11 Common Breastfeeding Challenges Faced by New Moms


The bond of love and affection that develops between a mother and child starts evolving from the womb itself and gradually strengthens. Breast feeding is the most essential step in the nurturing of babies. The nutrition’s present in the mother’s milk is not only essential for the healthy growth of the babies but its antibiotic nature improves the immune system of the children helping them fight multiple diseases. At times the most natural process of breast feeding may prove to be a challenge for new moms. The lack of knowledge about the correct method and inexperience causes a lot of troubles for both the mom and the baby. Some of the major challenges faced are;

Breastfeeding Challenges: 11 Common Challenges Faced By New Moms


breastfeeding problems

Incorrect Latch

Getting the baby to latch properly on the breast is a common problem for majority of the lactating moms. Instead of wrapping their mouths around the areola the baby may only latches around the nipples. This causes discomfort and at times bleeding nipples. Mothers experience pain and soreness due and the babies fail to extract milk efficiently remaining hungry and cranky. To overcome this condition mothers are often suggested to visit experienced nurses or their lactating consultant. One of the prime remedy to a poor latch is to gently tickle the upper lip of the baby by the breasts. This technique will coax the young ones to open their mouths wider and form a proper latch that covers the areola.

Oversupply of Milk

This condition is generally caused by an overactive let down reflex in mothers. The ejaculation of milk has more than natural power which causes engorgement or more commonly mastitis. It is extremely painful at times for lactating mothers since the force with which the milk jets out causes intense pain and discomfort. Moms who are suffering from this problem are suggested to drink sage tea during the evening, try and relax during the process of breast feeding as the child will most likely sense the mothers discomfort and become fussy, changing positions is also an easy remedy.

Low supply of Milk

This is the biggest concern in new mothers whether they are able to wean their babies adequately or not. This condition is often a result of insufficient feeding by babies. If there is any amount of milk left in the mother’s breast unconsumed, the body will not produce further milk. Glandular issues or premature babies is another reason for this condition. To prevent such problems the mother should ensure that she remains hydrated throughout the day, she should ensure that the child has a good latch around the breast and that she empties both her breast by the night.


Within the first 72 hours of the birth of the child, mothers start feeling their breast become fuller due to the increase in blood flow to support the production of milk for the baby. At times there is abnormal enlargement that causes pain and discomfort. Increased thirst, felling flushed and increased in babies wet diapers are a clear indication for the mothers to realise this condition. The best method of treating it is to use warm compress before feeding to soften the breast and an ice pack later. Refrigerated green cabbage leaves also helps to reduce swelling.



It is an infection to the breast tissues often caused due to cracked nipples that allow the bacteria to grow in the injured area. Milk stasis or inefficient emptying of breast causes mastitis. Mothers can still feed their babies while suffering from such outer infection, yet the process of feeding becomes extremely painful. A thorough antibiotic course of 14 days is suggested by doctors along with a warm and cold compress to help the mother recover completely.

Sore Nipples

At times the hormonal change in the body after delivery makes the nipples sore and the 8 – 10 feeding sessions a day does nothing to improve the ailment. An incorrect is often the cause of sore nipples. It makes them swollen, bleeding or bruised. To help others suffering from this disorder a general suggestion is to regularly change breast pads to avoid wetness; application of lanolin type of ointment is suggested along with rubbing colostrum over the affected area.

Leaking Breasts

Leaking breasts is a common and natural balancing procedure of the body to ensure that the mother does not suffer engorgement and relieving the pressure in the breasts. It may start during the pregnancy or at times after delivery. Hormone oxytocin is responsible for the production and ejaculation of milk. It may happen due to excess milk in the breast or frequent let down reflex in the body. Special nursing pads are advised that prevent wetness and infections. Frequently feeding the baby also helps relieve this condition.

Inverted Nipples

Sometimes mothers have flat nipples that causes incorrect latch by the babies leading to soreness or unsatisfying feed. It may be caused due to excessive milk production or engorgement. Since it is a physical condition it cannot be prevented but can be successfully improved by compressing the areola and using the fingers to create suction. The babies’ constant suckling also improves the position of the nipples.

Blocked Milk Ducts

Blocked milk ducts hinder the passage of milk from the tissues to the babies. They often lead to pimple like formation near the areola which is filled with milk called milk blisters, if not treated adequately it often leads to mastitis. Too tight bras, improper feeding schedules are major cause of plugged ducts. Warm compress, gentle massage and frequent feeding help overcome this condition.

Nursing Strike

A nursing strike refers to the refusal of young ones to accept breast feeding. This condition generally happens due to clogged nose, teething, illness or sore gums. Pacifiers and bottles generally help continue the proper feed of the kids but mother feel the brunt of the situation. The use of breast pump to remove excessive milk from the breast as well as to feed the baby is advisable. It prevents milk stasis, infections or engorgements.



Thrush or yeast infection affects both the mother and child. An intake of antibiotics during labour or post-delivery destroys the good bacteria’s of the body that keep yeast production in check. Itchiness, redness around the nipple in mothers and fussiness in babies is a common symptom of thrush. Nystatin cream, drops are a good solution for mothers and anti-fungal diapers for kids prevent thrush from growing. Vinegar rinse diluted with water is another strong remedy for the mother and child.