Breastfeeding guide

Breastfeeding provides significant health benefits for mother and baby.
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  • Updated:5 Sep 2009

02.Difficulties and tips

Difficulties with breastfeeding

Mothers who planned to breastfeed sometimes experience problems which can cause them stress and even feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

Difficulties can be caused by:

  • Supply problems
  • baby’s failure to thrive
  • breast pain, engorgement, blocked ducts, cracked nipples or inverted nipples
  • social constraints regarding breastfeeding in public
  • mother’s work schedule
  • sickness of mother or child

If you experience difficulties try to get help immediately, breastfeeding difficulties can become more complicated over time. Call the 24hour breastfeeding help line staffed by Australian Breastfeeding Association volunteers on 1800 686 2 686, website (, also check contacts for Early Childhood health services in your area.

Breastfeeding tips

  • Make yourself comfortable at feed times, it may help to lay down and cuddle your baby before feeding. Relaxation exercises such as breathing deeply and slowly can help if you are tense.
  • Gently massaging your breasts can help to get the milk flowing.
  • Try to eat a balanced diet, eat what you enjoy and avoid any foods that upset you.
  • You can increase your milk supply by feeding your baby more often.
  • Incorrect attachment of the baby on the breast is the most common cause of nipple pain.
  • Avoiding soaps and shampoos during showering will help prevent nipple dryness.
  • Ask your partner for support such as bringing you something to drink while you breastfeed.

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