At first, most mom’s feel a tug when their baby sucks. This can be a little uncomfortable.
You should not experience any nipple pain.
The most common cause of sore nipples is a poor latch.
If your nipple are sore from a poor latch you may find:
- The pain started 1-4 days after birth.
- The pain may be worse at the start of feedings, and then improves.
- Your nipples may appear pinched or misshaped after feedings
- Your nipples may be damaged or bleeding. (Swallowing blood from your nipples will not harm your baby).
Click here for more information on sore nipples.
If your baby fusses and doesn’t latch on, you can try these things:
- Move baby back to an upright position between your breasts
- Stroke and talk to your baby until they calm down
- Calm yourself. This will calm your baby too.
- Switch to a different breastfeeding position
- See if your baby will latch on by them selves in the laid back position.
- Express some milk on your nipple so your baby can smell and taste it right away
How to Tell if Your Baby is Latched Well
While your baby is nursing you will know your baby is latched on well if these things are happening:
- Breastfeeding is comfortable for you.
- Your baby has a strong, slow, regular suck.
- You can hear swallowing.
- Your baby’s mouth is wide open with flanged lips. If your baby has a deep latch you might not see his lips.
- Your baby’s ears or temple are moving while he sucks.
When your baby is finished nursing:
- Your nipples will have a normal, rounded shape and they should not look pinched.
- Your breasts feel softer. This is more noticeable during the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
- Your baby should be relaxed and content. Younger babies may fall asleep when they are done feeding. Older babies may stay awake but let you know they are done feeding by turning away or starting to play.
- Younger babies often fall asleep at the breast, but when you take them away, they wake up again. If your baby does this, it is a sign that he was not yet finished.
You and your baby are unique.
There are many different breastfeeding positions, from the cross-cradle hold to the football hold.
In fact, it’s a good idea to change breastfeeding positions from time to time to allow your breasts to fully empty and to prevent conditions like mastitis.
Read more about the different positions, and discover some helpful breastfeeding tips here: