The bottom line is that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. Some tenderness during the first few days of breastfeeding is fairly common; however, this should be temporary and last only a few days. This discomfort should never be bad enough to cause a mother to dread nursing. Any pain that is more than mild is abnormal and is almost always due to the baby latching on poorly. Any nipple pain that is not getting better by day 3 or 4 or lasts beyond 5 or 6 days should not be ignored. Consulting with a board-certified lactation consultant can help with these situations.
MissouriFamilies.org for additional information on the benefits of breastfeeding and feeding young children.
You can also contact a breastfeeding expert for more information.
Guest contributor: Danielle Pelham, Dietetic Intern MDHSS
Reviewed by: Damaris Karanja, MA, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Louis County, University of Missouri Extension, Karanjad@missouri.edu