Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable -- no doubt. It also can be completely comfortable, pain free, fun, boring, relaxing, or exhilarating....
Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable -- no doubt. It also can be completely comfortable, pain free, fun, boring, relaxing, or exhilarating. But when breastfeeding actually hurts you'll know. 161052_lactation2-250×187.jpgGeneral breastfeeding pains:  Many women experience nipple pain until they understand how to make sure their baby is properly latched on. This usually happens pretty quickly because who likes sore nipples? If your nipples are sore there's a good chance your baby is simply not opening her mouth wide enough. Talk to a lactation expert or your care provider, or read a great book for advice about proper latching techniques. The above nipple pain can really hurt but seriously a little time and practice usually solves this problem. Sometimes you might also feel a prickily feeling when your baby eats or milk is otherwise expelled. Another common pain of breastfeeding is uterine cramps which can be more painful if this is NOT your first baby. Uterine cramps are icky but hardly ever last longer than a week and are useful because they help your uterus get back to normal. You can take some ibuprofen or acetaminophen (both safe for breastfeeding babies and mamas) before your nurse. Breastfeeding aches:   Lastly in the mild pain category are sore and tender breasts. Your breasts are fuller than they've ever been and it can be uncomfortable. There's an old wives tale remedy that really works. If you chill cabbage and put some of the leaves in your nursing bra (around the curves of your breasts) it can really help. I'm not sure why it works -- some say it's a special enzyme in the cabbage -- but I know it does. I've used this pain relief method. One tip; don't fall asleep with cabbage in your bra. It won't smell great when you wake up. Don't ask me how I know that one. Cabbage can also relieve a clogged milk duct and swelling. Real trouble: I had a breast infection once; but once was enough. They REALLY hurt. As in you cannot move. Your breasts will feel hard and hot to the touch and feel full no matter how much you're breastfeeding. The best thing to do is to continue to breastfeed because it helps to drain the breast and repair the issue. Sometimes using a real powerful breast pump can help too. Breast infections can be very serious you can develop a fever and the pain may not go away on it's own. You may need to get on antibiotics as well. My doctor gave me some that were ok to use while breastfeeding and they cleared the infection up. You'll know if you need to see a doctor because breastfeeding will hurt to the point of unbearable and even when you aren't breastfeeding you won't be able to even wear a bra. It's that painful. Don't mess around -- make a doctors appointment right away. Have you had any minor or major breastfeeding issues? What helped? Don't forget to enter Pregnancy & Baby's great new contest!

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