Stressed About Breasts: Why You Could Be Having Trouble Breastfeeding (And What Can Help)

Breastfeeding your new baby can be a time of wonder, relaxation, and bonding. But if you spend more time stressing out because of the pressures of your breastfeeding experience, it can be easy to get pessimistic about the whole endeavor and sink into a constantly anxious state of being. So what are some of the reasons that you could be having a difficult time breastfeeding your infant – and what are the solutions to these problems? If you're stressed about breastfeeding and looking for help, then here's what you need to know.

Not Enough Milk

This problem is totally not your fault, but that doesn't make it any less of a problem. Some women just don't produce enough milk for their particular baby, particularly if that baby is a hungry one. You might feel like a failure here, but please, don't let that thought enter your head; baby formula is as widely used as it is in part because many women struggle with producing enough milk for their newborns, and using that formula doesn't make you any less of a mother than someone lucky enough to produce enough milk for their baby.

To try to increase your milk supply, you can try to nurse more frequently (such as every hour and a half during the day, stretched to every 3 hours at night), pump after feedings, or talk to your doctor about using a galactagogue.

Inverted Nipples

Most women's nipples stick out (to varying degrees), but if your nipples look more like an indented coin slot, you may have discovered the reason behind your nursing problems. Inverted nipples, like the name suggests, are nipples that poke inwards instead of out. This can cause a problem for the baby, who can find it slightly harder (though by no means impossible) to latch on.

You don't need to go out and get your nipples worked on by a plastic surgeon, however. Ensuring your baby has a proper latch (in a proper latch, babies latch onto the areola, not the nipple itself) or using a breast pump immediately before you start breastfeeding your baby can help your infant get the nutrition they need, no matter what your nipples look like.


Your nipples might be just fine, and your milk supply might be enough for your baby – but if you're consistently stressed about breastfeeding, it can be easy to start having trouble getting your baby to nurse. Babies feed off of your moods, so when you're stressed and upset every time it's time for them to eat, your baby can get fussy and stressed as well, and not nurse well as a result.

Try taking a "nursing vacation" if at all possible to counteract this stress. Take 2-3 days and spend them in bed with your baby, doing nothing but feeding them and relaxing. You should make sure that you're well fed and up on your fluids at this time as well, but taking that time to relax and spend time with your baby can put an end to your stress-caused nursing woes.

For more baby care information, speak with a pediatrician.