Why does it hurt when baby latches?
Breastfeeding a new baby can be very uncomfortable for some. Just take a moment to think about it- a very tender area (your nipples) are all of a sudden getting constantly stimulated with yanking, pulling, and suckling! Sure, they will be sore and tender to the touch at first. However, it should never be painful. Pain is a sign that something is not quite right and should be checked out by a qualified lactation professional. Feel free to follow the links below to find the right support for you in your area!
- Board Certified Lactation Consultants near you
- La Leche League Support Groups near you
When a medical issue is not the reason for a painful latch, easing the common discomfort of breastfeeding can be done on your own by ensuring a proper, deep latch and using a variety of therapy products.
Signs of a proper latch:
- Nose to chin
- When inserting breast into baby’s mouth, go from nose to chin and roll in the nipple
- Fish Lips
- Baby’s lips should be rolled outward
- Baby’s lips should be in as much contact as possible with the areola
- Little areola should be showing (depending on size)
- Baby’s cheeks should appear full
- You should not hear clicking noises or see dimpling on cheeks
- Baby's Cues
- Baby is relaxed at the breast, no longer fussing
- Baby is not pulling off the breast
Once you have the basics of latching down, the positioning baby properly also helps increase breastfeeding comfort.
- Is your baby focused and ready to feed?
- Does baby like to be swaddled or unswaddled?
- Are they displaying hunger cues?
- Tummy to tummy
- Baby’s tummy should be facing mom’s tummy when feeding
- Baby’s head should be straight on to breast, no turning necessary
Need some help recovering from the early days of breastfeeding? Nipple balm and therapy pillows are the perfect remedy!