Breast-feeding is not a herculean task but neither is it a child’s play. It is just a normal natural process and can be painful.
What causes your breasts to pain while feeding?
Almost every mother has to undergo a painful experience while feeding because of the letdown reflex, renowned as milk ejection reflex. The oxytocin present inside your breasts vitalizes your breast muscles to squash out milk. This process creates a momentary pain in your breasts.
Oxytocin is the hormone released at the time when your baby is born. While breast-feeding, it develops and later the intellection of feeding your baby can set off this hormone release. You might at times encounter breast leak.
One of the other reasons for breast-feeding pain is the overflowing of milk. Some mothers who tend to produce more than the required milk form sudden physical pain inside their breasts at the time of breast-feeding. This painful milk ejection reflex is likely to disappear in initial three months of breast-feeding. If your baby latches on properly at the time of feeding then the oversupply of your breast milk will reduce and match your baby’s feeding requirements.
While breast-feeding, your breast might incite and bring you in a painful situation. This is known as mastitis. Mastitis is the result of forceful ejection of milk out of your duct and into your breast tissue. It causes your breast to be red. Your baby’s mouth and your nipples could also get infected by thrush – which is a common fungal infection and requires medical intervention. Your breasts may become engorged for a few days after a baby is born making you feel hot and painful. The milk-producing cells in your breasts become swollen, making letdown difficult.
Different women accost different let down reflex pains in different styles. To name a few, you may get a semblance of:
How to tackle breast pain?
You must have taken pre-birth classes during your pregnancy. They make you well versed with breast-feeding pain you might come across after pregnancy and solutions to tackle the same. Try and incorporate the tactics taught to you in the classes. This will help you combat the soreness during the let down reflex. At the time of baby birth, your breasts hold the potential to be swollen, hard or thumping. This refrains your breasts to squeeze out milk properly and it pains more. In this case, you are advised to press your boobs gently or breast pump until your baby is able to latch on well enough to suck milk fully.
With a view to downsize swelling and discomfort, you can rub cabbage leaves or apply cold gel cream against your breasts. Always wear a comfortable nursing bra, with side seams on your ribs and not on your breasts. Additionally, you may also take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen to curtail the breast pain but only after consulting a doctor.
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