Monday, August 11, 2014

Pain While Breastfeeding

One of the biggest myths that I encounter every day in my practice as a Board Certified Lactation Consultant is that it is normal to have pain while breastfeeding.  Pain is a sign that our body is telling us that something is wrong.  Many nursing mothers feel that they should have pain while feeding their babies, or that the skin needs time to toughen-up. I see many clients in my office at two weeks with nipple pain that hasn't gone away and now they are dreading the feedings. Typically, slight nipple pain can turn into a chronic problem if not corrected.  Nipple pain that goes uncorrected turns into chronic, long-term breast pain or shooting pains in the breast. Many mothers feel they have a yeast problem, when really it is probably due to trauma, or a latch issue.  One of the simplest fixes is to have solid latch assistance from a Lactation Consultant. With some valuable time, the mother and the baby can learn how to achieve a deeper latch, decreasing nipple pain, improving milk removal by the baby, which improves milk supply and weight gain in the baby!  The sooner the correction of the latch, the sooner the overall improvement!  So, I am all for not to have pain!?

Marianne Kmak RN, BSN, IBCLC
Nourish Family Center