When Does Breastfeeding Stop Hurting? Is There a Remedy for This?

You have plenty of milk. The desire to feed your newborn is overwhelming, but you suddenly hesitate. The pain you are feeling is preventing you from doing so. When does breastfeeding stop hurting?

Does it really need to hurt? I have learned that breastfeeding must not be agonizing. If you are in pain, there must be some reasons behind it. Knowing the causes of the aching will lead us to learn how to prevent and stop it.

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Different Causes of Painful Breastfeeding and Remedies

Breastfeeding should be a happy and bonding moment between mother and child. Typically, it should not be painful. However, when certain conditions happen, it ends up to be excruciating. 

Breastfeeding stops hurting as soon as you take care of the causes. The length of time depends on how early you look for remedies and how fast your nipple reacts on the medication. Usually, it takes an average of one week before the pain goes away.

Find out the different causes of painful breastfeeding and learn their corresponding remedies.

1. Cracked Nipples

Cracked and bleeding nipples usually happens in the first few days when the mother and child are still mastering the art of breastfeeding. It occurs because of the improper latch, the baby is tongue-tied, incorrect use of breast pump, dry skin, and yeast infection. Unfortunately, when nobody guides new moms on how to get through with cracked nipples condition, they tend to give up and switch early to formulas.

Cracked nipples heal within a week. Follow below suggestions to stop the pain completely.

Remedies

  • If you have a lactation consultant, she can guide you on how to do proper latching as well as the correct use of breast pump. However, per experience, not all methods apply to me. It may also be the same for you, so choose the most comfortable way there is. The latch position that works for me best is the off-center.
    Apply a cold compress to the sore area first while nursing on the other side. Your baby will be full already so she will be gentle once she starts on the injured side.
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    Gently clean your breast with water and non-perfumed soap after feeding. This will prevent you from having an infection. An antibacterial nipple cream or lanolin for breastfeeding mothers are helpful too. It serves as a pain reliever and heals the wound at the same time.
    Medela Lanolin helps me with the soreness. Just to give you an idea on what lanolin looks like in tubes, see below.
  • Invest in hydrogel dressings for nipple healing. Change these pads often.

Watch this video for more advice:

2. Engorged Breasts

Engorged breasts are painful thus making it hard for you to breastfeed right. Since it makes the areola hard, the baby finds it hard to latch on. Breast engorgement causes painful breastfeeding, low milk supply, and fever.

Engorged breasts occur when moms are not able to nurse often and when milk ducts are blocked. Obstruction of milk ducts sometimes caused by breast implants, leaving limited space for the storage of milk. Some mothers are lucky not to experience this problem, but most moms do as I did.

Engorged breasts are easily resolved in just a day or two. Once you continue to obey feeding frequency, breastfeeding will eventually stop hurting.

Remedies

  • Nurse as much as you can to prevent breast engorgement. Your doctor usually encourages you to breastfeed immediately after giving birth and continue to do so at home. By then, you would know your baby’s hunger cues and could probably nurse her about 10-12 times a day.
    I put a warm compress on my breasts or have a warm bath before nursing to keep the milk flowing. Moreover, while nursing, I gently massage the breast my baby is on to encourage the milk flow. However, sometimes the pain and the swelling persists, so I place a cold pack for a few minutes for relief.
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    Feed your baby with one side before switching to the other. If she refuses to feed when switched, just start on the other side the next time around.
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    Skipping a nursing schedule is common. When you feel that your breast is full, hand express the milk or use a breast pump. Remember, use a supportive bra that holds effectively to prevent pain every time you move.

Watch this video and know how to deal with breast engorgement:

3. Milk Blister

Milk blisters are sometimes called blocked nipple pore happens when a skin overgrows and covers the milk duct opening. It appears as a white or yellowish dot on the nipple, and it hurts during breastfeeding. Milk blisters if not treated will last for weeks. When the skin peels off, the pain will start to ebb down.

Watch this video to get ideas on home remedies.

4. Teething

I guess all moms can relate when it comes to painful breastfeeding when the baby is already teething. You may have enjoyed months of pain-free nursing with your little one, but suddenly, it hurts to do so. Sadly, the nipple is the first object that babies practice on when teething. You see, babies that are teething likes to bite as a relief to discomfort caused by swelling gums.

Unfortunately, teething takes months before it is over. Introducing teethers to your baby can be useful but if biting still continues, visit your lactation consultant to know what to do.

Watch this video to learn some practical tips from an experienced mom.

Conclusion

When does breastfeeding stop hurting? Since there are different causes why nursing hurts, the length of time before it heals also differs. The earlier you do something about the pain, the faster it can be relieved.

Breastfeeding pain will last for days and even for months. However, it will all stop by the time you start medication, remedies and when you finally wean your baby. There are two important points that you need to remember to prevent pain during nursing:

  • Nurse your baby as often as needed.
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    Practice good hygiene when breastfeeding.

Take note that breastfeeding should be pain-free. Call your doctor when pain persists. On the other hand, you can share your mom experience during breastfeeding with everyone. Just drop a message and let us talk about it!

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Sarah Palmer
 

Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at SarahsLovelyFamily.com. I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!

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