World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Common Breastfeeding-Related Concerns And Tips For Recovery

Breastfeeding related concerns require proper medical attention. Here are the common problems and some tips for recovery.

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Aug 02, 2021Updated at: Aug 02, 2021
 World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Common Breastfeeding-Related Concerns And Tips For Recovery

Many women face problems like sore nipples and engorgement during their breastfeeding journey. These issues can be treated with the help of simple home remedies and the doctor's advice for medical treatment as well. If you are having any problems related to breastfeeding, then it is best to visit your doctor. World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from 1st to 7th August, every year. The annual campaign is held to raise awareness about breastfeeding. On the occasion of world breastfeeding week 2021, Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Ruth Patterson, Chief Lactation Consultant, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru, about common breastfeeding related concerns and tips for recovery.

Common breastfeeding problems and tips for recovery

Here are some common breastfeeding related concerns and their treatment:

1. Sore Nipples

Pain during breastfeeding is an indication of a problem and it should not be ignored. Although sore nipples are common during first few days of breastfeeding. This is due to wrong attachment of baby on breast while breastfeeding.


  • Sensitive to touch
  • Skin rash
  • Painful
  • Crusting of skin
  • Redness on nipples
  • Shape of nipple will change like lipstick shape
sore nipples

How to Cure:

  • Improve latching on breast (Offer Maximum areola in baby’s mouth while breastfeeding)
  • Improve Hold (Position while breastfeeding)
  • While detaching baby form breast, insert finger in baby’s mouth and break the suction. Don’t separate the baby abruptly
  • Avoid washing of breast frequently
  • Apply Hindmilk after feeding and allow to air dry

2. Painful Engorgement

The mother starts producing milk, i.e mature milk) from three to five days post the delivery. Too much production of milk or less emptying of breast (due to infrequent suckling or poor attachment) can lead to pain (engorgement), heaviness and lumps. Breast engorgement restricted to a part of the breast can cause small lumps in the breast. Engorgement of the breast tissue which is generally present in the armpit will produce a lump there. Engorgement can also be be caused if the baby has overslept or not fed properly.


  • Breast and areolae are swollen
  • Redness on breast
  • Fever may start
  • Heaviness & Lumps in breast
  • Difficult to feed the baby or express the milk
  • Very painful

How to cure:

  • Make the areola soft if it is adatoms (RPS Technique)
  • Massage the breast with hand, Express milk with hand or Pump (Repeat the cycle every 2 to 3 hourly)
  • Feed the baby with good latching frequently (at least 8 to 10 times/day)
  • Use chilled Cabbage leaves/ Cold Packs)
  • Avoid warm packs
  • Consult with medical professional if needed

3. Mastitis (Infection in breast)

It is an inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involve an infection. if Engorgement not relived then it will turn into Mastitis. Usually, it is through cracks on nipples.


  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Redness on breast
  • Painful breast
  • Difficult to express milk from breast
  • Salty milk

How to cure:

  • Antibiotics to start at least for 14 days
  • Pain relievers
  • Cold packs
  • Rest is best
  • Expression and massage if possible
  • Continue breastfeeding

4. Oral Thrush


An infection in which the fungus candida albicans accumulate in the mouth. It is common in babies. It can be due to long term use of antibiotics or poor hygiene (cleaning the baby’s mouth with finger).

How to cure:

Doctor may prescribe antifungal medication (drops or gel) containing nystatin, which must be spreads inside the mouth. It is important to maintain the hand hygiene when you treat the oral thrush as this can easily transfer to baby to mother and mother to baby. If the mother also has pain in her breast or redness on nipple and areola, treat the mother along with baby by giving antifungal treatment

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