Breastfeeding Troubleshooting Guide

Here is a breastfeeding troubleshooting guide for common breastfeeding issues you may encounter. Loop in your doctor or lactation consultant if you have any breastfeeding concerns that are not addressed here.

Sore nipples Sore nipples are most commonly the result of a bad breastfeeding position.  Check how your child is positioned and check for a proper breastfeeding latch. Have a lactation consultant look at how you and your child nurse to see if there is an alignment issue. Some women find relief from nipple soreness by expressing breast milk onto the sore nipple.

Tender lumps in your breast – Breast lumps are one of the symptoms of a plugged duct. The best way to clear a plugged duct is to nurse from that breast as much as possible. You could also try self massage of the nipple area or expressing breast milk while taking a warm bath or shower.  

You feel feverish or have a red spot on your breast – See your doctor for advice as this may be the beginning of mastitis or breast inflammation.  Try feeding from the affected breast as much as possible and move your arm on that side to improve blood flow.

You baby is suddenly refusing to breastfeed – Has something recently changed for you? Common causes of a child refusing to breastfeed are: change in medication, increased exercise, menstruation, and pregnancy. Most changes to your breast milk are temporary and your child should begin nursing again shortly. A breastfed baby not eating could be caused by a stuffy nose confusing their senses. If your breastfed baby not eating lasts for more than two or three feedings involve your doctor or lactation consultant immediately to remedy the problem.

Your baby is breastfeeding for comfort –  Every child will breastfeed for comfort occasionally if it becomes a regular experience then it may be time to wean your child or shorten the breastfeeding sessions.  Alternatively you may wish to give them a bottle with breast milk. Your baby may breastfeed for comfort because they want to feel close to you.

If you have concerns about things that were not addressed in the breastfeeding troubleshooting guide involve your doctor or lactation consultant immediately. They have access to breastfeeding resources and can give you the breastfeeding advice you need.

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