What should I do if I have problems breastfeeding?

Although most breastfeeding-related problems can be corrected with changing how you're actually doing it, a small number of women experience primary lactation failure (PLF), a condition when the mother’s body fails to produce enough milk to supply her infant’s nutritional needs.

PLF can be due to various factors, notably previous thoracic or breast surgery severing vital nerves or ducts, hormonal imbalances and insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), which can also be referred to as hypoplasia or tubular breast syndrome. Many options exist for proper infant nutrition outside of breast milk, including many different types of formula. Your pediatrician can best guide you on which type of formula will work best for your infant, and can help you adjust if you experience issues transitioning.

Although breastfeeding is 100% natural, it isn't always easy. A Certified Lactation Counselor can help get to get your breastfeeding on track. Just remember to always talk to your doctor about any problems that come up. Breast engorgement, hardening, fever and taking antibiotics are not reasons to stop. You can resolve such issues and keep nursing until you—and your child—determine it's time to stop.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.