with what they think is best for their family. Along with these problems and solutions comes the advice that support from spouse and emotional support from others in the family is very important for success.

Mastitis is a common problem in breastfeeding for some mothers. This is a term that means breast infection in some cases. There are a few reasons why a mother has mastitis. Sore breasts is usually the reason why these moms seek help. It could be that there is an infection, and it could also mean that there is a clogged milk duct. When there is a blockage of any type, there is usually a sore, red spot somewhere on the breast that feels very tender and/or sore. If not treated, it could lead to infection. According the La Leche League, to treat mastitis mothers are encouraged to nurse often and to hold the baby in the football hold to feed. They can also use wet or dry heat, take time to rest as often as possible, or to massage the breast during a warm shower. Some find relief by soaking the affected breast for ten minutes in warm water three times a day.

Engorgement is another common yet short lived part of breastfeeding that can be very uncomfortable. This happens after birth, before the two week mark, when full breast milk lets down. Breasts can become very large and hard, and may also be so big that baby can not latch on. Moms dealing with engorgement should know that it will subside in a day or two as the breasts will fall into a supply and demand type of situation. They will only produce what baby needs. A good support bra and nursing on schedule will help.

There are times when baby is not latching on correctly, or perhaps eats more often than other babies. This is when the nipples can get very sore and tender. When this happens, breastfeeding baby can be very hard and even painful which can discourage a new mom. In order to minimize problems, make sure to consult with a doctor about latching on. If the baby is not doing it right, the nipples will always be sore. Heidi Murkoff, author of What To Expect The First Year has a few suggestions. Nipples should be allowed to air dry after each feeding, and breast shields are great while wearing clothing. A medical-grade lanolin based cream can be given by your doctor or you can rub some of your own milk into your nipple and then allow it to dry. You may also find relief by putting wet tea bags on your nipples.

Some women also have problems with sore bodies. This is due to holding the baby the wrong way and creating stress on the body. They may also be suffering from some postpartum depression, even when nursing is going well. It is a great idea to get breastfeeding pillows so the baby is supported without added stress to mom for the first problem, but no pillow will help with depression. This is when support from spouse and other family members is important. The new mom may need extra emotional support if she is struggling with breastfeeding or any other aspect of motherhood.

You may not think of breastfeeding as anything other than normal, but for some women, it can be a problem. According the Tracy Hogg, author of Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer, problems with breastfeeding can be mental instead of physical. “Sometimes women do not like to touch or even hold their own breasts, and they do not like it when their nipples are stimulated. If a woman has such discomfort, there’s a good chance she’ll have trouble with breastfeeding.”

If that is the case with you, you will have to decide if you want to breastfeed or not. No one can tell you what is right or wrong and no one can make you feel good about something that bothers you that much. Whatever the case, do what you think is best for you and your baby, and seek support groups and emotional support whether you are having physical or emotional issues with breastfeeding before or while starting out.


  1. Informative article. Great help.
    I’m breastfeeding my second baby and this is the second week. My left breast feels full but the milk flow is slow compared to the right breast and it is really hard to empty it. I can also feel a hard patch which is always there. Is this due to blocked milk ducts? What should I do to improve the flow?

  2. Hi Kay, congrats on your newborn child. Hope you are taking your time to recuperate and enjoy your second baby. It does sound like you have a some blocked ducts in your left breast which maybe the result of slow flow. Most mothers find it helpful to clear the duct by gently massaging the breast from the base of the breast towards the nipple with long strokes, as your baby is sucking. Babies are the best plumber. Like what the article suggests, apply warm compression on the affected area and massage gently before breastfeeding. This may also help to de-clog the blocked ducts.
    You may find the article helpful:
    If the harden patch still persist in your breast despite all that you have done, please seek a professional help or approach any lactation consultants near you or even free to give me a call for an consult. Do not let the problem persist too long as it may go into other complications.

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