Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ouch! nipple pain

A friend of mine asked me today if, with your second baby, your nipples hurt less during the initial month or two of breastfeeding.

Sorry ladies- no luck. They hurt just as bad as the first time around.

For those of you that have not breastfed yet, or are doing it for the first time- don't worry. The pain doesn't last forever. But you will go through some initial "adjustment" periods, when your nipples can hurt so bad that you cringe in anticipation every time your baby is about to latch on. The pain can get so intense at times that you might think about robbing your dentist for a shot of novocaine.

Some options to try:

1) Pumping: If your baby can take the bottle, try replacing a couple of feedings with a pump session. It still will hurt your nipples a bit, but not quite as bad as that tight baby latch. Remember, though, if you are pumping, you need to do it at least nine times a day to keep your supply up.

2) Nipple shields: Silicone covers for your nipples. Commonly used to help babies latch on women that have short, flat, or inverted nipples, these are great for those painful periods. Keep a couple around- they'll save you a lot of pain! They generally come in 3 sizes- the bigger ones work great for any nipple size. I like both the ameda nipple shields and the medela nipple shields.

3) Nipple balm: Choose one that is, without a doubt, safe and non-toxic for your baby. Just to be safe, always wash it off before feeding. I like the Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter.

4) Painkillers: A recent study showed that small amounts of vicodin are okay for lactating mothers. If this seems a little extreme to you, knock back a couple of tylenols.

Keep your head up and don't give up! The pain will go away as you, your breasts, and your baby settle into the act of breastfeeding.

Any other things that mamas have tried?


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