All mothers know how uncomfortable breast feeding can be. Thankfully, the internet is full of resources to help you relieve the pain. There are even resources and videos on breast feeding, targeted for women who are still pregnant. We’ve discussed 7 things that will make the pain better – read ahead.
It’s definitely tough breastfeeding for the first time – it’s especially hard during the first week. This is why you don’t want a hungry baby latching onto your nipples – they’re already sore, he’ll wreak havoc. A great way to deal with the discomfort is to have short, continuous feeding times throughout the day. This would be about 8-12 times every 24-hours. Not only will this lead to your infant being less hungry, but your breasts won’t be as full – being engorged is a major cause of discomfort.
Something else that will help is expressing a bit of milk before the feeding. This would lead to your nipples being soft before your baby latches on. In terms of how you can remove excess milk, using a breast pump would be great.
Soothe the Soreness
You’ll notice that the skin around your nipples have become sore. This is nothing to worry about, you are looking at a natural postpartum occurrence. Unfortunately, the soreness can lead to them getting cracked. This leads to pain, especially if your baby sucks vigorously. There are a range of creams you can use– lanolin ointment is a good choice. There is a more natural treatment too – it is your own breast milk. Fresh breast milk is known to be rich in antibacterial properties. It not only will relieve you, but it will reduce the chances of infection – what more could you want?
Is Your Baby Latching On Properly?
Each part of your nipple reacts differently to sensitivity. When your child latches on, you need to ensure that most sensitive part is within his mouth – deep. This prevents it from being irritated. Sadly, quite a few mothers don’t know if their infant is latching on properly or not. Thankfully for them, there are countless guides and tutorials online that can help remedy this situation. What’s better is the fact that there are many classes for breast feeding, for mothers who are about to give birth. They are conducted by lactation consultants, so you’ll be fully prepared.
Your baby may be latching on properly. However, you’re not positioning him well. This would lead to serious discomfort too.
Deal With Engorgement
Engorgement is one of the most painful things new mothers will experience. It is when their breasts are so full of milk, that they swell, painfully. To deal with it, you can pump milk before feeding. You may have a lot of milk and your baby may be hungry, but it’s not coming out. This is something a few mothers face, and the best remedy would be to apply heat on your breasts for up to five minutes. The heat would cause the milk to start flowing. If you’re wondering how you can do this, a warm shower does the trick.
Once that’s done, you can deal with the engorgement more by applying a cold press on, and around your breasts. This should be done for around 10 minutes.
Don’t Stress Out
You’ll find no mother that didn’t have an uncomfortable time breast feeding, especially if they are doing it for the first time. You may be stressed out by how painful it is, making it worse. It may also be painful if you’re not producing enough milk, yet you’re forcing yourself to feed your child. You should know that not being able to breast feed is totally natural. It isn’t the end of the world, you can get a hold of formulas. Some good baby formulas would come with more nutrition than breast milk. Let’s not forget that they’re life savers – all you do is mix powder with water and store for whenever you need.
If you’re not a fan of formulas, relaxing thoroughly, like with a spa treatment, will help with the pain. It’ll take your mind off by how uncomfortable it is, helping you adapt. Your body is an amazing machine – it gets used to the discomfort after the first week, so you just have to hang in there.
While on the topic of relaxing, you can practice breathing exercises to deal with how uncomfortable it is when your baby latches on. Breathing deep is especially helpful when your baby is fresh out of the womb. As mentioned earlier, the feeling will leave after a while – bear through it.
If you’re in constant pain, you shouldn’t be afraid to use pain killers. All mothers who deal with uncomfortable breast feeding take them. If you’re wondering whether the pain killers would be present in your breast milk, it would only be a small amount. That being said, you shouldn’t take just any medication. It’s recommended that you go for the over-the-counter type. This includes paracetamol, Tylenol and Ibuprofen. If you want to be extra secure, you can always speak to your physician – they’ll run you through the best relievers to take.
Breast feeding is something all mothers struggle with, especially new ones. Thankfully, there are many tips for you to deal with the pain. The best thing to do would be to tackle the engorgement. You can express your milk with a breast pump. You can also get in a warm shower, letting your milk flow better. After you’re done feeding your child, using cold compressions would need to be done.
The pain you’re dealing with may also deal with your infant not latching properly. Luckily for you, there’s a myriad of tutorials and guides for you.
If you focus on the discomfort, it will get worse. Be sure to practice breathing exercises. You can also take pain relievers if you want. And if you’re forcing yourself to produce milk, you’re not helping with the pain. Formulas are around and the best even contain nutrients that your milk doesn’t provide.
Running through everything we said, what do you think? Which of the above points do you think is the most useful?