Inspired living

Breast-feeding related problems

Breast-feeding is beneficial for an infant as it is easier to digest, prevents constipation, protects the baby from infections, promotes health oral development and promotes mother-child bonding. The most common breast-feeding problems are: (i) engorgement – it occurs 2 to 5 days after childbirth and involves swelling of breast tissue (ii) mastitis – is infection of the breast due to the entrance of bacteria into breast tissue, through cracks in the nipple (iii) plugged duct – caused by incomplete emptying of milk ducts by baby (iv) sore nipples.

Symptoms of engorgement: hard, full and tender breast that appears to be hot in temperature, shiny and distended. A fever may also be present.

Symptoms of mastitis: soreness and redness in the breast, yellow secretions from the nipple, fever and flu-like symptoms. Symptoms of plugged duct: Soreness or a lump in one part of the breast, indicates an issue with a plugged duct.

Cause of sore nipples: improper nursing positions and postures, improper sucking by the baby and infection with the fungus Candida albicans. Who to consult: dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, naturopath, paediatrician.