Breastfeeding Risk Factors

There may be some factors that affect a lactating parent’s ability to successfully direct latch, make a full milk supply, or both.


  • Older than 35 
  • Use of infertility treatments 
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) 
  • Type 1, Type 2, or Gestational Diabetes

Your Anatomy

  • Flat or inverted or large nipples
  • History of breast surgery, especially a reduction or lift. 
  • Lack of noticeable change in breasts during pregnancy
  • Very large breasts

Mental, Emotional, and Social

  • First baby – being a novice sucks a lot.
  • Past history of breastfeeding difficulty aka “Boobie Baggage”
  • Mental health disorder (diagnosed or undiagnosed) 
  • Tendency toward perfectionism, need to control, hyper-planning.
  • Tendency toward negative self talk, shame, self-blame
  • Difficulty sitting
  • Strong attachment to being able to breastfeed or breastfeed exclusively.
  • Giving birth during a major life change
  • Giving birth during a global pandemic. 
  • Limited options for in person peer support
  • Giving birth during the cold, dark months.
  • How you FEEL while you are breastfeeding MATTERS. A LOT.
  • High blood pressures at the end of pregnancy
  • Planned or suspected Cesarean birth
  • Planned or suspected induction of labor
  • Baby with special needs.  
  • Complications of birth or postpartum
  • Separation from baby -baby to NICU or mom to high risk.
  • Baby with oral anatomical differences
  • Baby that won’t latch 
  • Significant nipple trauma within the first days.