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Learn about the benefits for your child and you coming from breastfeeding.
Learn how to breastfeed and how to overcome the problems associated with lactation.
Lactation guidelines
Breastfeeding can be one of the most pleasant motherhood experiences to you. However, sometimes, particularly at the beginning of this "milky way", you may experience some problems. Usually, they are temporary in nature. With our tips, it will be easier for you to recognize their causes and you will learn how to solve them.

Monika Staniszewska, consultation: Wanda Urmańska, MSc., clinical psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Assistant at the Early Psychological Intervention Department, Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw
Painful nipples, before, after, or during breastfeeding

The most common causes of painful nipples include:

  • Incorrect way of breast grasping and suckling by the baby Read

  • Fungal infection Read

  • Bacterial infection Read

  • Bleeding nipples Read

  • Physiologically painful nipples Read


Try to eliminate the reason applying in your case, otherwise the problems with nipples will recur, discouraging you from breastfeeding.

Pain, bleeding and other problems with nipples

Your nipples are painful, sore and bleeding. Or maybe blood flows out from your breasts during feeding, although there is no surface wound, and when you breastfeed, you do not feel any pain. Learn more:

  • Bleeding nipples Read

However, when your nipples are reddened, shiny, flaking and itchy, see:

  • Fungal infection Read

Whitish spots on the inner side of the baby's lips, cheeks, and on his palate and gums

Most probably, whitish spots on the inner side of the baby's lips, cheeks, and on his palate and gums are aphthas (canker sores). Sometimes, they can be mistaken for remains of milk; however, milk can be easily wiped away. Aphthas, on the other hand, bleed when rubbed (do not attempt this, as you may hurt the baby and cause additional infection).

What are their causes and how to treat them?

  • Fungal infection Read

Painful breasts during feeding

Pain felt in the breast during breastfeeding may be caused by:

  • Stasis Read

  • Mastitis Read

  • Breast abscess Read

  • Incorrect grasping and suckling by the baby Read

  • Damaged nipples with developed fungal infection Read

  • Damaged nipples with developed bacterial infection Read

See also the chapter:

  • Oxytocin spasm Read

Useful tips can be found in the chapter:

  • What to do with painful, sore, cracked or bleeding nipples Read

Pus is oozing from a cracked nipple

When pus is oozing from a cracked nipple, you may find the chapter below interesting:

  • Bacterial infection Read

Reddened, painful and hard breast

If your breast is reddened, painful and hard, check, which of the below conditions applies to you:

Painful lump in the breast

When you can feel a painful lump in your breast, probably you will find useful information in chapters:

Your breast is painful and you feel as if you had flu

When you have fever and symptoms similar to flu, probably the following applies to you:

See also:

  • Breast abscess Read

Your baby has problems with latching on to a flat nipple

When you are worried about the shape of your nipples, thinking they are too flat for your baby to suck correctly, you may find the following chapter interesting:

Baby does not want to suck, but cries and archers his body

When after latching your baby cries and arches his body, do not give up, but try to find a solution.

To learn about possible causes and methods for dealing with them, check:

  • Baby refuses to suck the breast Read

Baby wants to suck only one breast

When you see your baby prefers to suck just one breast, and sucks the other reluctantly or not at all, check the chapter:

  • Preference for one breast Read

Baby prefers a bottle to the breast

Your baby willingly sucks the bottle, while at breast he struggles and cries, or completely refuses to suck. Learn about possible causes and look for a solution, see chapter:

  • Baby prefers a bottle Read

Swollen, overfilled breasts

Swollen, overfilled breasts are characteristic for breast fullness, as well as for any situation significantly deviating from the feeding pattern established by the baby, in consequence of which the breasts have not been emptied.

See chapters:

  • Breast fullness Read

  • Milk flowing too fast Read

  • Milk stasis Read

Soft, apparently empty breasts

When your breasts are soft and seem to be empty, it means that possibly your lactation is stable and functions correctly, so your breasts produce the amount of milk needed by your baby.

If you are still worried, see the chapter:

  • Insufficient milk supply Read

Milk is not flowing from the breasts

When milk is not flowing from your breasts:

  1. You may be very tired or nervous, and this condition hinders milk flow. Stress, weariness, and strong pain inhibit production of oxytocin, responsible for milk flow. Also, milk ducts can be blocked locally.
    Tips provided in the chapter:

  2. Milk stasis in full breasts occurs sometimes during breast fullness, or following excessive milk production.
    Go to the chapter:

    • Breast fullness Read

  3. Other possible causes for problems with milk production or flow can be found in the chapter:

    • Insufficient milk supply Read

At the beginning of feeding, a fountain of milk bursts from breasts, drenching the baby

If you are worried because at the beginning of feeding your milk springs like a fountain, drenching your baby, read the tips provided in the chapters:

  • Milk flowing too fast Read

  • Breast fullness Read

At the beginning of feeding you feel unpleasant tingling in your breast

If at the very beginning of feeding, or sometimes, even when thinking about feeding or your baby you feel unpleasant tingling in your breasts and wonder what it is, you may find the following chapter interesting:

  • Oxytocin spasm Read

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