Bumps in the Road

Dealing with Common Challenges

The breastfeeding journey is an exciting time, even as you encounter challenges, most likely you will find it easy to breastfeed. Some bumps in the road are easily fixed with a little information and support. Remember, you are not alone; your WIC breastfeeding peer counselor is available when you have questions or concerns. She can help you solve challenges, supporting your decisions and knowing when it's time to call your lactation consultant or health care provider.


Leaking is most common in the first few weeks of nursing. It's normal and often decreases over time.

To avoid leaking, wear nursing pads inside your bra to absorb leaking milk, and be sure to choose washable, cotton nursing pads (e.g., a folded cotton handkerchief). For more tips, click here.

Spitting Up

Spitting up is a messy, but normal, part of having a baby. Breastfed babies spit up less than formula fed babies. Most of the time, spitting up doesn't bother the baby and as long as your baby is growing, gaining weight, seems comfortable, and is having poopy diapers, it probably isn't something to worry about. Talk to your baby's doctor if you are concerned. For tips on dealing with spitting up, click here.

Sore Nipples

Pain is not a normal or expected part of breastfeeding! If you notice any pain or discomfort, call your peer counselor right away. There are many quick and easy things you can to do to feel better.

Sore Nipples are usually caused by poor positioning or latch during feedings. These are easily prevented and easily remedied problems. Read More.


Thrush is an easily treatable yeast infection that can form on your nipple, your breast, or in your baby's mouth. A thrush infection on your breast may be more difficult to identify than an infection in your baby's mouth – which looks like white flecks inside his mouth, or on his tongue and cheeks. Read More.


Most mothers will notice increased fullness in their breasts 2-5 days after their babies are born. This normal swelling is due to the increased blood flow and circulation that provide the nutrients needed to make milk. If you miss or delay feedings, the fluid in your breasts can build-up and lead to an uncomfortable or painful swelling known as engorgement. Read More.

Plugged Milk Ducts

Plugged milk ducts feel like tender and sore lumps in the breast and may also be red in color. They are caused by areas of the breast that are either not being emptied completely or have pressure on them from underwire bras or tight clothing. Milk builds up behind these plugged spots and becomes inflamed. Read More.


Mastitis is a breast infection that causes fever, flu-like symptoms, and a red, hot area on the breast. It usually happens as a result of plugged ducts or extreme engorgement. Read the symptoms of mastitis here.

Too Much Milk

It is possible to have too much of a good thing...sometimes mothers have too much milk. An overabundant milk supply is better than not having enough, but it can still cause problems! Too much milk can cause babies to gulp or choke if your milk flows too quickly. Read More. 


Jaundice is a condition that affects more than half of all newborns. This common illness is caused by a build-up of a substance called bilirubin (the byproduct of extra red blood cells breaking down in your baby's system). Read More.