As a lactating mother, you should be ready to undergo a series of breastfeeding pain before everything normalize. This doesn’t mean that you should stop feeding your baby whenever you feel the pain.
According to doctors, the pain is normal, and it’s bound to be felt at some point during the lactation period. But then you don’t have to undergo the agony in silence.
There are a number of ways that you can ease the pain. In case it prolongs and becomes completely unbearable, you should contact a lactation consultant. He or she will be able to give you the way forward. You don’t have to worry about it because these are normal lactation problems with remedies.
Breastfeeding pain is the ache that a lactating mother usually feels when breastfeeding the baby. When you start the lactation process, you will feel some discomfort on your nipple and areola. This is as a result of the baby pulling milk from the breast. Normally, the pain should last a few seconds then stop.
However, many women always feel pain while breastfeeding. This may be due to numerous reasons, but then as mentioned above, it is meant to happen.
Is it Normal Pain During Breastfeeding?
The moment you give birth, and you start breastfeeding your baby, it is normal to fill some sort of discomfort. This is because the baby is latching on the breast and for the first time, your nipple is producing milk.
There is usually some sort of pinch that is very normal. This pain is however supposed to subside as soon as the baby sucks the first milk. If the pain persists, you should know that it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Breastfeeding pain is very normal at the initial stages, but it should not last longer than expected.
What Causes of Breastfeeding Pain.
There are quite a number of factors that cause breastfeeding pain ranging from simple ones to the most complex ones. As a lactating mother, you should always be on the lookout. This will ensure that you don’t experience agony whenever you are breastfeeding your baby.
1. Wrong Baby Positioning
This is a challenge that most breastfeeding mothers undergo. Mostly, it is experienced by the first time moms who have no idea to position their breasts.
The baby’s mouth has different places where you can position your nipple. You will find that most moms, due to the fear of choking the child, making a common mistake. She will tend to place the nipple just behind the baby’s gums. What you don’t know is that the place is usually covered by hard tissue.
So when the baby presses the nipple against it, you will feel pain when you are breastfeeding. This will prolong as long as you maintain that position.
2. Breast Engorgement
Breastfeeding engorgement is another cause of breastfeeding pain that is very common among women. Sometimes you find that your breasts produce too much milk than needed. This means that even when the baby feeds, there is still a surplus of milk.
Occasionally, you will find the mother’s breasts getting hard, tight and the nipple is becoming stretched. This means that your breasts will always remain full, hard and tight and this will trigger pain when breastfeeding. You should thus see a lactation consultant figure out where the problem is.
3. Improper Latch
Most times, the breastfeeding pain caused by a latch to that of wrong positioning of the nipple.
If you try positioning the nipple correctly, but you still feel the pain, stop and try another approach. Check the baby’s latch. There are times when the baby holds the breast wrongly. This often triggers breastfeeding sore.
You should try correcting the baby’s latch as soon as you start feeling pain.
There are numerous reasons why your baby having a painful latch. The main is usually because he or she was born prematurely. The other reason is the baby doesn’t know how to hold the mother’s breast. So anytime you feel pain while breastfeeding, be sure to check the baby’s latch. It might just be the reason for your agony.
4. Tongue -Tie
Some babies tend to be born with a tongue-tie problem. This is where the baby has a tight or short frenulum (the skin under the baby’s mouth). This means that the baby is not able to stick his tongue out or lift it to hold the nipple. In such a case, you will feel nipple pain during breastfeeding.
This is because the nipple will be pressing on the lower gum of the baby thus causing the pain. If the mother is not keen, she may not easily notice that the baby has a tongue-tie. This may last throughout the lactation period in case the mother doesn’t find out what is causing the pain.
5. Yeast Infection
This is a problem that is caused when the yeast around the breasts overgrows. This may be because the mother is taking the antibiotics or iron levels are low.
If you have a yeast infection, you will find that you feel pain in two different. This may be between feeds or when you are breastfeeding the baby. You will tend to experience a stabbing pain that is unbearable. It is so far one of the most painful breastfeeding sore there is.
6. Plugged duct
This is a problem that evolves when your breasts can’t let out milk due to a number of reasons. The first reason may be due to the pressure exerted on the breasts by your bra. The other reason may be due to a plug on the breast preventing the milk from coming out.
In both cases, you will find that there is a lump in the breast or a soft spot on the affected breast. This will tend to make your breast sore, and you will also find it red in some areas.
Mastitis is caused when you have poor drainage in your breast causing an inflammation. This may also be caused by bacteria that grow in the milk due to a closed duct. At the end of the day, you will find your breast has a very tend area that is red. Mastitis may also cause pain in your breasts, and so it should be taken care of as soon as possible.
How to Remedies for Breastfeeding Pain.
The best part of this whole experience is that the conditions are not permanent. This is because they can be remedied. But you should start taking caution as soon as the problem presents itself. Some other problems can develop to huge problems if left untreated. Below are solutions on how to treat the problems mentioned above and regain normalcy.
1. Make Sure The Baby Is Always Positioned Correctly
This is one of the simplest and practical solutions to get breastfeeding pain relief. Before you commence breastfeeding the baby, make sure that you are seated upright. Get a pillow and place it on your left right next to you. Use it to position the baby correctly.
Then, give the baby your nipple, ensure insert your nipple right into the baby’s mouth up to where there is soft tissue. This is usually referred to the comfortable spot. Hold the baby steadily while breastfeeding. By doing this, just expect a slight pinch that will occur when the milk starts pouring out. The rest of your breastfeeding sessions should be very comfortable without any problems or pain.
2. Ensure Get a Good Latch
Breastfeeding pain that is caused by a bad latch is usually the easiest to solve. At times, just shifting the position of the baby may help with the problem.
If you do so and you still experience sore breastfeeding, then switch the approach. Hold your baby facing you with your arm. Your hand should be on his back straight through.
Ensure that your baby is close to your elbow and his head is slanting a little bit to the back. Hold your breast such that your thumb points the nipple up a bit.
Your other fingers should be below the breast supporting it. Align your nipple with his nose and tuck the nipple in his mouth. Make sure that your nipple reaches the soft spot of the mouth. Support the baby until he is done breastfeeding.
3. Take Good Care of The Frenulum
If you notice that you are experiencing pain when you are breastfeeding because of a tongue-tie, get a doctor involved. You should know that the frenulum will be loosening with time. It means that you will have months of pain during breastfeeding as you wait for the problem naturally disappear.
That is why you should involve a doctor. The doctor will perform a very small and simple procedure. This is where he or she will be required to snip a flap of the frenulum that is holding the tongue down. Once this is done, you will have to give the baby some time to learn how to hold the nipple, and your breastfeeding pain will be no more.
4. Use Teat to Cure the Plugged duct
If you find yourself with a plugged duct, worry not. This is quite a very simple problem that can be solved naturally. What you have to do is massage the area where you can feel the lump or tenderness gently.
You can do this while taking a hot bath or with a cloth wet with hot water. This should be able to open the duct and allow the flow of milk once again.
Make sure that the bath or the cloth is not too hot to be uncomfortable. What you need is just bearable heat that is completely harmless and also very comfortable.
5. Massage to Remedy Mastitis
Mastitis can be also treated by massaging the affected breast gently while taking a hot bath. But you should call the doctor if the problem is not solved within the next 24hours. He will tell you how to take care of the situation promptly. You should also ensure that you nurse the baby during this time.
6. Get Antibiotics for Yeast Infection
For yeast infection, you need to contact your doctor immediately. He will be able to check you and establish whether you have the infection. And give you a number of prescriptions that will solve the problem completely.
How to Prevent Pain While Breastfeeding
Sometimes, it is better to prevent pain during breastfeeding instead of waiting for it to occur.
Some of the best ways to do this include:
- Breastfeed your baby often.
- Use breast compressions to quicken the breastfeeding process.
- Attend sessions to learn how to breastfeed.
- Apply soaked teabags on the area to reduce pain.
- Avoid tight bras.
- Position your baby well.
Breastfeeding pain is one of the main challenges that new moms tend to experience whenever they feed their babies. But as pointed out, we can cure these problems. Follow the listed ways, and you will find that your breastfeeding sessions will be painless and thus interesting. Also, ensure that you pay more attention to the preventative measures so that you don’t end up with the problem in the first place.