Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Breast-Feeding Problems After Delivery

    Breast-feeding problems are common, especially in the first days and weeks after delivery, as your body changes back to its nonpregnant condition and you figure out a feeding schedule. Your doctor or a lactation consultant can help you learn how to breast-feed successfully and treat any problems that occur.

    Some common breast problems include:

    • Breast engorgement. This can cause painful breasts and flattened nipples, making it hard for your baby to latch on for feeding. Gently massage your breasts and express or pump some milk to soften your nipple and areola before breast-feeding. Wear a supportive, well-fitting bra and use cold packs to your breasts after breast-feeding to help reduce swelling and pain.
    • Sore or cracked nipples. You can help relieve the pain from sore or cracked nipples by rubbing a few drops of breast milk on the nipple and areola and let it dry. It may also help to put pure lanolin cream on your nipples.
    • Blocked milk ducts. Blocked milk ducts may cause a painful lump in the breast. Massage the area before breast-feeding and during feeding. This may release the milk plug. You can also try warm packs on your breast several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Mastitis. This breast infection causes painful, red, warm breasts and sore nipples. If mastitis is caused by a blocked milk duct, massage and warm packs may help. You may need antibiotics to heal your mastitis.
    • Poor milk let-down. Being more relaxed will help your milk flow better. Breast-feed in a comfortable, quiet room. Drink plenty of fluids.
    • Low milk supply. Breast-feed more often to help increase your milk supply. You can also try pumping both breasts for 10 to 15 minutes each after you have just fed your baby.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
     
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
     

    mother holding baby at night
    ARTICLE
    mother with sick child
    QUIZ
     
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    SLIDESHOW
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    TOOL
     
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Slideshow
    Mother with her baby boy
    Article
     
    baby in crib
    Slideshow
    baby gear slideshow
    Slideshow