Breast Feeding Complications

Sore nipples

A lot of mothers complain about tender nipples that make breast feeding painful and frustrating. There is good news though, as most mothers don't suffer that long. The nipples will toughen up quickly and render breast feeding virtually painless. Improperly positioned babies or babies that suck really hard can make the breasts extremely sore.

How to treat sore nipples:

  • Make sure your baby is in the correct position, since a baby that isn't positioned correctly is the number one cause of sore nipples.
  • Once you have finished feeding, expose your breasts to the air and try to protect them from clothing and other irritations.
  • After breast feeding, apply some ultra-purified, medical grade lanolin, making sure to avoid petroleum jelly and other products with oil.
  • Make sure to wash your nipples with water and not with soap.
  • Many women find teabags ran under cold water to provide some relief when placed on the nipples.
  • Make sure you vary your position each time with feeding to ensure that a different area of the nipple is being compressed each time.

Clogged milk ducts

Clogged milk ducts can be identified as small, red tender lumps on the tissue of the breast. They can cause the milk to back up and lead to infection.

How to treat clogged milk ducts: 

  • Make sure that you've emptied breast as much as possible. You should offer the clogged breast first at feeding time, then let your baby empty it as much as possible.
  • If milk remains after the feeding, the remaining amount should be removed by hand or with a pump.
  • Keep pressure off the duct by making sure your bra is not too tight. 

Breast Infection (Mastitis)

Mastitis is caused by empty breasts completely out of milk, germs gaining entrance to the milk ducts through cracks or fissures in the nipple, and decreased immunity in the mother due to stress or inadequate nutrition. Many women will stop breast feeding during an infection, although it's actually the wrong thing to do.

How to treat breast infections: 

  • Breast feeding, by emptying the breasts you'll actually help to prevent clogged milk ducts that cause mastitis
  • Use a pump while lying in a tub of warm water with your breasts floating comfortably in the water.