A woman’s body is a remarkable thing. During pregnancy, it provides the perfect environment for a baby to grow and develop. Then, after birth, a woman’s body serves as a conduit for all of the nutrients needed to ensure that her child grows up healthy and strong. But while these two functions are incredible feats of nature, they can also come with some serious drawbacks — namely, painful breastfeeding!
If you’re still in the early days of breastfeeding, it can be tough to know what’s normal. Many women experience pain while breastfeeding in the first few days postpartum while they are perfecting position and latch.
One thing every new mama needs to know is that: Breastfeeding pain is not normal. We should not have to grind our teeth and clench our fists while feeding our babies. Breastfeeding your baby should never compromise your physical/mental or emotional health and wellbeing.
Get a lactation consultant at the first signs of pain, dont wait
If you’re here the chances are you are having a pretty painful time breastfeeding. If you’ve been waiting for a sign – this is it. Get help now. Don’t wait.
If you are experiencing pain while breastfeeding, it’s okay to ask for help. Lactation consultants (also known as IBCLCs) are licensed healthcare professionals who can provide support, education and personalised care to help you through the challenges of breastfeeding. Their job is to make sure that you have all the information and assistance that you need to breastfeed successfully.
They are literally magic. They may even be able to tell what’s wrong just by looking at your nipple.
That said: don’t wait until things get bad before seeking out a lactation consultant. As soon as there is pain or any other problem whatsoever in the area of feeding (like soreness), call one up—even if it seems like a minor issue!
It’s important to note that your lactation consultant should be registered with the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (ICBLC). We are based in the UK and some breastfeeding support (even those offered by the NHS) are not ICBLC members so make sure you check that before booking.
Use a warm compress
A warm compress is a great way to soothe sore nipples after breastfeeding. These compresses can be used for hot/cold therapy and are the perfect shape to slip into your bra. They can help with a number of breastfeeding-related ailments like clogged ducts, mastitis and engorgement.
Soothe sore nipples with breast milk.
The most natural pain reliever for your sore nipples is your own breastmilk, soothe them with a little of the liquid gold that nature has provided. Breast milk contains special compounds called opioids (natural opiates), which help to relieve pain. In addition to its pain-relieving attributes, breast milk also contains natural antibiotics and nutrients that can help heal wounds, so it makes sense that it would be an effective treatment for soreness!
Lanolin-free nipple balm
Lanolin, which comes from sheep’s wool, is used in many products including nipple balms and creams. Although it is a natural product, lanolin can be contaminated with pesticides and insecticides that are often added to sheep during the shearing process.
Because lanolin goes directly into your baby’s mouth, we recommend using organic products instead to ensure that everything that goes on your skin – and into your child’s mouth – is GMO and pesticide free.
Our favourite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. It was personally recommended to me by my lactation consultant and it worked wonders. I use it for everything from sore boobs to nappy rashes on my baby – and it WORKS.
Silverette Nursing Cup
These are a total game changer. They are small cups made from 100% 925 sterling silver.
Silver is a natural antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial metal that also contains anti-inflammatory agents. It heals and prevents cuts, wounds, cracks, soreness, and infections.
The cups are made in one universal size and in a patented shape that ensures no irritation or flattening to the nipple. Full disclosure, they can make you look a little like you have bionic boobies (nothing a nursing pad or a baggy top wont fix!)
How to use:
- After your breastfeeding session, express a couple of milk drops in each cup.
- Keep them on as much as possible between breastfeeding sessions.
- Before you nurse, remove the cups and rinse your nipples with water.
Be careful when buying these that you buy Silverette original silver nursing cups. They are all made in Italy by fully licensed silversmiths. There are a few on the market now that claim to be made of healing 925 silver but there have been a few instances where they are silver plated and end up causing allergies or irritation – so play it safe and go with the original. I’ve linked them here for ease: https://amzn.to/3CewiRq
Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience, but it can be very painful without the right support. Don’t wait, get help mama!
“Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day. The reality is that almost all women can breastfeed, have enough milk for their babies and learn how to overcome problems both large and small. It is almost always simply a matter of practical knowledge and not a question of good luck.”La Leche League
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