Welcome to motherhood, where you’ll experience not only sleepless nights but also feel sore breasts and nipples. However, breastfeeding is a precious alone time between you and your baby and intended to be comfortable for both of you. Mommies may expect that the first few nursing days, which happens mostly during latching but improves over time. However, if you’re feeling pain in your nipples every time you’re feeding, take it as a sign that something isn’t right and don’t ignore it.
The most common reason why you’re experiencing such is because of the baby’s poor latch-on to the breast while they feed. But also be cautious of other circumstances on what might be causing the sensation of nipple pain.
Make sure that your baby is latching on correctly
The baby’s mouth should be deep on the breast for a healthy nursing latch. It may take time for the mother and baby to get the proper latch, so it’s good to practice. Make sure your little one should be latching on the breast and not on the nipple. Their lips should be around most or all of the areola while breastfeeding; this way baby will get the most milk and less pain for mommy.
Encourage your partner to be there and watch while you nurse. As they observe, maybe they would be able to notice the minor changes when latching, and could give their suggestions on how to get that good latch (if they’ve been reading about it, that’d be so helpful, right?).
If latching is still a problem, then it would be better to consult a licensed lactation consultant.
And if you need to unlatch your baby, help them to do so by using your finger. It’s essential that before pulling off, you need to break the suction. Gently stick your finger between your breast and their gums to break the suction. This will prevent you from having a sore nipple.
How you position yourself and your baby while nursing is important and promotes comfort for both of you. There are different breastfeeding positions that you can read online, in books, or ask your lactation consultant.
Healthline Parenthood suggests the following to have a good hold:
Make sure the baby’s face and hips are turned towards you during feeding.
Change and try out multiple positions to avoid getting sore.
See if a nursing pillow or footstool can help.
Instead of crouching over the baby, hold them close to your breast.
Change baby’s position with each feeding
Changing feeding positions can help ease the pressure on another part of the breast from the infant’s mouth.
Express a little milk right before a feeding
Relieve some pressure right before nursing. It can help with the milk letdown reflex and soften your nipples so your baby can quickly and gently latch on.
Massage your breasts gently while nursing
When the baby sucks too hard to get milk, the possibility will be they can bite on your nipple. Gently massaging your breasts while nursing will help get the milk flowing, and it’ll be easier to breastfeed your baby.
Take care of your nipples, moms! You need to experience and enjoy the wonders of breastfeeding. Provide the highest quality milk for your precious little one, and you know where to get that? From your breastmilk, of course. This nursing journey will be a great experience as you grow a bond together with your child.