Breastfeeding problems

Most women can breastfeed but some women may have to overcome obstacles to breastfeed successfully.

Breastfeeding is a learned skill and sometimes – for all kinds of reasons – things don’t go as expected.

Sometimes it’s mechanical; your nipples may not be the best shape for feeding. Sometimes there are health reasons. However, most breastfeeding problems come about because women don't recognise problems when they start to emerge. Getting help early is the best way to avoid some of the more serious breastfeeding issues. Recognising problems early can be tricky because sore nipples are often considered an inevitable part of learning how to breastfeed; aches and pains associated with mastitis might be confused with the tiredness of being a new mother. Checking in with a healthcare worker, preferably a lactation consultant; a maternal and child health worker; or a midwife is a worthwhile exercise in your early learning. Even if you feel confident, ask for someone to check your attachment and position. It may help you avoid problems later on. 


The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.