Breastfeeding can be painful.
Too often, consultants and doctors try to say otherwise. They tell you it isn’t supposed to hurt.
But I’ve known many women who’ve breastfed their babies and not one of them went pain-free. While natural, breastfeeding is a learning process. It takes time and patience and a lot of practice to get it right. To get it to a point where it is pain-free is no easy task.
When people try to skip over this simple truth it can be detrimental to first time moms. I understand they want to encourage nursing and I think what they mean is that breastfeeding –eventually– does not hurt. Once your breasts get used to the baby latching on, once you get the hang of nursing, and once the baby becomes good at nursing, then and only then does breastfeeding not hurt.
When you are a first time mom, exhausted and frustrated with nursing, bleeding and blisters staring at you in the mirror, you feel like a failure. You remember being told it isn’t supposed to hurt. You get angry at yourself for all the struggle. Why can’t the baby just latch on already?! What are you doing wrong?!
The answer is nothing.
You aren’t doing anything that all the rest of us haven’t also gone through.
Nursing is a learning process.
It will be painful until you and the baby both learn how. There will be issues for most of us. And it is important you know this. I really believe being armed with all of the facts on breastfeeding help you get through those first several weeks with less frustration and blame on yourself.
It does get better. It just takes time and a little (or a lot) of pain.
That is simply the truth.
You are SO right. No one told me that breastfeeding could/would/might hurt. And like you said everyone blamed the latch. The bottom line for us was that the first 6 weeks were SO painful. I was near tears each time I nursed. Cracked nipples… ouch! Showers were the worst. I had to shower with a bra on b/c the water touching my nipples made me scream.
But I kept adding cream and trying new positions and eventually my tiny guy’s mouth got bigger, my hormones settled down (another big reason for pain) and things were much better.
Stick with it Mamas! You can do it!