You may feel some pain while breastfeeding that should disappear after a few weeks. Severe pain while breastfeeding is not normal. If you experience severe pain then you should speak with your healthcare provider. Latching issues are the most common cause of breastfeeding pain. If your baby consistently latches improperly you may feel a pinching sensation as your baby nurses. Another unwanted side effect from poor latching is dry, sore, and cracked nipples. If you haven’t already, definitely seek out the help of a certified lactation consultant.
Positioning is very important when it comes to latching. Adjusting your positioning can help reduce any breast or nipple pain you may be experiencing. We love this breastfeeding and attachment guide by The Breastfeeding Network. If you are just starting out breastfeeding you may find it more comfortable to feed lying in a semi reclined position, with your body and head completely supported. The breastfeeding and attachment guide offers the following tips:
- Sit comfortably with your back well supported.
- Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor or raised on a stool or a pile of magazines or similar so that your lap is flat.
- Keep the baby’s body in a straight line with whole body facing the food (nipple and breast).
- Support the neck, shoulders and back so that the baby can tilt his/her head back easily.
- Move the baby from your cleavage towards the nipple.
- Make sure the baby’s lower lip and chin is in contact with the breast first.
Another, more serious, type of breast pain experienced by some nursing mothers is caused by mastitis. The following are symptoms of mastitis: sore breasts, flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, a hard or red area of the breast, or red streaks on your breast.
If irritation is confined to the nipple only you could be experiencing nipple thrush. Thrush symptoms include the following:
- shooting or burning breast pain either during or after feedings
- pain deep within your breast
- strong pain in the breasts or nipples that doesn’t get better after properly latching on and positioning your baby
- nipples that are cracked, itchy, burning, or are pink, red, shiny, flaky, or have a rash with little blisters.
If you have thrush it can be passed orally to your baby.
The best way to keep up a steady milk production is by nursing and pumping as often as possible. Breastfeeding follows the law of supply and demand. A breast pump will help you express your milk as often and as easily as possible. Aeroflow Breastpumps can help you find out if you qualify for a breast pump through your insurance. Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form today and let us take care of the rest!