Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt. Poor positioning and latch-on is the most common cause of nipple soreness in the early weeks of nursing. Sometimes only a minor adjustment of positioning and latch-on is all that is needed. However, if after 48 hours of conscientious attention to this area, your nipples are no better or worse, or if you are past the newborn period and you suddenly develop sore nipples after a period of pain-free nursing, you should contact a lactation consultant or La Leche League leader for one-on-one support in determining the cause of your soreness.
In the meantime certain measures will make nursing more comfortable for you as your nipples heal:
- Nurse frequently - at least every 2 hours. This will ensure that your baby does not become too hungry between feedings causing him to nurse ravenously and aggressively at your breast.