Common Breastfeeding Struggles & How to Manage Them

Common Breastfeeding Struggles & How to Manage Them

breastfeeding Jul 10, 2024

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your little one, but it's essential to be aware that this incredible journey can also come with its fair share of side effects. While these side effects are usually temporary and manageable, it's important to understand what to expect and how to address them effectively.

In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most common struggles of breastfeeding, empowering you with the knowledge and strategies to navigate this phase with confidence and comfort.

Sore or Cracked Nipples

One of the most prevalent side effects of breastfeeding is nipple soreness or cracking. This can be caused by various factors, such as improper latch or positioning, dry or cracked skin, or thrush (a type of yeast infection). Working with a lactation consultant to ensure proper latch and positioning can alleviate this issue, along with using nipple creams or ointments recommended by your healthcare provider.

Engorgement or Breast Fullness

As your milk supply establishes itself, you may experience engorgement, which is the overfilling of your breasts with milk. Skipping feeds or not following a consistent pumping schedule can make this worse. This can cause discomfort, tenderness, and even pain. Frequent nursing or expressing milk can help relieve engorgement, and applying cold compresses or taking warm showers can provide relief.

Low Milk Supply

Low milk supply can occur for a variety of reasons. First, identifying the root cause issue is crucial so that you are treating it with the right strategy. Milk supply can decrease due to common reasons like dieting or under-eating, a poor latch, skipping feeds or pump sessions, using the wrong flange size or not changing pump parts often enough, 


Mastitis is a breast infection that can occur during breastfeeding, often characterized by fever, chills, breast tenderness, and potentially flu-like symptoms. If left untreated, mastitis can lead to more severe complications. If you suspect you have mastitis, it's crucial to seek medical attention to stop the infection & inflammation. 

Fatigue and Exhaustion

Breastfeeding can be physically and emotionally demanding, especially in the early postpartum days when feedings are frequent and your body is recovering from childbirth. It's not uncommon to experience fatigue and exhaustion, which can be exacerbated by sleep deprivation. Having your baby in a bassinet connected to your bed can help make late night feeds much quicker and easier. 

Clogged Ducts

Clogged ducts occur when there is a backup of milk in the breast, leading to a tender, swollen area. This can be caused by missed feedings, tight clothing, or improper latch. Sticking with a consistent feeding schedule, wearing comfortable clothing and fixing an improper latch is crucial. 

While these side effects can be challenging, it's important to remember that they are often temporary and manageable. Working closely with a lactation consultant can provide you with personalized guidance and strategies to address any issues that arise, ensuring a more comfortable and enjoyable breastfeeding experience for you and your little one.

Remember, every breastfeeding journey is unique, and it's essential to be patient and kind to yourself throughout this process. Don't hesitate to reach out for support when needed, as a strong support system can make all the difference in navigating the ups and downs of breastfeeding.

Don't let the common struggles of breastfeeding discourage you. Join other mamas inside The Postpartum Shift and learn practical strategies to manage common issues like sore nipples, low milk supply, engorgement, and fatigue, while enjoying delicious meal plans and recipes tailored to support your milk supply and overall postpartum well-being.

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Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.



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