Causes of breastfeeding pain

October 6, 2017

You are not alone! Breastfeeding pain is very common! The good news is that with a little practice it goes away in most cases. Here are four reasons why you're nipples and breasts might hurt when nursing your little one:

A poor latch

A newborn baby has to learn how to latch on to mamma's breast to be able to successfully feed. This can take time to master and the same goes for a new mum who's never breastfed before. A poor latch can hurt the nipples and lead to soreness and discomfort where as a good latch, apart from a gentle tug, should feel pain-free and comfortable. The key signs of a good latch are that your baby's tongue, bottom lip and chin touch your breast first when you begin to nurse. Once attached with a good mouthful of breast, your baby's nose should be free but his/her chin should be touching your breast. If you can spot milk around the edges of your bubba's mouth and the pain has gone, you're doing it right. However, while you get to grips with it try applying Mama's Calming Nipple Balm to your breasts to reduce soreness and help any cracked areas of skin to heal faster. All the ingredients are natural, organic and vegan-friendly.

Uncomfortable positioning

Are you sitting comfortably? It's important to breastfeed in a position that doesn't put pressure on your lower back. If you're in pain you're more likely to try and squirm around, which could affect your baby's latch. You'll also be healing after the birth and may be dealing with stitches. Resting your arm on a pillow during breastfeeding can help during those early days when your baby is small -- it provides support and means you can cradle your little one in a comfortable position for longer. Nursing in a lying down position can help too and relieve the pressure on your lower half.

Tongue tie

If you've tried everything else and nursing your baby is still painful you might like to check for tongue tie. This is the name of a condition where the strip of skin connecting a baby's tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual, which can make it harder to latch on to the breast and feed. Speak to your midwife or health visitor if you're concerned about this. There's lots of support available to help you and your baby overcome tongue tie and feed successfully.

Teething

Later down the line, teething can lead to painful nipples too. Your baby might be biting down on your breast to alleviate the pain of cutting teeth. The pressure and the soft tissue can comfort babies, especially at night, so if you choose to continue to breastfeed during this stage continue to apply a nipple balm to reduce soreness.

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