Many expectant mothers dream about the day they can cradle their precious children in their arms and begin the bonding process through breastfeeding. Unfortunately, for many women, the reality of breastfeeding can be pretty painful. While natural feeding is a priority for many new mothers, being able to comfortably breastfeed without pain can be difficult.
Breastfeeding can be naturally uncomfortable as both you and your child find the proper positioning and latching routine. However, prolonged pain during breastfeeding is not the norm. If you are experiencing extended pain while feeding, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of any physical issues like blocked milk ducts.
For most women, the pain associated with breastfeeding will pass in the first few weeks. As both you and your child become accustomed to the routine, you will become more comfortable. Some women find the beginnings of breastfeeding so uncomfortable that they give up and switch to bottle feeding. If you want to breastfeed your child but are finding it painful, you can get advice from the experts at Simply Nourish or follow these tips to help you make breastfeeding less painful.
Have the Right Support
The most crucial part of enjoying the breastfeeding process is to ensure that you and your child are comfortable. Having the proper support for your body can make it easier and less painful to breastfeed. Start by sitting in a chair that gives your back and arms the right support to sustain you through a feeding session. Keep in mind that your body is already fatigued as a new mother, making even the slightest activity tiring and stressful.
If you prefer to breastfeed in bed or on the couch, make sure that you have enough pillows around you to support both you and your child. Find a place or a stool to put your feet up while you feed to take the pressure off of your lower back.
Support is also essential for your body. Wearing the right feeding bra can make a difference in your comfort during your breastfeeding months. A firm elastic bra that gives your breasts the right support while they are heavy from feeding will help you reduce the strain on your body and eliminate discomfort.
If your baby is having a hard time finding the right latching point, it may be due to a lack of support. Your child should be placed comfortably at the same height as the breast so that there is no need to crane their neck.
Most women attempt to breastfeed using the traditional cradling hold. However, this doesn’t always work for everyone. Don’t be afraid to try different feeding positions that will help you be comfortable and allow your child to latch on securely. Some women prefer to feed laying on their side with their child laying beside them.
If you are experiencing sore nipples from feedings, changing up your feeding positions may help. A slightly different latching position can relieve the strain on a particular part of the nipple and alleviate your pain.
When you are struggling to get your baby to latch on properly during breastfeeding, it can be very stressful. The key to success with feeding is to relax. Your baby will sense through your body language that you are stressed out, which can cause them to be fussy and restless. Finding a comfortable space and settling your mood can help you to have more comfort while breastfeeding.
If you are struggling to breastfeed effectively but you aren’t ready to switch to formula, you can try pumping your milk. Pumping will relieve much of the pressure and drying on your nipples while still supplying your child with the nutrient-rich milk that they need. Modern breast pumps are much more comfortable and easy to use, and they can help you to continue feeding your breast milk to your child.
It’s tempting to use a pacifier to help your baby stay calm between feedings. Although pacifiers can be a helpful parenting tool, their use can interfere with teaching your baby how to get a tight latch on your breast. The shape of a pacifier is meant to mimic a feeding bottle and not a nipple and can interfere with the process of latching. For the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s essential to avoid using pacifiers until your baby has mastered the skill of getting a tight latch on your breast.
New moms are so focused on the health and well-being of their children that they often neglect to take proper care of themselves. The most common difficulty with breastfeeding comes from being dehydrated. It’s crucial for breastfeeding mothers to make sure they are correctly hydrated. New moms should focus on drinking at least eight glasses of water a day to improve milk production and keep the delicate tissues of the breast from drying out and becoming chapped or irritated.
Some babies take their time while feeding, and this can result in many new mothers facing boredom during their breastfeeding sessions. You may be content to simply watch your child as they provide, but if you find yourself becoming restless during feedings, you may want to add a distraction or entertainment to your routine. Place your favorite book, a tablet, or your smartphone on an accessible spot near your feeding area so that you will have something to engage with while you are feeding. Keeping your mind occupied while feeding can distract you from any discomfort you are feeling.
Breastfeeding can lead to sore or dry nipples. The delicate skin of the breast can become chapped and painful when you first start breastfeeding. To ease the pain and care for your skin, it can be helpful to apply a soothing balm. Hydrogel packets or lanolin creams can help relieve your nipple discomfort. Keep in mind that excessively sore nipples should not last for too long, and if they become a chronic issue, you should see your doctor.
Breastfeeding your child is one of the most wonderful joys of being a new mother. If you are struggling with discomfort while breastfeeding, try following these tips to help you make your breastfeeding sessions less painful.