How do you make breastfeeding less painful?
Seek help!!!! There may be tenderness, or soreness, for the first week or two, but there should not be toe-curling pain that lasts beyond the first few seconds while the baby latches. If you are having pain during a whole feed, you need help!
The easiest way to fix a poor latch is to slide the baby's body AWAY from the breast. This helps their head fall back a bit, so that their chin is pressed into the breast and their nose is not. This "asymmetrical latch" puts your nipple further back in their mouth, so that your nipple is between the tongue and the soft palate. If your nipple is between their tongue and hard palate, that's when you're going to get pain and damage.
My second wasn't the best latcher, and rather than take him off each time and re-latch him (which I probably should have done), I would adjust his position once he was on. It worked, but I still had very sore nipples for the first while. I used lanolin cream with my first, but with my second, I only used breast milk on them, and I found it worked REALLY well. Plus, it was free! :)
There are a few points. 1. Definitely get the lanolin ointment - works miracles when you've got chapped nipples. 2. rub in remaining drops of breast milk into the nipple at the end of a feed - it helps look after your nipples. 3. make sure the baby is latched on properly - get someone to take a look for you - a partner a good friend or call a breastfeeding specialist. in the UK the national childbirth trust has lots of counsellors around who can give great tips. 4. Make sure you feed for a reasonable length of time too and feed regularly. 5. When you decide to stop breast feeding do it gradually and be prepared to express milk if you feel too full and the baby's not hungry. 6. You might need to express when your baby goes through a growth spurt. Every so often they get really hungry and you don't produce enough milk initially. Then you can find you produce too much. You don't have to express it all but it can help if you feel like you're going to explode - a breast pump works nicely if you can't do it manually (I never managed it!)
I had some problems too but I wasn't going to give up. I decided to go see the lactation specialist at the hospital that I had my son in. BEST THING I EVER DID. She helped me so much. I found more comfortable positions to nurse my son, found out how much milk I was producing, and how I could produce more. It was all free, comfortable, and quiet. There was no judgment and I felt at home. If it hurts so badly for more than a couple seconds, baby isn't latched on all the way. Keep trying and keep calm, hum or sing sweetly to your baby so that he/she does't feed off of your frustration. Always stay calm and mellow. You'd be surprised what your baby senses from you. ;-)
Make sure the baby is latching on properly, Keep soap away from your nipples, and do not skip feedings because you are sore as to keep engorgement and possible infection at bay. Lanolin is a bf mom's best and breast friend! :) A good supportive breast feeding bra is key!! If you are like I was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to much milk I would nurse on one side for 15 minutes then switch, and pump if need be.
Lanolin cream does nothing as a preventative measure. It is soothing and will help healing if you have damage to the nipple, but if that is the case it will not help unless you resolve the issue that caused the damage in the first place.
Nipple pain is almost always caused by the baby not being positioned and attactched properly at the breast, to make it less painful ask a breastfeeding specialist of peer supporter to help you get it right. Until you get the P&A right breastfeeding will always hurt, but once it's good it shouldn't be very painful or cause any further nipple damage.
It is quite normal to get a bit of pain in the early days but this shouldn't last more than 15-20 seconds. If it hurts longer than that you will likely see that the nipple is squashed and comes out wedge shaped, this indicates that the baby has not taken enough breast tissue into the mouth. You can watch video's and look at pictures online, but by far the best way to make breastfeeding less painful is to have a qualified person sit with you while you feed and point out where you are going wrong.
Stop breast feeding if its that painful. You're taking all the fun out of having an infant.
I learned quite a lot with my youngest, even though I breastfed my oldest two for 21 months and 30 months. Every child is different.
For engorgement, this *will* go away, but it really helps to chill a head of green cabbage and put cold leaves in your bra, changing them when they get warm! I learned this from my Chinese O.B. with my second, who was premature and has a very small mouth anyhow. Apparently this is a very old bit of Chinese medicine.
For cracks or bleeding, wet black teabags (wear an ecru bra because it does stain). Chill the teabags, and put them on your nipples. I had those cups that hold your bra/shirt off your nipples and just put them inside that.
Lanolin never really helped me, so if it's not helping you, this might.
With my oldest, he was nursing well and I had adjusted to nursing by the time he was about 2 weeks old. The second took a little longer because of being premature, but by a month we were both doing well. The youngest developed thrush at a week (there's a voilet tincture midwives know about--I no longer have the bottle, but it cleared it right up), so although she was doing very well at a week, we both had to deal with thrush for another few days.
After that initial adjustment period, we never had any problems. Yes, they do go through growth spurts where it seems you're always sitting and nursing all day long. Get Dr. Sears The Baby Book, and he tells you which weeks those growth spurts typically happen, so you can prepare: do some freezer meals and make sure you have plenty of water on hand and your remote batteries are new! At the end of those growth spurts, your baby will go back to a normal schedule. It doesn't mean you're not making enough milk! You are.
If there is pain after the first week or two-I would suggest trying a different way of latching- try getting a good book on breastfeeding too. I had a couple and they really helped when I was in trouble- sometimes a clog can be vicous and hurt like, ummm, heck. Also if you feel its something more major than that- I would suggest talking to a Lactation Specialist because beyond what I told you- it could be misconstrued as medical advice that could possibly not help you or make you feel worse than you already do. Seeking the help of a professional is probably best.
Breastfeeding isn't supposed to be painful! If you are experiencing pain that is your body telling you that something is wrong, you should seek a breastfeeding professional. You can use lanolin, gel pads, Dr Jack Newman's all purpose nipple cream for pain relief but the pain isn't going to stop if you don't take care of the initial problem.
Sometimes it just takes a little while. I was told by most sources that it would get less painful after two weeks but it took me two months! And with my second baby it was the same way. But after the two months it's so much better. Don't give up!
The Lanolin works well, but I also used cold cabbage leaves. It sounds crazy, but it works. Just keep the washed cabbage in the fridge and grab a leaf when you need it. I just wore it in my nursing bra for a half hour or so, you'll be able to smell them when its time to take them off.
Lanolin cream is a great help and so was gently expressing a little bit in the shower before/after bub was born. My biggest tip would be to try and relax while feeding even though it may be hurting, both of you are trying to get used to each other which takes some time. They have never breastfeed before either. The pain does go away when you get used to it, I did feed my daughter through teething and yes I did get bit but she learnt that if she bites mummy the milk goes away!!!! Having support always help I think and being prepared to take your time to learn what works best for you and bub
Lanolin cream can be applies to the area to help ease the tenderness. You can find it in the section of stores where breast pumps are displayed. Also, the pain is very temporary. Before long, your body will get use to this new sensation and it wont hurt at all, until the childs teeth start coming in. At that point, the cream I mentioned should help again. However, some mothers go ahead and take that first bite as their sign to discontinue nursing. I think that's probably a good time to finish nursing. Since the teeth give the child the ability to eat solid foods, the breast milk loses most of it's purpose though the antibodies the child recieves from breastmilk would continue to give the child stronger immunities than those who aren't nursing.