Breastfeeding do’s & don’ts

  • Don’t believe that breastfeeding is supposed to hurt and that sore nipples are what is to be expected. If the baby is latched on to the breast properly breastfeeding should not hurt!
  • Do teach your baby to latch onto the breast, not the nipple! When most women that come into my office are letting the baby latch onto the nipple and not the breast itself. (Remember it is called ‘breastfeeding’ and not ‘nipple feeding’).
  • Don’t worry about getting your whole areola into the baby’s mouth. Most women are taught to get the whole areola into the baby’s mouth but all women have different size areolas so this is really not the judge of a good latch. With a good latch there usually is some areola showing, and often times lots of areola is showing.
  • Do hold your breast steady and compress it into a pointy shape with your hand, (A pointy breast can fit deeper into a baby’s mouth). Be sure to bring the baby to you deeply (not trying to stuff your nipple into the baby’s mouth). Your goal is to get your breast deeply into the baby’s mouth with the nipple touching the S spot (between the baby’s hard and soft palate). Your nipple actually needs to point back into the baby’s throat.
  • Don’t get discouraged. If your latch hurts try again. If you allow the baby to nurse in a way that hurts you, your baby will not get the message that he needs to nurse deeper. When a mom and her baby share the experience of being on the breast deeply, with practice, mom will be able to nurse pain free.
  • Do get help from a professional lactation consultant if you are in pain, not getting enough soiled diapers, or feel unsure or discouraged. Birth hurts—breastfeeding is not supposed to!