25 answers

Having a Little Trouble Breastfeeding

I have tried to breast feed my baby but she seems to be always hungry. I have been worried that she is not getting enough milk so when my nipples started to bleed I subsituted with some formula. Now it seems that I breastfeed less and give her the bottle more. I need to get back on to breast feeding as much as possible but I cannot seem to get myself motivated. I dont want my nipples to start bleeding again. I have one other problem. Now that I have been giving her the bottle my milk doesnt seem to be coming in. How can I get my milk to come in? And how can I prevent bleeding nipples? Anyone with any advice?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to all those who gave me advice. I will take all of it into consideration. My daughter is now breastfeeding with out it hurting me at all. Thanks again everyone.

Featured Answers

I had trouble with my milk supply even with frequency. I used a product called domperidone that worked wonders! It doesn't have the nasty side effect of depression like some of the others. My lactation specialist told me about it. You can get it without a prescription over the internet or with a prescription in some places in the US. Good luck.

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If your nipples are bleeding, she is probably not latching on right. I was lucky with my daughter, she just latched on and after 10 days of sore nipples, the pain went away. I would suggest seeing a lactation consultant - La Leche League is the most well known and it is nationwide. I don't know where they are around here, but I'm sure if you did a search you can find them. They will watch you breast feed and give you pointers as to how to get her to latch on correctly. As for your supply, you have to keep up the demand to maintain the supply. You can always pump, to keep up your production. Good Luck!

First of all I would say if bottle feeding is working better than breast feeding then feel ok about choosing that option. Many times new mothers are made to feel guilty about NOT breastfeeding.

The best way to get a good milk production is to breastfeed, but many mothers have also used a tea which increases milk production. Look for it at Whole Foods.

Keeping your mnilk production up can also be enhanced by pumping after your daughter feeds to fully empty your breasts. Encourage your little one to feed as long as she can even if this involves tapping her feet or rubbing her head to get her to wake up. She should be able to go 3 hours inbetween feeds.

Hope this helps!


when I had that problem with my fifth child I tried nursing her in the football position
just to change the way it was pulling. Make sure the babies mouth is open very wide and then very, very quickly put your baby to the breast. If the mouth wasn't wide enough then try again. It could take several tries. Nursing is not supposed to hurt. Also make sure you wash and thorough air dry your breasts. A nurse in the hospital gave me warm wet tea bags to put over my nipples and I did that often for the first few days. Just put a breast pad over it and closed my bra and would wear it there for about thirty minutes each time after nursing. Not herb tea (the regular lipton tea). It has something in it that is supposed to toughen the nipples. We had to stop at the store to buy it because we don't drink tea and we didn't have any on hand. This was a life saver. Don't give up. Keep drinking plenty of liquids and try to relax. The milk production will pick up. The more she nurses the more milk you will produce. I know how hard it is with the first. My husband was out at sea and I lived far away from family. I was so lost. It will get easier.
A. - Mom of six wonderful children and a Grandma to a wonderful two year old.

I would for sure talk to a lactation person. Bleeding nipples are NOT ok. Sound like her latch is wrong. If you are serious about wanting to breast feed, you need to soley breastfeed! Feed the baby as often as you need to..every hour even. Pump after each feed for a few minutes. That will stimulate your body to say hey, I need to produce more. If your baby goes more than 3 hours without feeding (say nap time) pump at that 3 hour mark anyway, then when your baby eats feed her, and if she still seems very hungry give her the pumped milk. Formula if very filling and she won't feel hungry like she should. You can also ask your doctor about a pill call reglan to help with your milk to come in. I had to use it with my last baby. It is untended to jump start milk supply again, but if you don't pump and feed like you should it will go away agian...so feed feed feed and pump, and you should be ok. Your baby will act hungry for a while, but she wont starve. As long as she is gaining weight, she is ok.

If you live in the Colorado Springs area the Alliance Breastfeeding Center on N. Academy is great. LLL(LaLecheLeague) is in most cities and have great free advice. If you go to a LLL meeting you can get one on one help. To have more milk you have to feed. The more you feed the more milk. If it hurts when she is nursing then she is not properly latched. If it hurts take her off using your finger to release the suck and relatch--always make sure she is properly latched. There are herbal teas and tinctures you can get from Vitamin Cottage that help milk production--mother milk tea, fenugreek, milk thistle, ask for someone who knows. Send me a message if you would like to talk and I can give you more specifics.

I have never had problems with the bleeding nipple part, but I know they have different lotions or creams to put on your nipples after you are done so they don't get chapped. I do know however one way to get more milk is to drink 1-2 beers a day. Honestly, it works. That is what I was told to do if I thought I was getting low. So I did and I breastfed for 12 months. I was told that the yeast in the beer is what makes you produce more milk. If you cannot tolerate beer, there is some stuff that you can by at one of those all natural grocery stores that is called "Mother's Milk". I have heard that it works really well also.

I know that everyone has told you Lanolin cream, and I used that too, I didn't have too much of a problem breastfeeding, but occasionally my nipples would get sore, and I did get a blister from pumping too hard once. I had read somewhere that if you rubbed a little breast milk on your nipples it would also help heal them, and I really did. I didn't think it did at first, but after doing it a couple of times it made a difference. Be sure that you don't pump so much that you make your nipples sore, when I first started to pump I didn't feel like I was getting enough milk, so I would pump more, just be happy with what you get, it will start to do better after you pump more often. Good luck!

Hi B.,

I'm sorry you are having so much trouble breastfeeding. Is this your first child? I had quite a bit of trouble with my first child. For the sore and bleeding nipples, I would recommend and nipple shield. The one I used was made by Medela and you can get them at Target for around $5-$6. It's a plastic shield that protects the nipple. You can also try a lanolin ointment which won't harm the baby and will help also. Once your baby starts eating more from the breast, your milk supply should increase. Good luck!

I also had an awful time with cracked nipples. It took me until my daughter was 6 weeks old before everything healed up. I tried everything (nipple shields, nipple shells, lanolin, newman's ointment Rx, black tea bags) the only thing that seemed to help was switching around the position of feedings and rubbing a little milk on the nipple and letting it dry each time she would feed. I felt so guilty everytime I would give her a bottle but alot of people do it and there is nothing wrong with it. Make sure you continue to pump if you are not feeding her to keep your milk up. I went to a lactation specialist in Sandy that was really helpful. Her name is Heidi and she works at Maternal Instincts in Sandy ###-###-####. I think it was $30 for the hour consultation.

Hi B.,
I had a baby girl a little over a year ago and tried to breastfeed too. Unfortunately, I did not produce enough milk so had to give it up. I just wanted to let you know that if you have to stop breastfeeding, don't feel guilty. Being a new Mom is hard enough to adjust to without all the pressure to breastfeed. At the time, I felt mixed emtions about it but now looking back, the decision to stop breastfeeding was in the best interest of my family. We were wasting precious time going back and forth about it. Anyhow, congrats on your new baby girl!

I had trouble with my milk supply even with frequency. I used a product called domperidone that worked wonders! It doesn't have the nasty side effect of depression like some of the others. My lactation specialist told me about it. You can get it without a prescription over the internet or with a prescription in some places in the US. Good luck.

Nearly every hospital has a lactation specialist who can help you get back to breastfeeding. If you have a pump, I would try pumping every 3-4 hours.....that can get your milk going again. If you cannot get your milk back, don't feel guilty, it happens to lots of moms, especially with your first baby. She (your daughter) knows you are doing the best you can!

WOW! I just finished going through exactly what you are. The first thing you should do is see a lactation consultant. Check with the hospital where you delivered. The hospital where I delivered offers a free visit with a lactation consultant to see how things are going. My baby was feeding every hour until my milk came in. I had to supplement too b/c my nipples were cracked and bleeding. THIS IS NOT NORMAL! It probably means that your baby has a bad latch and/or is not sucking properly. Sometimes babies will bite to get the milk to flow. Also, every time you give the baby a bottle, you should be pumping either right before, right after, or while someone else feeds her...ten minutes on each side. Pumping probably won't hurt as bad as feeding. I really know how frustrating and painful it all can be. I would cry almost every time my baby latched. This is my second kid too. I felt like I should have known better. Once I got the right help, it only took about a day to get us back on track. Good luck!


First of all congratulations on your new baby and on the decision to breast feed. I have a 4 month old and I had some of the same issues but my baby won't take a bottle to this day. I have also had bleeding nipples and found it very comforting to use Lansinoh nipple cream, it's pretty much like chapstick for your lips and helps protect you from dryness and it is ok for the baby to swallow. If you want to get your milk supply back you will need to start nursing more often. Even if you feel like you are not feeding her enough she will ask for more all you have to do is keep switching from one breast to the other. My daughter used to eat like every half hour at the beginning and amazing enough I always had enough milk for her. I tried formula but she didnt' like it much and now I am fighting the fact that she will not take a bottle even with breast milk and I have started work again.
you may also want to contact the La Leche League, they have wonderful ideas and suggestions for lactation.

Good luck to you and your baby on your nursing journey, I enjoy every minute of it, I feel as if I can bond with her when we nurse.



Breast feeding can be so frustrating! Have you considered talking with a lactation consultant? I'm sure that if you contact the hospital they could put you in touch with theirs.
I remember thinking that I wasn't producing enough milk but I learned that it was a "supply and demand" deal. Just keep nursing and it will eventually come it. It's actually pretty uncommon for a woman to not produce enough milk. I was scared about this when I nursed my twins but my pediatrician assured me that a woman's body can not only feed two babies, but mom's of triplets and more actually have great success too!
As far as the soreness is concerned, I used Lansinoh but for the most part I think you may have to just tough it out. Also if the baby isn't latching on correctly, that could cause a lot of soreness. That's another area a lactation consultant could help you with.
Best of luck!

Girl, you need some support! Call your local La Leche branch & ask for help. Also, maybe you could join the breastfeeding group on Yahoo, truly helpful supportive women there.
Good luck!

Let me tell you a story. When I had my first baby I had no idea on what to do, he did not wanted my breast, I tried everything but he just refuse, he liked the bottle way much better than breastfeeding, so what I did, well I tricked him. I wanted so bad to breastfeed that what I did was I got a pump and instead he was drinking my milk, so he was happy because he was using a bottle and I was happy because he was at least drinking my milk and the reason why your milk is not coming in is because your not breastfeeding as often, if you want to still be trying than you should buy a pump, well at the end my baby liked my milk he ended up breastfeeding it took him almost 2 months but I did it, so can do it too. And by the way I also was bleeding from my nipples and it hurts at the beginning. I hope my story a least helps you a little and congratulations on your baby girl.

I too had issues with breastfeeding. It's not easy and they don;t tell you that at the hospital. My son was a premi so he was to tired to nurse. I rented a pump from the hospital pharmacy and pumped a lot...every three to four for 15-20mins. hours even if he fed from the breast but it was nice because with this pump you can do both at the same time! I also used fenugreek and mothers milk tea...you can get them at Vitimin Cottage. Pumping is tough to but worth it to give your baby your milk. I had four months worth of milk stocked up in the freezer...not to say that will happen to you...you;re starting later then I did and my babay was in ICu for two weeks, but healthy now! I also used the Playtex nurser system liner bottles. They have a natural latch nipple which helped my son learn to latch on better and I knew for sure he was getting enough milk. I did the pumping thing for the first 5months but then tried the breast more often. It was much easier. All babies are different of coarse but maybe this will help you. Also I used lanolin for my nipples and olive oil on the pump cone. I did not get bleedy nipples they were sore but not bleedy. And I used the plastic shields rather then the pads. It helped so much better. The pads always rubbed and it hurt. So good luck and keep trying. It's so worth it. My son is 18mths and just stopped nursing at 17months and I was only going to breastfeed for the firt month...lol Good luck! Oh!!!! Also drink lots of water! The doctors say 8oz everytime you nurse or pump but my naturalist/nutritionist told me 12-14oz it will help the quality and quanity of your milk. Again good luck and don't give up take it three months at a time. That's what I did. One last thing. Anything you consume will get into your milk...so if you don't want your baby to have it you shouldn't have it either....alcohol might help the flow but you'd also be feeding your baby some as well. Just do what you think is best though. Take in advice but only keep what you feel comfortable with. If you need to talk and live in Colorado Springs I'm here for you. I went through a rough time with breast feeding with no support, but to me it was so worth it!

The same thing happened to me when I first started breastfeeding. But to ensure that my little one always got the breast, I would put her on first, until I started to feel a bit uncomfortable, then I would switch her to the other breast. When that one was starting to feel uncomfortable, I would switch to the bottle. I made myself stay on a little longer, and would feed her a little more often, and pretty soon I had plenty of milk, my nipples didn't hurt as much, and she was eating well. Of course, you may be different, do what you think is best.

I think there is a product you can buy to put on your nipples if they bleed...you just need time to build up some callouses and then you'll be fine. Hang in there--breastfeeding is well worth it even if it does take some adjusting in the beginning. If you don't get her nursing again soon, you will lose your milk (sucking stimulates your milk production, so the more she nurses, the more milk you will have). Start slowly but build up as quickly as possible so your milk will come in stronger. Good luck--and don't get discouraged, just do a little more each day and you'll be surprised how quickly your body and your baby respond!!

I breastfed my 21 month old until she was 14 months old and I had the same problem with my nipples in the beginnning. I found that she was not latching on properly, this may be the case for you. You need to make sure that her mouth is completely covering the areola and not just part of it. Also, to get your milk to come back in, you should get a pump and start pumping 2-3 times a day along with breast feeding. Your milk will naturally come back in the more that you breastfeed and pump. Eventully, you should be able to stop pumping. Just hang in there, don't give up once you get the hang of nursing it will be second nature to you. Also, I believe that the hospital gave me Lanolin for my nipples and that really helped to heal them and you can put it on and not worry about it hurting the baby when she nurses. Good luck! I hope that this helped you.

I had the same problem. My daughter would lay there for over an hour eating sometimes. But, her weight was normal, so I didn't worry that she was getting too much or too little. I used a lot of breastfeeding ointment. It's been quite a long time since I used it. I believe the name was Lanolin. I was able to find it at Target, Babies R Us, and Wal-Mart. I am sure you can find it at most pharmacies also. I did mention this to my pediatrician. She referred me to the lactation expert at our hospital. She said it was possible that my daughter wasn't latching on correctly. So, we had to try a few different ways. Also, have you tried pumping to keep your milk coming in? That was the best way for me to keep my supply up. I hope that some of this info helps. Good Luck!

Hi B.,
I am nursing 3 month old twin bboys and about 3 weeks ago, almost gave up because my milk supply got low from formula feeding them.
To get your milk supply back up you need to feed your daughter often. Though your supply is low, feed her for 10-15 minutes if she will do it and it doesn't hurt (make sure she has her mouth open wide and get the whole brown part of your nipple in her mouth) then if after feeding she is still hungry, give her some formula. BUT feed her at the breast first!!! That is the only way your supply will increase.
I was only feeding my twins about 3 out of 8 feedings a few weeks ago- now I only bottle them MAYBE once a day IF that!
It works and breastfeeding is worth the fighting we sometime have to do with our body and our baby!
Good Luck!

Try lanolin for your nipples.. it will help them not hurt. And the more you let your baby try to nurse, the more milk you will make, and vice verca.. the more you give your baby the bottle the less milk you will make. Lanolin is the only thing that has worked for me. Good luck!

Hi Brittany!
There is a lot of helpful info here, but not much on what a good latch looks like. When your baby latches, her lips should be spread out on your areola. If she is just on your nipple, gently break the suction with your finger and encourage her to open wide by tickling her lips with your nipple. Her lips should flare out against your breast, not be tucked in. It takes practice- both of you need to learn the right (and comfortable)way to breastfeed. A book that was really helpful for me was "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears. The Lanisoh was really helpful for me, but to get to the source, try working on her latch. Hopefully you find what works! Congratulations!

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