Breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience for mother and child. Unfortunately, many women find the idea of breastfeeding overwhelming and stressful. Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both mother and child. The bond between mother and child is strengthened through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding offers many advantages, including economical, nutritive, and medical benefits. Breastfeeding also helps to create a strong bond between mother and child. There are many resources available for mothers considering breastfeeding. Many new mothers are afraid to breastfeed their babies. Many working mothers may find it helpful to speak with an IBCLC lactation consultant before returning to work after maternity leave. Pregnant mothers should visit their obstetrician every four to six weeks for prenatal visits to talk about breastfeeding. National breastfeeding week is coming up on May 7th!
Should Breastfeeding Hurt?
It is a widespread belief that it should, but the truth is that for many nursing mums, breastfeeding does not hurt at all.
Truly, the most common cause of breastfeeding pain is improper latching on. If your baby latches on with a good seal, it shouldn’t be painful. But many babies do not know how to do this correctly and as a result latches on painfully.
So if you’re experiencing pain while breastfeeding, be sure to have your baby checked out by a lactation consultant. As well as being properly latched onto, it’s also important to have the right size flange (also called nipple shield) attached to your breast pump.
If you’re using a breast pump, it can be hard to tell if your baby is properly latched onto the flange or not because the flange is plastic and doesn’t feel anything like your natural nipple.
A proper latch is one where you can see a dimple in your baby’s cheeks from sucking so hard to get the milk out.
How Often Should I Pump?
If you are going back to work soon or are just starting a new job that requires 8 or more hours away from home every day, then you will definitely want an electric breast pump.
Tips and suggestions to help lessen breastfeeding pain
If you can lessen the pain of breastfeeding, you can help your baby learn how to feed. It’s a win-win… but I still remember those first few weeks and I’m sure you do too! So here are some tips to make it less painful for you and your baby. Keep in mind that breast milk is the ideal food for your baby, designed by nature to produce as much milk as your body can provide. But it is a food with special requirements. It has four times the amount of protein as cow’s milk and requires more fat than whole milk does. Yes! It does matter what kind of milk you give your baby. Of course, the best way to get the right amount of fat and protein is breast milk from a healthy woman. If that isn’t an option for you try feeding expressed breast milk in a bottle or cup provided that is nothing more than whole cow’s milk in a bottle/cup. The healthiest thing you can do for your baby’s brain is to ensure they get breast milk during their first year of life or until they turn one. All babies need breast milk!
Breastfeeding is beautiful. It’s a special time to bond and connect with your baby while they receive the nutrients they need. Although it’s not painful for every mother, it does have its challenges. Here are some tips and suggestions for easing your breastfeeding pain:
1. Make sure you have the right gear.
Before you begin breastfeeding, make sure you have everything you need to be successful. This includes a comfortable chair, a large table or nightstand, plenty of pillows, and the right supplies, like nipple cream and nipple shields (if needed).
2. Get help if you need it!
If you’re still having problems or aren’t comfortable with breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your pediatrician can show you how to properly latch your baby onto your breast and provide other suggestions if needed. Other great resources include lactation consultants, nurses at the hospital where you deliver, local breastfeeding support groups, or even a call to a breastfeeding hotline (they exist!).
3. Use pillows
Layering pillows behind your back and in front of your shoulders will help take pressure off your arms and make it more comfortable for you and your baby to nurse. You might also consider using a nursing pillow or cushion designed specifically for breastfeeding.
What is causing the pain?
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world. But sometimes it can be painful, and it’s not always easy to know why. Tenderness or pain in the breasts can come from a number of sources:
- An infant who isn’t latched on properly or who is sucking too hard.
- A plugged milk duct.
- Infection, such as mastitis or breast abscesses.
- Breast cysts or fibrocystic breast changes.
- Stress or anxiety, which can cause physical as well as emotional discomfort.
What else might be causing your pain?
Before you start thinking about breastfeeding problems, make sure you don’t have an underlying condition that could be causing the symptoms you’re experiencing.
If you have any of the following conditions, contact your doctor before attempting to nurse:
Breast cancer: Women with a history of breast cancer shouldn’t breastfeed because the hormones in their milk could stimulate the growth of any remaining cancer cells in their breasts.
Thyroid disease: This gland at the base of your neck produces hormones that control your body’s metabolism and affect your heart rate and blood pressure, among other things.