Learning Doesn’t Mean Hurting

We have heard droves of women repeat the myth that the first two weeks of breastfeeding are painful no matter what. This is not true! Sore nipples and pain are not an inevitable part of learning how to breastfeed!! Rather, sore nipples and pain are almost always a sign of a poor latch – and a poor latch is usually both avoidable and correctible! Letting a lazy latch continue is tempting to a new mother who has struggled to get the baby on the boob for 10 minutes and is not being given proper guidance, but it is a lose-lose situation: a shallow latch usually means that your baby isn’t able to get as much milk – which also puts you’re your milk supply at risk (the more they take, the more you make and vice-versa), solidifies your baby’s lousy latching habits making it a harder habit to break them of, and causes pain and soreness.

So what is normal? Yes, your delicate, newbie nursing breasts may feel uncomfortable as they adjust to the unexpected sensations of baby breastfeeding (not quite like the titilation—pun intended—that got you knocked-up in the first place!) but that feeling should dissipate as the feed continues, and should be non-existent (or near non-existent) once your milk supply is established (a couple of weeks) and you near the end of the learning curve. If you feel true pain – pain that lingers beyond the first few moments of a feeding and you would rate as a 4 or more on a scale of 1-10, take your baby off the breast – carefully– and re-latch him/her. (Note: you don’t ever want to pull your nipple out of your baby’s mouth—ouch!—but, rather insert your pinky in the corner of your baby’s mouth and pull back toward his/her ear until you hear the seal of the latch break.) Better yet: make sure you see the hospital LC, or if she isn’t available or providing enough help, call an outside LC (see our section “Your A-Team”). Please take this advice seriously, it doesn’t take long (24 hours or less) to go from a little sore, to a lot sore, to “I can’t take it anymore!” –which is exactly what has undone a vast number of well-intentioned moms. Don’t let this be you! Sore nipples are usually a simple problem that can be fixed. Not attending to them is like letting a major leak in your pipes go unrepaired; eventually the damage can destroy the foundation of your house.

source: http://www.bestforbabes.org


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