Breastfeeding can be hard. When I had my daughter, I was determined to breastfeed, and it was with the support of my husband, seeking help from (numerous) lactation consultants, and my strong as steel determination that we finally got the hang of it.  It’s by no means an easy journey though.   Untitled design (13)
You name the issue, I had it!  From latching issues, pain, thrush, white spot, sore nipples, sleepy baby, to round the clock marathon feeds. But with each new challenge, I gritted my teeth, researched how to deal with it, and we moved on. This included having that white spot lanced with a big needle at the doctors! (Tip for young ladies, don’t get your nipple pierced as it can mess with your milk ducts!)
Anyway, I am not uncommon, the Mums I spent time with in mummy’s group, each had their own different breastfeeding challenges. Support in a group like this, can be amazing for a new mum, as you normalise things, you know you are not alone, and you can privately think, thank goodness that didn’t happen to me this week! You can also join our Healthy Mummy New Mums Support Group.

So, in no particular order, the 7 most common breastfeeding struggles are:

1. Sore nipples- cracks, chafes, dry irritated skin can all cause sore nipples… I just remembered, I even had a skin tag pop up on my nipple the day after I gave birth that I had to cover with a mini band aid for a while as it was sore! (weird I know)
2. We don’t really know what lack of sleep means until we have a baby, and then it hits. There is no pattern, and you just need to grab some while you can. Lack of sleep can impact some people a lot harder, so ask for help with stuff, get someone to cook, clean and watch baby while you get some rest!
3. Latching issues. This leads to the dreaded sore nipple, and can also cause bub to be more windy.
4. Tongue tie. Bubs can be born with structural issues that affect breastfeeding. These can be managed, so have your bub looked at if you guys aren’t latching properly.
5. Fast let down.. This leads to a spluttering bub, who has too much milk all at once. Slow down by using a shield until bub is big enough to cope..
6. Blocked ducts- this can result in white spot or mastitis. Manage with warm compresses, and massage.
7. Fear- a common struggle is fear you don’t have enough milk. Rest assured you do.. We create what bub needs. Feed your baby on demand and close your ears to those around you whose helpful tips are not at all helpful. Babies cluster feed. Babies feed more when they have a growth spurt. You have enough milk. Don’t put pressure on yourself..
I am sure that every woman who breastfeeds has experienced at least one struggle, know that you are giving your baby an amazing gift, surround yourself with support, and enjoy this beautiful time with your child.
By Cheree Sheldon, Healthy Mummy Expert Nutritionist.
At the Healthy Mummy we support ALL forms of feeding your baby.  Although we believe that ‘breast is best’ we do understand that not all mums are able to breastfeed or chose not to breastfeed, and as long as both mum and baby are happy and healthy we also support all forms of feeding.
If you are having trouble breastfeeding and would like some support we encourage you to contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
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