Breast feeding is meant to be pleasant and a comfortable experience. Some new mothers complain of sore nipples which can be prevented most of the time. It is normal to have nipples that are tender for the first few days of nursing. This tenderness usually will disappear in 1-2 weeks. If pain, blisters or cracking do occur, you should check with a lactation consultant or your doctor.

Preventing nipple tenderness comes from correct positioning and latch on. A baby is correctly positioned when he starts with a wide open mouth. The nipple should sweep his or her lips until the baby opens his mouth wide. The areola (dark area around the nipple) should be completely covered. The infants lips should be turned out and his/her tongue should be under your nipple.

Positioning:

The Cross over hold. Be sure to be comfortable when you are ready to breast feed. It is usually easy to nurse in bed or in a chair. Make sure to support your back. Unwrap your baby, this allows you to awaken your infant making it easier for positioning. Place one or two pillows on your lap so the baby will be directly at your breast. Your baby should be on his side wit chest and abdomen against your body. Your hand should support his head and neck. Your other hand can support your breast, using a “C” position. Be sure your hand does not touch the areola since this will prevent the infant from a good latch. Your hand should be about 1 1/2 inches from your areola. When you touch the infants lips to your breast and have a wide open mouth you then bring the infants mouth onto your breast. Don’t lean into the baby. You will know he is on well when you see the lips flared and far apart. It may take a few times of doing this before you get a good latch on.

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