woman breastfeeding

Breastfeeding problem #1: Baby not latching.

Every woman has her own breastfeeding journey. And it’s important to remember that very few people breastfeed without any hiccups along the way. In the early days, one of the most common problems is the inability of baby to get a good latch. Why is it a problem? Because a poor latch means baby won’t get a good flow of milk and mom can get painful, sore, cracked nipples. If you’re dealing with a poor latch, start by trying the solutions listed below. If the problem continues, reach out to your healthcare provider or a professional lactation consultant for help.

Solution #1: Change your positioning, try different holds.
Being positioned comfortably can make all the difference. So how do you find the perfect position? It’s really just a matter of trial and error. Start with the cradle hold and then try cross-cradle, football, side-lying and laid back. When you find a position that you and baby both like you’ll know it.

Solution #2: Pull back the breast tissue during latch-on.
Support your breast and then pull the breast tissue back slightly, helping the nipple to protrude.

Solution #3: Wear breast shells to draw out inverted nipples before nursing.
A breast shell is a 2-piece device that has an inner hole that fits over the nipple. The pressure caused by the shell draws out the nipple and causes it to protrude through the hole. You need to remove the breast shell before feeding. You shouldn’t wear them at night, and you shouldn’t use the milk that collects inside.

Solution #4: Nurse through nipple shields.
A nipple shield is a thin, flexible nipple-shaped device that you wear over your own nipple to give baby a bigger, firmer target to find. Tiny holes allow milk to flow from your nipple and into baby’s mouth. Nipple shields are a temporary solution that allows you to breastfeed until a better long-term solution can be found.  

Solution #5: Draw out flat or inverted nipples with a nipple everter.
A nipple everter latching aid is a small, easy-to-use tool that uses gentle suction to draw out and lengthen flat our inverted nipples, making it easier for baby to latch and feed.

One final recommendation: lanolin for sore nipples.
Don’t suffer. Get relief from dry, cracked nipples or nipple pain by using lanolin. Lanolin is a natural solution that’s safe for both you and baby. And, best of all, you don’t need to wipe it off to breastfeed. 

Medela, “6 Breastfeeding Problems in the First Week – Solved.”
Accessed on January 23, 2020
American Pregnancy Association, “Breastfeeding Latch.”
Accessed on January 23, 2020