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19 breastfeeding red flags to look out for

Updated: Mar 26

Some are more common and you've probably heard them already, some less talked about ones might be new to you.

We'll start with the classic red flags:

  1. insufficient diaper output

  2. poor weight gain, not returning to birth weight within 2 weeks

  3. jaundice that requires medical attention

  4. losing more than 11% of bodyweight in the first 72 hours

  5. painful latch

  6. cluster feeding that seems to go on all day everyday

  7. baby never seems full + relaxed

And then there's the less common ones:

  1. clicking noise at the breast, from the tongue losing it's seal at the roof of the mouth

  2. lip blisters, from having a poor seal. Lips aren't flanged, so baby latches with the top, dry part of the lip instead of the underside.

  3. nursing feels chompy vs a wave-like gentle pulling sensation

  4. frequently popping off the breast, often from reflux pain or milk flow

  5. reflux or gas issues, caused by baby sucking in extra air with the latch

  6. open mouth breathing

  7. snoring (no, a snoring baby is not cute!)

  8. frequent clogged ducts or mastitis

  9. blanched or misshapen nipples, ridging

  10. frequent hiccups, after almost every feed

  11. milk leaking from their mouth during a feed, or if you notice pooled milk in their mouth after they unlatch

  12. frequent choking or sputtering throughout the feed, really struggling with letdown despite position changes and using haaka or hand pump before latching

All these signs and symptoms point to impaired oral function and compensation, causes may include body tightness, torticollis, and/or oral ties.

Support and treatment are available to you, you are not alone in this journey. With a bit of help, you can meet your breastfeeding goals. I will share some stretches that you can do at-home in a future post, I also go over all of this and more in my breastfeeding guide!

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