A little pain is ok, right? The amount of times that I have heard a mother ask me this question is frightening. All breastfeeding should feel like it is gentle tugging only. Pain is not ok; it is our bodies indicating that something is wrong. Often in breastfeeding, something being wrong is not a dreadful or awful thing, but merely a slight adjustment, that can be made easily and quickly, that not only will alleviate pain but also makes breastfeeding easier for both the nursing mother and her infant. While it is always advisable to seek professional help for pain or discomfort, I have compiled a list below of some of the reasons that a mother may experience pain when breastfeeding and what your IBCLC may do in order to help you. In many of the cases below it is imperative to seek help as soon as possible because even slight pain or irritation will quickly become incredibly painful simply due to the frequent use.
There are two tiers of breast feeding help: Tier one is a private appointment with a Lactation Consultant, IBCLC where you will receive an individualized clinical plan of care.
Tier two includes peer support with expert facilitation such as breastfeeding support groups or new parent groups.
If you are experiencing any issues such as: pain, infant weight concerns, or low milk supply they would be best addressed by tier one support. This may look like an in-home visit where a lactation consultant address all of your breastfeeding concerns, brings a scale to monitor baby’s weight and works closely with your pedi and OB/midwife. If you don’t have any specific concerns but you would like to get out of the house and connect with other breastfeeding parents tier two is the best option.
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