Common Breastfeeding Challenges

As you get more practice and become more proficient with the skill of breastfeeding, it will become easier and more enjoyable. It is very common that along the way you and your baby may experience some problems that can lead to early weaning if not dealt with a combination of good knowledge, patience and support.

Here you will find information and tips to help you work through any difficulties you might have.

If you are preparing to breastfeed or are struggling with breastfeeding, please try the membership option. I ask for a $1 donation to go to my favourite charity- Sponsor a Mum and will give all members features, tools and support for a trial month including a 3 hour ‘Everything You Need To Know About Breastfeeding’ audio download and priority email help from a breastfeeding counsellor. If you decide to continue, it will only cost $49.95 for an entire year’s access.

Finding good help and support for breastfeeding difficulties

My number one choice for breastfeeding support is your local support group. In Australia this is the Australian Breastfeeding Association for most other countries it is LaLeeche Leauge . You can find a huge amount of encouragement and support from other mothers who are going through difficulties themselves or from those who have been there and done that and made it to the other side. You will also have access to trained breastfeeding counsellors either by phone or through your local group. These counsellors have current and extensive breastfeeding knowledge as well as their own personal experience to draw from. These counsellors are not medically trained; they are mothers who know a lot about the anatomy, physiology and psychology of breastfeeding and are trained to provide support, information and encouragement to other mothers.

A lactation consultant is my first choice for breastfeeding help when you suspect that there may a problem with attachment, the baby’s sucking technique or you feel you need the support of a health professional. A lactation consultant is trained extensively in every aspect of breastfeeding and will have the most up to date knowledge of breastfeeding currently available. They can provide a more hands on and a more medical approach to breastfeeding problems if required.

I encourage mothers to be wary when seeking breastfeeding help from their GP, natural health practitioner, obstetrician, paediatrician or infant health nurse unless you know for sure that they have good sound training in breastfeeding management. I say this is because I have heard so much incorrect information given out by health professionals who think they are giving good advice. Many health professionals still tell mothers that baby’s only need to be fed no more than every 3-4 hours, that baby’s should be sleeping through the night by 12 weeks and that a good solution to low supply or a stressed out mother is to give a bottle. This is out dated information and in many cases will lead to early weaning.

Obviously there are times when you need to see a doctor for help while breastfeeding such as if you have mastitis and need antibiotics to treat it. I encourage you to find a doctor that supports breastfeeding and who has a sound knowledge of how it works. I have found that a good screening question is: Is there a female doctor that has children that I can see? These doctors are likely to have breastfed their own children and are more likely to have taken an interest in breastfeeding management. You might also find that a friend or family member can recommend someone they have found to be helpful.