The simple answer to that question is … well there is not one. Breastfeeding should not hurt. At least not more than a mild sunburn. And only at the beginning of the latch. And only for the first few days. If it does hurt more than that, ask for help and ask for it soon. The sooner the problem causing the pain is corrected, the better.
What might cause nipple pain? An incorrect latch and/or position. Engorgement. Infection due to nipple damage. Skin conditions.
The main reason is the first one listed, incorrect latching or positioning. This can usually be fixed with some simple adjustments. (Remember the basics: nipple to nose, tummy to mummy, wide open mouth, patience and persistence!) Read up on latching, watch a video, ask your support group for help or talk to a lactation consultant!
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt!
I am a researcher in my heart. If something is happening to me or some one tells me about something I don’t know about, I go look it up. The Internet is great for that. However, there are many less than reputable sources out there. So what are some reputable sources for breastfeeding information?
Kellymom.com is my favorite Internet resource where I send people for accurate information. Mostly because it is so comprehensive and has links to other good sites with more information. There are also tons of great books out there as well.
You can check out my resources page for other good places to find information to include the books I often recommend to my mamas.
They were. Humans are mammals. All mammals suckle their young at the breast.
During the 20th century, in many cultures, we moved away from breastfeeding not realizing the role it plays for mother and child. Over the last few decades, we have learned though how important it is both psychologically and biologically for mama and baby. Breastfeeding provides so much more than just food. It provides love and nurturing, immune support, and health protections to both members of the breastfeeding pair.
If you are unsure about breastfeeding, just give it a try. You can always stop. But if you don’t start right away, it can be difficult if not impossible later on to give your baby what nature intended.
Babies were born to be breastfed.