Alright, so picture this: you go 9 months through your pregnancy, you go through the agonizing process of giving birth (that’s a huge understatement), thus bringing your little baby into the world, and nows the time for breastfeeding.
It seems pretty normal, eh?
Nothing weird or crazy with it, except the fact that it hurts almost as bad as going into labor!
Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating just a wee bit, but it can be very painful and certainly takes some getting used to. But if you’re like me, you have very sensitive nipples on top of it, so it can make breastfeeding even harder to deal with (ugh!).
Yes, I know using a breast pump is always an option, but I know I’m not alone when I say I want to have that connection with my baby and cherish every moment of it and only use a breast pump when I absolutely have to. It’s easy to feel like you’re failing as a parent when you can’t properly do this, but trust me, that’s not the reality of it.
If you’re starting to feel lost in yourself through your mama journey, refer back to this beautiful inspiration blog known as, StacyJEdwards.com, as this always helps to inspire me and help me recognize all I should be happy about as a Mom. But for that reason exactly, I’ve done quite a bit to work around this problem of breastfeeding, and avoid feeling low about it. I have used my detective skills to find the deepest, darkest answers on the internet for how to solve it. Therefore, today, let me share with you the most effective tips I’ve come up with for how to prevent pain whilst breastfeeding!
1 ♥ It’s All About the Latch
To be honest, one of the biggest causes to painful breastfeeding is the wrong latch-on by the baby. I know, I know, it’s not your fault, and it’s not your babies either.
You’re both learning, but there is a certain technique that I started following in my second and third pregnancies that was recommended to me by my doctor for pain-free feeding.
For me, all I had to do is just make sure that my baby’s tongue was located underneath the nipple, instead of on top of it or against it, because believe it or not, this is one of the biggest causes of breastfeeding pain! I know this isn’t the only thing you might be doing wrong to which is causing you grief whilst breastfeeding, but I know from experience and from other mommies around me, this was quite a common mistake.
If you are really struggling getting the right latch, please please, don’t suffer alone or give up. It’s important that you get the right help and information. If you have no-body close to you that can offer help or any services nearby, it doesn’t mean you need to suffer in silence. I recommended an online lactation consultant to one of my friends recently and her breastfeeding issues got solved in literally 3 days. I can’t recommend enough Kiki who is a certified lactation consultant and has worked in the baby and nursing industry for over 10 years. If you have any questions, you can contact her online and via telephone here.
This is my special trick I used on my middle and last child, and I honestly haven’t had any pain when breastfeeding since!
And since we’re on the topic of early days of parenting, if you’re looking for other fun and relatable parenting blogs, have a look at, AliceJanePotter.com for a beautiful journey through the birth and growing of an adorable, sweet little baby!
2 ♥ Soothe The Soreness
If you’re actively breastfeeding, I don’t care who you are, you’re going to get dry and sore nipples (it’s just how it works!).
In my first pregnancy with the little knowledge I had about cracked nipples and breastfeeding, so through my own experience, my nipples actually got to the point of dryness that they were cracking and aching nonstop.
So I recommend, not to get to this point!
For this reason, it’s important to take care of your breasts and make sure they are always moisturized!
I have two favorite nipple creams. One of my favorite nursing friendly creams to use is Motherlove, the other is Lansinoh which you can read more about here. Using a good quality nipple cream that actually works always relieves my pain, and brings my nipples back to health despite constant feeding! I would say this has been a huge contributor to my personal healing and contributes to one of my #1 recommendations for breastfeeding pain relief. I would highly recommend you try this brand if you’re having the same problem as me!
There’s also a blog known as, crunchyhomeschoolingmom, that talks about the importance and health benefits of using essential oils. So if you aren’t a fan of creams, I would highly suggest you have a look at her informative blog and see if you can find an essential oil for you!
Related Article: What You Need (& Don’t Need) In the First 2 Months With a Newborn
3 ♥ Feed Frequently
Feed frequently. This may be a bit of a no-brainer, but honestly, it wasn’t really something I considered to be a contributing factor to my painful breast-feeding. Obviously our breasts fill up with quite a bit of milk when we are feeding, especially in the beginning.
And unknown to me at the time, when we begin breastfeeding, our body isn’t aware of how much milk to produce just yet, so it can engorge our breasts, causing a lot of pain.
And honey, am I a victim of this!
For this reason, breastfeeding rather frequently is the solution.
As it is the only way to let go of the milk.
If you have extreme pain with it like I did, you can also pump some out just to give yourself some room! And if you are going to pump, only invest in a good quality breast pump as anything else will cause you even more pain! The top brand of breast pumps is Medela and I can’t recommend this brand enough!
4 ♥ Proper Nutrition
Remember, nutrition can also play a big part in your overall breastfeeding experience and milk production, so it’s important that you are eating the right foods to maintain an adequate milk supply and making sure you are consuming enough calories to provide for your hungry and growing baby.
If you’d like to learn more about some healthy foods to incorporate into your diet to assist you, I would strongly suggest you have a look at the blog, Nutritionbymama for helpful recipes and guides to your best health!
Overall, while these breastfeeding tips to reduce pain are simple, they are extremely effective, and can have a massive impact on your breastfeeding experience. Just remember, breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful or feel like a job, it should be a special bond between your child and yourself. And if you find yourself dreading each feeding session from pain, it’s time to apply one of these sweet little tips to your life!
For more breastfeeding experiences, tips and to provide an extra fluffy layer of reassurance that really, breastfeeding is hard, check out Rachael’s lifestyle blog over at anchoredinlight.com and -particular her blog post about her breastfeeding journey 3 months in here.