Although we all know breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, the reality is that it can feel far from it. Breastfeeding really is a set of learned skills, both for a mother and her baby.

It can take weeks and sometimes even months for breastfeeding feel comfortable and not require lots of concentrated effort.

Common reasons for maternal discomfort

  • Breast engorgement
  • Mastitis
  • Blocked milk ducts
  • Cracked and tender nipples
  • Painful let down

Is Breastfeeding Really Worth it?

It can be very tempting for mothers to reconsider if breastfeeding really is worthwhile, especially when it is painful.  But the overall health benefits of breastfeeding for both a mother and her baby are so clear that it is almost always worth persevering.  Don’t feel you are on your own.

Many breastfeeding problems are resolved by ensuring the baby is correctly attached and sucking effectively on the breast.

Frequent feeding, good attachment as well as time and expert support almost always help. Be patient, most breastfeeding problems resolve with time and perseverance.

Taking a Break from Breastfeeding

Occasionally it can be necessary to have a short break from breastfeeding and for a mother to express her breast milk.  Reasons vary but are generally related to breast or nipple pain, maternal or infant illness, periods of separation or returning to work.

Ideally, when a baby is not directly breastfeeding, they are having expressed breast milk (EBM) from a bottle or a feeding cup. Feed times can then become an opportunity for partners and family to share this special time with the baby.

How Philips AVENT can help

Philips Avent breastfeeding accessories are designed to make breastfeeding more comfortable and enjoyable.

  • Comfort Breast Pumps come in either a manual or electric options. Unlike other pumps, you can sit in a relaxed position without the need to lean forward. Our conic massage cushion gently massage the breast to stimulate the letdown reflex, encouraging milk flow and supply. The Philips Avent Breast pump range provides comfortable, easy expressing options for mothers who are keen to maintain their breast milk supply during periods of nipple healing.
  • Breast Pads help absorb leaking breast milk, ensuring comfort and dryness.  This is especially important for healing cracked nipples. The pads are contoured and discrete whilst minimising slippage with an adhesive strip. Day and night breast pads are available.
  • 2-in-1 Thermopads have a dual function and can be either heated or cooled. When warm, they   support milk flow by eliciting a mother’s “let-down” before feeding.   For breast pain due to engorgement, a cooled pad provides soothing relief.
  • Nipple Protectors (also known as nipple shields) provide relief for sore or cracked nipples. They can also be used for mothers who have inverted or flat nipples and need help with attachment. They can be used alone or in conjunction with the Niplette.
  • The Niplette is purpose designed to help draw out or evert flat or inverted nipples. Ideally, it is used before pregnancy and for the first six months of gestation. But it can also be used after childbirth for a few minutes before each breastfeed.
  • Breast Shells are a protective cover designed to protect sore nipples and support healing by allowing air to circulate. They are worn inside the mother’s bra and also act as a reservoir for breast milk which would otherwise be absorbed by a breast pad.

Seek advice from a healthcare professional if you need additional support. Using breastfeeding accessories, in conjunction with expert advice, can make a big difference to the overall enjoyment and management of breastfeeding.

For more information about Philips Avent, please visit the Philips AVENT website


Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Whether you choose to breast feed or not, it is up to the individual.


  • my first child I couldn’t breastfeed it really hurt when I tried to feed I managed to hold on for 6 weeks then I had to stop, then my second daughter I breastfeed for 2 years with no problems at all and had trouble getting her off it all depends on the child really I don’t think formula hurts babies I love breastfeeding and am so happy I got the chance with my second child but there is no right or wrong and parents shouldn’t feel pushed to breastfeed


  • Philips have a fantastic array of products to help the breast feeding mother. In love the sound of the 2 in 1 thermopads


  • Breastfeeding was always a struggle with me I found, and a major cause of my PND.


  • busters


  • Very severely inverted nipples can hamper or stop breast feeding although my darling nan told me quite proudly one day that she fed all her little nippers and she had no nipples as such! How about that? Believe me she was telling the truth —- no actual nipples!


  • myth


  • I had dry cracked nipples to the point that when she latched on I would cry! Then I was told to get some nipple shields-they were lifesavers!! They enabled me to continue to breastfeed until my nipples had healed!


  • Breast feeding is totally worth it. I loved the close snuggles with my babies when feeding. It’s such a special time it will always be on my mind, in my memory.


  • I didn’t know Avent sold some of these other products such as the 2 in 1 thermo pads. This would have been useful for me. I’ve had constant problems with my left breast whilst breastfeeding. I’ve just been using a warm towel, it would have been useful for something smaller and more portable. Good to know!


  • Yes a very interesting article on breastfeeding!


  • I enjoy breast feeding but did need a break due to sore nipples


  • Successful breastfeeding has a lot to do with being well educated and supported


  • I found my Avent manual breast pump fantastic. Much better than the first brand I tried with my oldest child. It allowed me to return to work and still have breast milk for my babies until 12+ months.

    • yes i think that it is great for when mum needs a break too


  • choose whats comfy to u and your bub…. :)


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