Does Breastfeeding Hurt?
Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits to offer you and your baby, but if you haven’t experienced it, you may wonder what to expect. Much like birth stories, it seems that every pregnant mom hears different stories from friends, family, and even complete strangers- some telling her that breastfeeding was all rainbows and flowers, others saying it was one of the most difficult things they’ve ever experienced.
The truth is your breastfeeding experience is unique to you. While it’s likely that most moms will experience some breastfeeding discomfort and sensitivity due to sore nipples in the beginning, breastfeeding should not be painful. So, what’s normal when it comes to breastfeeding pain and discomfort? And what can you do about it?
For many women, nipple problems are the worst in the first week after giving birth. Struggles with infant positioning and latch are the most common causes of nipple pain during this time. As mom and baby gain more experience with breastfeeding and latching, nursing becomes much more enjoyable and relaxing for both.
Another reason for discomfort is that the breasts and nipples become more sensitive during pregnancy and after giving birth. Hormonal changes are preparing your breasts for breastfeeding and this can increase sensitivity and cause discomfort.
Additionally, your baby will be nursing frequently during the first part of their life, and this repeated suction and moisture can cause discomfort and affect your skin, just like your lips get dry when exposed to different conditions.
But just because nipple discomfort is common doesn’t mean you need to “tough it out” or that there is nothing you can do about it. Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful, and pain is an indication that you and your baby may need a little extra help. Remember that this is a new experience for both you and your baby, and it may take time and practice to get the hang of it. Getting comfortable with positioning and latch is your first step, and seeking the help of a lactation consultant can make a big difference. Visits may even be covered by your insurance. You might find it beneficial to do your research ahead of time to find a provider convenient to you.
But what else can you do?
Don’t worry—you’ve got options to care for your nipples while you and your baby learn the ropes of breastfeeding.
1. Soothe & Protect: During those early days of breastfeeding if your nipples are sore and sensitive, Lansinoh® Lanolin Nipple Cream can help soothe and protect them. Lanolin is a thick, rich cream that provides a soothing, protective barrier for your skin. It’s 100% natural and contains no additives, preservatives or parabens. It’s safe for you and baby so it doesn’t need to be removed before breastfeeding (let’s be honest – when your girls are already sore or tender, the last thing you want to do is wipe away your nipple cream!) Lanolin makes such a great nipple cream because it so closely resembles our skin’s own natural moisture barriers, which keep it soft and healthy. Lansinoh® Lanolin has earned the trust of professionals and moms alike and is the #1 recommended nipple cream of doctors and moms.
2. Moisturize & Maintain: The thick consistency of lanolin is perfect for protecting sore nipples in those early days, and many moms use it for their entire breastfeeding journey. But some moms prefer to use something with a lighter consistency that’s easier to apply once they get past the initial stages of breastfeeding. Lansinoh® Organic Nipple Balm is a natural, plant-based remedy with a light, silky-smooth formula that glides on easily to soothe and moisturize tender nipples and dry skin. It’s perfect for maintaining soft and healthy skin even after you and baby become breastfeeding pros! It’s made with a unique blend of organic ingredients to have no smell, taste, or color, which is important because you don’t want your baby to be distracted from breastfeeding. Safe for mom and baby, it can also be used to moisturize all that stretching skin during pregnancy.
3. Heal & Relieve Pain: Unfortunately, some moms may experience more than soreness or tenderness and may even experience cracked or injured nipples. This is usually due to positioning or latching issues and is a definite sign to seek the help of a lactation professional. Additionally, as they grow, some babies may go through a biting stage, which can usually be stopped quickly with a few tricks. If you experience nipple injuries, know that there are better days ahead, and there’s a product that can provide pain relief while you work with a professional to solve the underlying cause of the pain. Lansinoh® Soothies® are gel pads that can be placed on the nipple to provide instant pain relief and help heal cracks and injuries. They can be placed in the refrigerator for even more cooling, soothing relief, and they can be reused for up to 72 hours. Aahhhhhh… relief.
It’s true that breastfeeding doesn’t always come easily, but as many moms have experienced before, with a little help and patience, it can soon become a precious bonding time that both you and your baby will look forward to.
All content found on the Lansinoh.com website, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.