Breastfeeding should not be painful!
If you are having pain during feedings, the most likely cause is a shallow latch. This means the baby is “pinching” your nipple and not getting enough breast into his or her mouth. This, in turn will result in baby getting less milk and you may experience a lower supply of milk as well.
Signs of a deep, effective latch are:
– A large amount of breast is in the baby’s mouth
– The baby’s lips are flanged out, not tucked in or pursed, and the baby’s mouth is open wide when they attach
– More areola (the dark circle around your nipple) showing above the baby’s mouth than below
– “Chin to chest and cheeks to breast.” The baby’s chin should lead when you latch. When the baby extends their neck, they can open wider. Once the baby is latched, his or her cheeks and chin should stay in full contact with the breast, to ensure they keep a deep and effective latch.
If your latch is painful, insert a clean finger in the corner of the baby’s mouth, break the suction and try again. It takes time and practice for both you and baby to learn how to get a nice, deep latch!