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Are you experiencing sore nipples as a result of breastfeeding? Are you thinking "No one told me breastfeeding would hurt!!"? Or are you thinking, "Well I guess this is just how it is. I guess I'll just deal."
Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. But it often does. So what can we do about it? In the first few days, it's normal to have discomfort as your body and baby adjust to nursing. Initial pain that resolves itself throughout the nursing session is normal while learning to breastfeed. Excrutiating pain that doesn't resolve throughout the feeding, or that results in damaged nipples is not okay and is a sign of a larger issue.
Pain while breastfeeding is related to a poor latch. No matter how good a latch may look from the outside, if you're in absolute undeniable discomfort for the duration of a feeding session, I suggest figuring out why baby is not latching right. For some mothers, the fix could be as simple as adjusting positions (find more on helpful breastfeeding positions here!), for others it could be as drastic as needing medical attention for oral anomalies. Working with a lactation support provider can help you trouble shoot this problem.
Solutions for Nipple Pain
Position Changes - try laid back nursing
Encourage Deep Latch
Warm Water Soaks
Access to Air
Changing positions to support a deeper latch would be my first suggestion for managing sore nipples. Utilizing a laid back position where mom's body support's baby and baby latches on his own to the breast would be ideal. Side lying positions can also sometimes facilitate a deeper latch.
For damaged or sore nipples, using warm water soaks, nipple cream, and allowing access to air can facilitate healing and just be plain soothing.
Nipple pain could also be related to thrush, so keeping nipples dry and clean can reduce risk of yeast development that could cause sore nipples.
Did you experience sore nipples? What kind of things did you do to relieve your pain?
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