A GP guide to breastfeeding complications

Breastfeeding doesn’t always go to plan. Part two in our special feature on breastfeeding looks at common presentations that can be managed by GPs.

Need to know:

  • A breastfeeding consultation is like any other consultation, including history, examination and management plan, which should be clearly communicated to the patient(s).
  • Not all nipple pain is thrush. In fact, it isn’t even the most likely cause.
  • Low milk supply is best managed with ensuring appropriate fit and hold, switch feeding, frequent feeding and may require consideration of domperidone. Some mothers will need to supplement their baby’s feeds with expressed breastmilk or formula despite this.
  • Domperidone is generally very safe to use, but be aware of potential drug interactions.
  • Do not stop feeding if the mother has mastitis — an empty breast is the way to resolve it. Antibiotics are not necessarily required, but close monitoring is essential.
  • Breastfeeding challenges can be very emotional for the entire family.

When breastfeeding problems occur, it is not