Is Breastfeeding Supposed to Hurt? A Look at Common Nursing Issues

Is Breastfeeding Supposed to Hurt? A Look at Common Nursing IssuesWhile discussing breastfeeding with a loved one, trusted friend, or lactation consultant is very helpful for expecting moms, sometimes misinformation can make a pregnant mom-to-be hesitant to try breastfeeding. It’s important to remember that nursing will not be the same experience for every mom, even if it’s your sister or mother describing a particular nipple pain or let down issue.

It’s not uncommon for a new mom to have some pain associated with breastfeeding in the beginning. Not only is body sensitivity heightened after giving birth, but many women report feeling nipple soreness as baby’s first learning to latch. Engorgement can also be the source of breastfeeding pain; in the days following birth, breast milk “comes in” and can cause breasts to feel overly full and uncomfortable. New moms should try and prevent engorgement by nursing frequently and concentrating on letting baby eat fully at every breastfeeding session.

Lingering, burning pain that’s associated with breastfeeding is a sign that a visit to the doctor is in order. Not many moms experience infections or deep, throbbing pain, but any issues should be resolved as quickly as possible so breastfeeding is not disrupted. If you think you’re experiencing engorgement, you might have a low fever, harder than normal breasts, or nipples will flatten out. The best way to treat engorgement is to gently massage breasts and give frequent cool compresses before nursing for at least twenty minutes at a time.

If you feel nervous about breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to talk about your feelings with a lactation consultant or a veteran breastfeeding mom. Sharing experiences helps to build the nursing moms’ community. As long as you can remember that everyone’s breastfeeding journey is not exactly the same, then you will feel prepared to nurse your own little one.