7 Common Breastfeeding Challenges and Expert Solutions

Embarking on the breastfeeding journey is a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it's not without its challenges. As a seasoned breastfeeding specialist and a mother who has breastfed three children for at least one year each, I understand the hurdles that new mothers may face. In this blog, we'll address some common breastfeeding challenges and provide practical solutions to empower new moms on their breastfeeding journey.

1. Latch Issues:

Challenge: Achieving a proper latch is crucial for comfortable and effective breastfeeding.

Solution: Experiment with different breastfeeding positions, ensure a deep latch, and seek

assistance from a lactation professional if needed.

2. Engorgement:

Challenge: Swelling and discomfort due to an overabundance of milk.

Solution: Frequently empty your breasts, use warm compresses, and consider expressing a small amount of milk before feeding or reverse pressure softening to soften the breast and make it easier for your baby to latch on.

3. Low Milk Supply:

Challenge: Concerns about not producing enough milk.

Solution: Have an understanding of what a normal output looks like,

make sure your little one is latching properlyand feeding frequency, stay hydrated, and incorporate massage into your feeding/pumping routine. If your baby is struggling with weight gain or you have more questions about your supply, working with a lactation professional can help give you tailored information specific to your unique needs.

4. Sore Nipples:

Challenge: Pain or tenderness in the nipples.

Solution: Check the latch, apply breast ointment or breast milk for

healing, soak your breasts in a simple saline solution of epsom salt and water either in your Haakaa or by soaking your nipples in a bowl to encourage healing. Using a nipple shield may temporarily allow your nipples to heal but they should only be used under the care of a lactation professional so that you know how and when to wean from them.

5. Breastfeeding in Public:

Challenge: Overcoming anxiety or discomfort about nursing in public.

Solution: Explore different breastfeeding positions and find one that works for you. Consider your wardrobe, choose options that make breastfeeding accessible, you can also consider doing the t-shirt method or breastfeeding your baby in a wrap, carrier or with a cover.

6. Balancing Breastfeeding with Work:

Challenge: Building a Stash

Solution: Start by using your Haakaa or any milk collection device to passively collect milk

from the opposite breast or in the shower and store it for when you return to work. Find a pumping schedule many lactation professionals can give you something customized for your line of work and your specific needs.Invest in a good primary pump. Communicate with your employer about accommodations before you leave for maternity leave and know your rights. Look into the PUMP ACT.

7. Night Feedings and Sleep Deprivation:

Challenge: Coping with frequent night feedings.

Solution: Embrace co-sleeping or establish a nighttime routine to

make feedings more manageable. Rest when your baby sleeps during the day. Find comfortable feeding positions like side lying or laid back breastfeeding.

As a breastfeeding specialist and a mother who has walked this path, I want to assure you that you are not alone in facing these challenges. Every breastfeeding journey is unique, and with the right support and knowledge, you can overcome obstacles and create a positive and fulfilling experience for both you and your baby. Remember, seeking guidance from a certified breastfeeding specialist can make a significant difference in overcoming challenges and ensuring a successful breastfeeding journey.

Meet Sterling Grey-Simmons

a dedicated and certified breastfeeding specialist, full-spectrum doula, and advocate for maternal well-being. With a passion for supporting women across the United States and beyond, Sterling goes beyond borders to empower mothers through her expertise. As a sought-after speaker on panels, an educator teaching classes, and an all-encompassing advocate for breastfeeding and postpartum care, Sterling is committed to fostering a nurturing and informed community for mothers on their unique journeys.


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