The difficulties of breastfeeding: the other side of the coin


The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are numerous. Feeding your child through the breast can be wonderful, but this mode of nutrition can bring a lot of inconvenience. These push some women to give up breastfeeding when they want to continue. For example, knowing more about breastfeeding problems and how to treat them can help many women.

Here is an overview of some problems that may occur during breastfeeding, and some tips.


The engorgement appears during a milky rise or when the breast produces more breast milk than the baby drinks. Normally, the breast is flexible. However, a clogged breast is hard and tense to the touch. It is normal to feel mild to severe pain depending on the level of engorgement. Several tips can be followed to prevent or treat waterlogging:

  • Breastfeed your child more often
  • Squeeze the breast, before breastfeeding, to let out milk if the nipple is too hard; this will allow the baby to suck more easily.
  • Press on the breast or use a breast pump after feeding if the baby is not drinking enough.
  • Apply cold compresses or ice for 10 to 15 minutes on the breasts between feeds to reduce discomfort and pain.
  • Apply lukewarm compresses a few minutes before breastfeeding.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen safely for the infant if the pain is too great.

Congestion does not cause fever as a symptom. So, if your mouth temperature exceeds 37.5 ° C, it is better to consult a doctor.


The cracks, or crevices, are small cracks that appear on the nipples. They are often caused by a poor breastfeeding position. The chaps are rather painful for the mother. However, there are several tips that can help you prevent or cure them when they are present:

  • Consult your breastfeeding advisor to see if your breastfeeding position is adequate.
  • Start breastfeeding with the least painful breast.
  • Take care to stop sucking your little one before removing his mouth from the nipple by placing your finger in his mouth.
  • Apply, then let dry a drop of milk on the nipple after breastfeeding.
  • Apply an anti-chapped ointment containing lanolin to the chapped nipple after breastfeeding (do not remove before the next drink so as not to further irritate the nipple).
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen safely for the infant if the pain is too great.


Thrush is a fungal infection that can develop on the nipple or in the mother’s breast and in the child’s mouth. The mother can be reached without any symptoms being present in the baby and vice versa. However, both should always be treated at once to completely cure the infection. An important point to remember is that breastfeeding should be continued, even in the presence of lily of the valley. The symptoms experienced are as follows:

  • burn;
  • red, shiny and smooth appearance of the areola;
  • breast pain, which can look like needles, anytime during the day;
  • small white spots in the baby’s mouth.

Lily of the valley can be treated with gentian violet, which is available over the counter in pharmacies. Drops of this purple liquid should be applied to the baby’s mouth before breastfeeding with a cotton swab. Only one application per day is sufficient and the treatment should last between 4 and 7 days. If, after one week of use, gentian violet has not completely cured lily of the valley, you will need to consult a doctor for a different treatment under prescription. Your pharmacist can also help you find out what treatments are available for the treatment of lily of the valley.


Mastitis can be a complication of congestion that is not well supported. It is a bacterial infection that can develop in one breast or both. Mastitis is recognized by its flu-like symptoms (eg chills and fever) and the red, hot, swollen and painful breast. The presence of these symptoms means that you need to see a doctor because oral antibiotics are needed to treat mastitis. Here are some tips to follow if you have this infection:

  • Continue to breastfeed despite infection.
  • Make sure you drain as much milk as you can from your breast after feeding.
  • Start by breastfeeding with the least painful breast.
  • Apply cold compresses or ice to the breasts for 10 to 15 minutes between feeds to reduce pain.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen safely for the infant if the pain is too great.
  • Make sure to breastfeed both breasts equally to prevent the development of mastitis.


Poor breastfeeding can lead to many complications of breastfeeding, such as nipple pain and cracking. It is essential to correct the breastfeeding position to correct the problem. Indeed, if you apply the measures to treat pain or cracks, you will feel relief, but the cause of the problem will not be resolved and it may return. The baby must open his mouth wide so as not to cause nipple pain. To make sure your baby is breastfeeding, a breastfeeding counselor can help you.

Only the five most common problems have been addressed, but others may also occur. Thus, the breastfeeding counselor, as well as the doctor and the pharmacist, can help if you have problems related to breastfeeding your baby. These should not interfere with your desire to breastfeed, as solutions exist to make this experience more enjoyable. So do not wait until you say “Help! “.

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