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5 Signs of Breastfeeding Problems and How to Tackle Them

5 Signs of Breastfeeding Problems and How to Tackle Them

Can’t stand the pain of cracked nipples or engorgement? We know how you feel. Dealing with issues like this can really demotivate us to continue breastfeeding no matter how much we want to do it. In fact, some mothers might stop breastfeeding due to the unbearable pain, which we totally understand.

If you still wish to exclusively – or even non-exclusively – breastfeed your little one, it is important that you find solutions or methods that will work to relieve whatever it is that you are experiencing. We hope you’ll find your solution here today! Let’s go over 5 common breastfeeding issues and ways to tackle them.


1) Sore or Cracked Nipples

Possibly one of the toughest of them all to go through, sore nipples can occur due to several reasons. First, if your baby is not in the right position during breastfeeding, it can cause them to not be properly attached which can lead to soreness. 

What you can do:

If this is the case for you, try to learn and get into a proper position that feels comfortable for you right away. Don’t try to endure just because it feels bearable at first. There are various positions you can give a try such as the football hold, cross-cradle position, and reclined position among others. Your comfort is as important as ensuring proper latching for your baby.


2) Not Producing Enough Breast Milk

5 Signs of Breastfeeding Problems and How to Tackle Them

Now this is a common one among new and experienced mothers, but the good news is, there are many methods that could work for you. But first, how do you know that your baby is getting enough milk from you? Look for the signs.

If your baby receives enough milk, they will:

  • Start the feed with a few rapid sucks and followed by long, rhythmic sucks
  • Have occasional pauses
  • Have rounded cheeks when sucking (rather than hollow)
  • Be in calm and relaxed behaviour when fed
  • Release breast on their own after feeds
  • Have moist mouth after fed
  • Look satisfied after fed

On the other hand, your breasts will feel softer after breastfeeding, whereas your nipples should look pretty much the same. Due to the used up energy to produce milk, you might feel slightly sleepy and relaxed after you are done breastfeeding your little one. 

What you can do:

Pump your breasts to continue stimulating for breast milk production even when you are not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding massage therapy is also another effective way to help promote milk production and flow. Practise massaging your breast regularly when you are breastfeeding or using manual milk collector. Offer your baby both breasts during feeds and massage or pump the side that is not feeding at that particular time.

You can also include more lactogenic or milk-boosting into your daily meals. Believe it or not, some of them are not that hard to find! Studies have shown that even ingredients like ginger, garlic, and fennel can help in boosting milk production.


3) Breast Engorgement

When your breasts are too full of milk, feel hardened, tight, and hot, and may come with a slight burning sensation, that’s engorgement.

What you can do:

Getting a breast or lactation massage is certainly one of the recommended ways to go about it. Massage if you are not sure of the proper techniques to perform the massage, go to an expert or professional massage therapist who is certified and trained to do it. 

Using cabbage leaves is also another method recommended by many mothers, although the effectiveness differs from one mother to another. Apply chilled cabbage leaves onto your engorged breasts for a maximum of only twice per day.


4) Baby Is Not Latching on Properly

This is another common problem, especially among new inexperienced mothers. Again, you have to identify the signs that your baby is well-latched. 

If your baby is well-fed;

  • They will show a wide mouth and take in a mouthful of breast during feeds.
  • Their chin should touch your breast with their lower lip rolled down.
  • Their nose is not squashed against your breast.
  • You should not feel any pain in your breast or nipple during feeds (the first few suckles may feel stronger, but the subsequent ones should feel better.
  • You can see more of your areola above your baby’s top lip than under their lower lip.

Not what you are experiencing? Then your baby may not have been properly latching on to your breast. 

What you can do:

Practise proper latching as such;

  1. Hold your breast with four fingers at the bottom and the thumb on top, away from the areola.
  2. Let your baby open their mouth wide by letting your nipple touch their lips.
  3. Ensure your baby’s chin is touching your breast, covering as much of the areola as possible.
  4. Make sure your baby’s lips are completely turned out around your areola.
  5. Make sure your baby’s nose is not against your breast and that they can breathe easily.

5) Blocked Milk Ducts

Issues like engorgement, if not treated from early on, can result in bigger issues like blocked milk ducts which can feel like small, tender lumps in your breasts. Blocked ducts, of course, negatively affect the milk supply for your little one so you would want to stay away from this problem.

What you can do:

You can try applying hot and cold compression at different times. Take a warm shower and massage while you are under the shower. As always, massaging around your breasts can help to unclog blocked milk ducts as well. If breast engorgement continues, it can lead to a blocked milk duct. You may feel a small, tender lump in your breast. Frequent feeding from the affected breast may help. If possible, position your baby with their chin pointing towards the lump so they can feed on that part of the breast.


Need a solution that can tackle them all at once?

Try Postnatal Massage! Our postnatal massage includes breastfeeding massage therapy that improves lactation and helps ensure a smooth breastfeeding experience for you. Our certified therapists will analyse your condition and target clogged ducts accurately to clear them, allowing you to enjoy breastfeeding more after. 

Our post natal massage price starts with a deposit of $178 for a 5-session Postnatal Massage treatment! We accompany you along the maternity journey from pregnancy onwards, so you can also opt for our pregnancy massage SG mothers usually get. Reach us at +6564179690 any day, from 9 AM to 6 PM to secure your massage slot!