If you are reading this, you are probably desperately looking for a remedy to the pain that you feel when breastfeeding. Because it hurts. It just does.
Lots of well intended people told me that breastfeeding wasn’t supposed to hurt. If it did that meant I was feeding wrong. There was a latch problem or some other issues.
And while that is true, a continued bad latch and mastitis are real problems that need to be fixed, there is still an amount of pain associated with breastfeeding even if you are doing all the right things.
Especially that first week breastfeeding as you are getting used to a very new thing, you may feel like it isn’t worth it and give up. Believe me, I’ve been there with both of my babies.
However, it was my goal to breastfeed them both for the first year. I ended up meeting my goal, but during those first couple of months, I experienced a lot of pain.
In fact, with my second born, I experienced toe-curling pain. She didn’t have a correct latch for the first 48 hours and by the time I had corrected it, the damage had already been done. My nipples were extremely sore and cracked and bleeding.
I HAD to have relief! So I ended up feeding her formula and pumping for an entire day because I couldn’t get in to see my doctor since it was a holiday.
If you are in the same place I was and experiencing extreme pain from cracked and bleeding nipples, I want you to know that there is hope and these tips will help you out tremendously!
Relief When Breastfeeding Hurts:
1. Nipple Shields
These are little plastic shields that create a barrier between you and the baby. They will provide immediate relief. The first time I used these I shouted, “Hallelujah” with pure joy! They were the number one thing that helped me get through breastfeeding when I was cracked and bleeding.
Technically, you should discontinue using these once your nipples heal, however, I continued to use them for a couple of months and had to end up weaning my baby from using them.
The only caution I would give you is you’ll want to have a back up shield because once the baby gets used to using these they will only be able to nurse with them.
2. 3-in-1 Therapy Packs
These therapy packs (affiliate link) are the best!
You can freeze them and place them inside your nursing bra for a few minutes after you have applied nipple cream. They cool your nipples and help numb the burning. Please be aware that the ice will inhibit milk let down, so be sure to only apply the ice right after you are finished breastfeeding.
You can also heat these up in the microwave and use as heating pads. The heat actually helps with milk let down, so they can be used as heating pads at any time. Try them both ways and see what feels best for you.
3. Lanolin or Another Cream
Lanolin is safe to use with your baby and for you. So that is the brand of nipple cream that I used, but there are lots of different nipple cream options available. Just be sure they are safe for baby and don’t need to be washed off prior to feeding.
The cream won’t provide pain relief, but it will help heal the cracks with continued use. After a few days, you should see improvement.
If you are in so much pain that it is unbearable, consider pumping for a day or two in order to allow your nipples to heal. This will be a lot of work, but may be exactly what you need.
My favorite pump is the Medela Hand Pump (affiliate link). It’s great quality but not as expensive as the electric pumps.
If you are experiencing more than just pain, be sure to check with your doctor as there may be an infection or a bad latch that needs corrected. But if breastfeeding is just painful and you need relief, be sure to try these simple tips out! You don’t have to experience extreme pain while bonding with your baby through this special time.
You’ve got this, Mom!
If you are an overwhelmed stay at home mom, be sure to get your free copy of The Balanced Mom Checklist. It’ll show you exactly what to do to have a clean house, supper on the table, and spend time with your kids!
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