When people think of breastfeeding, they often think of pain because, well, it can hurt like a mother. I mean, there wouldn't be nipple soothing creams and boob ice packs on the market if it didn't. But, as many moms will tell you, breastfeeding can be especially uncomfortable in the beginning. Particularly when it comes to latching. Through practice, the pain will eventually subside. But what if it doesn't? It's nothing to be alarmed about, because the secret to a pain-free latch could be as simple as correcting a few bad habits.
You should take some comfort in knowing that those first few latches are intense for nearly everyone. "Imagine, a tiny human latches to your nipple creating a vacuum and sucks like its life depends on it," Crystal Harris, creator of the Brauxiliary Hands Free Pumping band, describes to Romper. But as anyone who's had a tummy ache knows, there are different types of pain that mean different things in your body. It's the same with breastfeeding. "Pain that is piercing, sharp, or causing damage to the nipple is not OK and a sign to break the seal and re-latch," Harris says.
There is no one secret to a pain-free latch, but there is a general theme to keeping your baby nourished and you comfortable: positioning. Getting everything in the right place at the time time, however, takes a little practice and patience. Here are some expert-backed tricks to get your baby in the perfect nursing position to minimize the pain for everyone involved.