When you look at other women breastfeeding, it doesn't look painful, but nipple soreness is normal and should dissipate after the first week or so, according to lactation consultant Stacey H. Rubin, author of The ABCs of Breastfeeding. Ask a lactation consultant or your baby's doctor to make sure your baby is latching on correctly -- a successful latch is key to keeping pain at bay. "Mothers will often feel relief as soon as the latch is corrected," says lactation consultant Irene Zoppi. If pain lasts during an entire nursing session, or occurs when you're not nursing, talk to a lactation consultant or a doctor.
It may just be that one side is easier to nurse on. "Most moms find that one side is easier than the other," says Rubin. "Try breastfeeding on the breast that is least painful first." Mom Dina Cheney found relief with nipple shields for the first few weeks and also skipped one feeding a night and gave the baby pumped breast milk. "It put less strain on my nipples."
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