04 Jan Breastfeeding is painful! What can I do?
There are a number of reasons for painful feeding. These include swollen breasts, enlarged or inverted nipples, blocked milk ducts, mastitis, thrush or improper latching or positioning.
There are a few techniques that can help heal or prevent soreness:
– Make sure your breast is soft enough for your baby to grasp. If your breast is very firm, press your fingers against your breast, about 2 inches behind your nipple, and push into your chest wall, working all around the darker aerola until your breast gets softer. Expressing a little milk out first with your fingers may also help.
– Hold your baby really close. Lean back comfortably and let him lie facedown on you so that he can hear your heart beat.
– Encourage frequent and short feedings. Offer your breast as soon as your baby looks interested rather than waiting for him to cry-he won’t attach as well when he is upset.
– If your nipple starts to hurt a lot during a feeing, carefully break the suction and try latching on again, or offer the other side. If you can’t get him on comfortably, get help as soon as you can. If your nipples are injured, pure lanolin may help them heal.
– Keep your breasts well drained. Offer alternate breasts at each feeding. check your breasts for any lumps after a feeding and gently massage them to prevent blockages.