One of the most common trials new mothers face is the pain of breastfeeding. Though breastfeeding may come easily for a select few, many mothers experience cracked or abraded nipples, yeast overgrowth, and/or high levels of fatigue. On top of that, trouble with breastfeeding can also cause concern for the newborn’s health due to slower weight gain, caused by the lack of nutritional substance. If you find yourself among the many women who struggle with breastfeeding, take heart — we will discuss some helpful tips to reduce pain and improve breastfeeding sessions!
Breastfeeding is not meant to be painful, so when it is, this should be a sign that something needs to be fixed. More often than not, this comes from a problem with the baby’s latch. Poor latching typically results in nipple damage and decreased milk production, both of which have discomforting effects on the mother and child. One of the best ways to improve your baby’s latch is to adjust your positioning. Firstly, you will want to support the baby’s weight on your arm with your hand placed securely between his/her shoulder blades. Hold the baby’s body in close with your elbow, allowing his head to fall back slightly. Holding your breast securely, line up the baby’s nose with the nipple so that the mouth is aligned to the underside of your breast. This should allow for a deep and secure latch that does not cause any pain. If you have cracked or abraded nipples, express a small amount of breast milk onto them when finished and allow it to air-dry.
Some other problems that may cause pain when breastfeeding include yeast infections, tongue-tie, plugged ducts, or mastitis. If you continue to experience problems or want to know about these issues in more detail, be sure to consult with your OB professional or a lactation consultant.
More tips on how to end breastfeeding pain can be found at: