Common Breastfeeding Challenges
Breastfeeding challenges are common, but knowing what to expect and when to get help can help you overcome them.
Breastfeeding is a journey with ups and downs. During those first few days and weeks, it may feel like there are more downs than ups. It will get easier with time and practice! The key is to know what to expect and to get help when you need it. Your WIC breastfeeding expert is trained to help you overcome breastfeeding challenges you face.
Common breastfeeding challenges include:
- Sore nipples.
Many moms say that their nipples feel tender when they first start breastfeeding.
- Low milk supply.
Moms sometimes worry about whether they are making enough milk for baby.
- Cluster feeding and growth spurts.
In cluster feedings, your baby feeds very frequently. Growth spurts sometimes cause an increase in feeding.
Engorgement is when your breasts feel very full and may be painful.
- Plugged duct.
A plugged duct feels like a tender and sore lump in the breast. It is caused by a milk duct that does not drain properly.
- Fungal infection.
Infections can occur on your nipples or in your breast.
- Nursing strike.
This is when your baby suddenly refuses to breastfeed, after breastfeeding well for months.
- Breast and nipple size and shape.
Women with all shapes and sizes of breasts and nipples can breastfeed, though some adjustments may help.
Caring for a newborn can be tiring, and breastfeeding may feel harder when you are exhausted.
- Feeling like you can't leave your baby.
Frequent feedings can leave you feeling like you don't have any time for yourself.
- Feelings of sadness or depression.
These feelings may come with being a new mom.
- Dealing with judgment.
Others may not always support your decision to breastfeed.
Every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, so you may experience some or none of these problems. If you do, just remember that it's okay to ask for help. Trained WIC staff are ready to support you. Your family and friends can help, too. With a little time, patience, and support, you can overcome breastfeeding challenges and meet your goals.