No! Breastfeeding should not hurt!
Myths regarding nipple pain:
“Breastfeeding hurts in the beginning.”
“Your nipples will toughen up.”
“Just grin and bear it.”
“Your baby is gaining weight so nursing must be going great!”
If you experienced several poor latches in the first week after birth and sustained some minor nipple damage, this can be normal. If it heals and does not recur, then it likely was just everybody learning where things go.
Today, I’m discussing continuing nipple pain during the feeding, or after the feeding with and without visible nipple damage. Chronic pain leads to breastfeeding cessation. Don’t suffer! Reach out for skilled support. Schedule an appointment below.
Why is a deep and comfortable latch important?
What should I do right now?
One option is to pump, bottle feed and allow your nipples to fully heal. This may take up to a week. At the same time, Book a consultation with an IBCLC to determine the cause of your pain and move the needle in the right direction.
What is happening?
An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is trained to assess for the cause and recommend actionable steps to get you pain free.
* In the setting of high milk supply, a baby who is not latched correctly can still sometimes transfer enough milk to gain weight adequately. This may continue for up to 6-12 weeks. At this point, the milk supply regulates to a slightly lower level (still plenty for your baby). When this occurs, this baby who was gaining weight normally may begin to falter. They no longer have a waterfall of extra milk just falling in.
When you meet with me, I can assess whether or not the feeding and latch are functional. Is your baby efficient and are you comfortable? We consider this along with weight gain for the full picture.
Pain is a signal to your body that something is wrong. This is very true when breastfeeding. Reach out for the support and knowledge you deserve and start feeling better!
Cathy Walker, IBCLC
April 1, 2023