I Want To BreastFeed But It Hurts So Badly

Dear Sugar,
I have a six day old beautiful baby boy named Nate. I've been trying to breastfeed since day one but I am finding it very difficult. He falls asleep in the middle of the feeding, he'll attach himself to my nipple for a minute or two and then stop sucking, and he can hardly ever seem to find a comfortable position to stay in. My breasts are now raw and sensitive to the touch; it's hard to even wear a bra at times.

This is upsetting on so many levels. Physically I am in pain and emotionally I so badly want this connection with my boy. I've heard that feeding can be such a wonderful and peaceful time of bonding between you and your new baby and I don't want to miss out on that. Also, there are many health benefits for my child if he drinks my breast milk. Do you have any tips for me? Moping Mommy

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Dear Moping Mommy
You are not alone. Millions of women in are in your position right now. For some breast-feeding is super easy, while others have an extremely difficult time and ultimately give up. My advice to you is have as much patience and tolerance as possible. Since this is a new experience for you, try different techniques and positions. But in time, if it's not something that is naturally happening for you and Nate; then it's alright to stop trying.

Nipple soreness happens to be the #1 reason why new Mom's give up breastfeeding. If you can endure this pain, it will pass in a short period of time; usually within two weeks. Try applying warm compresses to your breasts in between feedings to help soothe the pain and see if that provides you with any relief. Also, try applying a modified anhydrous lanolin cream after nursing. The two most recommended brands are Lansinoh or Purelan. There is also a new product out called Soothies which are pads that gently cling to the breast to moisturize and cool the area.

I definitely recommend speaking with your doctor or midwife about your breastfeeding troubles. They may be able to provide you with new ideas and the personal attention and support that you need. You could also attend La Leche League meetings and/or find out if there are any IBCLC's - International Board Certified Lactation Consultants in your area for additional support and advice.

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