Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ask Auntie Alisa: Should Breastfeeding Hurt? NO!!!

Piranha Baby!?!? Yowwwzer!!
Should Breastfeeding Hurt? The simple answer is NO!!! (with three exclamation points).

That said, let me temper that response, nursing your baby is definitely not supposed to be a painful event, I definitely know that it can be, but it isn’t supposed to be.

Many times, breastfeeding is associated with pain NOT because it is inherently painful, but because Mommies sometimes watch the clock to closely and await some magical moment when they believe the hurt may just disappear.

I once saw a Mom for a consult (I LOVE MAKING HOUSE CALLS!!) who actually needed her husband to hold her super-sized water bottle close to her mouth while she latched her baby on, not so she could drink from it but so she could bite down on the plastic straw in an attempt to lessen the blow of her ferocious "piranha baby."

Most of the time nipple pain hits all of a sudden, but nipple trauma gradually happens and usually starts right away in the hospital.  Learning technique before you deliver is very important but then having support and guidance during that first week that you are home from the hospital is essential.  The plan of care for nipple trauma is fix technique, modify latch, correct positioning and simultaneously heal the injured skin.  Often times the key to breastfeeding success is a pro (again...I LOVE MAKING HOUSE CALLS) who can give you a good treatment plan while at the same time maintaining the baby’s ability and desire to latch onto the breast.

Sometimes our stay in maternity wards (the kings and queens of clock watchers) set us on the wrong path regarding breastfeeding. Lactation consults can help you get back on track.

Alisa
The Calm Baby RN
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