Does Breastfeeding your baby hurt you?

Breastfeeding your baby shouldn’t hurt, and if it does then there is something wrong which should be investigated. Some new mothers find it difficult to breast feed correctly at first, but it isn’t an admission of failure if you ask for some help, especially if you are finding the experience hurts. When done correctly there may be some tenderness at first as your breasts aren’t used to the suckling, but this should soon wear off as they become accustomed to it.

Three common problems that cause pain when breast feeding include
* Breasts that are engorged with milk
* Baby who is not in the correct position for breast feeding
* A baby who isn’t latched on correctly

A common misconception is that you may not have enough milk to satisfy your baby. The fact is your breasts will produce exactly the amount of milk your baby requires, and as he grows stronger and hungrier, your breasts will accommodate his ever increasing appetite. Meeting those needs is important as if you linger and don’t feed him as you should do, you may find your breasts become very tender and may even leak milk.

All babies are different, and it’s a mistake to try and breast feed your baby by the clock. You should feed your baby according to his demands, and once you do this you will find yourself settling into a routine with him. You should also find your breasts adapt to this routine and become more comfortable.

When your baby is very new, you will find he probably want to breast feed approximately every two hours. This is probably when you will find your nipples to be at their most sore as you are both adjusting to the new regime. It’s also important to ensure your baby suckles at each breast alternately to ensure the same nipple is not suckled continuously.

Another reason you may find breast feeding painful is that you may assume baby is feeding because he is sucking. This is not always the case. You should always check that your baby is also swallowing as well as sucking as sometimes they can suckle without actually taking any milk into their mouth. This dry suckling can cause soreness to your nipples.

A newborn baby will usually suckle at the breast between one to three times and then swallow the milk. If your baby is suckling on your nipple for longer periods than this without swallowing, check to see if he is latched on correctly. Non nutritive suckling can cause problems for your baby as there is a possibility he is not getting adequate nourishment.