Four Common Problems During Breast Feeding

ID-100172969Many problems may arise while breast feeding. Some of the problems that arise during breast feeding are technical (due to faulty technique of breast feeding, which may be due to some customs, traditions and taboos) and some of the problems are due to medical reasons. The common medical problems that may arise during breast feeding are mastitis (which is inflammation of the breast tissue), cracked nipples, inverted nipples or general health conditions like fever.

  1. Mastitis: It is inflammation of breast tissue, which is generally due to infection and is characterized by swelling, redness and pain in the breast. This should be treated with appropriate antibiotics. General physician should be consulted for treatment.
  2. Cracked nipples: This may arise due to improper and faulty techniques of breastfeeding, which causes soreness of nipples. The treatment of soreness of nipples due to cracking of nipples is keeping the nipples dry and warm, and regular washing with plain water. Nipples should not be washed with soap. Only medical grade and high quality lanolin should be used for drying and covering the nipples and other than human (self) milk nothing should touch the nipples. Instead of doing good the use of creams and lotions may actually harm and make the problem worse.
  3. Inverted nipples: In some females the nipples (or a single nipple) may be drawn inwards instead of protruding outwards, which makes it difficult for the baby to suckle as the baby can not grasp the nipple and the areola for suckling. In most of the women with inverted nipples the problem gets solved during pregnancy itself as the breasts become larger during pregnancy. If problem does not resolve itself during pregnancy it can be solved by using mechanical device to pull the nipples from the inverted position.
  4. Fever: During breast feeding period the mother may develop fever, which should be treated promptly by antibiotics, antipyretics and painkillers. Symptomatic treatment like breast support and warm compressions are also very useful. As a rule simple fever is not an indication to stop breast feeding, in fact breast feeding should be continued even if there is infection as the infection generally does not reach the milk. The milk flow should be continued in infected breast, so that infection is cleared up promptly.


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