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Thread: breast discomfort

  1. #1

    Default breast discomfort

    I have a 10 week old and EBF. The first few weeks we had latching problems that resulted in a pretty badly cracked nipple on my right breast. Since then I've had a number of small issues on that side - plugged ducts, milk blisters, and of course the crack healing. Left side has been totally fine.

    Now, on and off again I have discomfort in my right breast. Sometimes a shooting pain and sometimes the initial latch is painful - however the symptoms never last very long and aren't painful enough that I've been too worried about it. However, I feel like something must be going on since my left side has no discomfort.

    Any ideas? I live abroad so going to the doctor is a smidge more complicated otherwise that would have been my first go-to.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,357

    Default Re: breast discomfort

    My guess is that there's some sort of anatomical difference on that side that makes it a little harder for the baby to get a nice deep latch, especially right at the beginning of the feeding. Often a baby will latch on a little shallowly at first, and the nipple gets compressed between tongue and hard palate. After a few seconds of sucking, the nipple gets drawn deeper into the baby's mouth, into the sweet spot between tongue and soft palate, at which point pain ceases. This sort of "10-30 second sizzle" is pretty common with young, small babies, and should resolve with time, even if you do nothing. As the baby grows and his mouth grows, he becomes able to achieve a deep latch right from the very start, even on a breast that has (perhaps) a short or flat nipple.

    To cope with this problem right now, I suggest doing the following:
    - Aim for the deepest latch you can manage every time
    - Google "asymmetrical latch" and "nipple sandwich" for some techniques that may help you get a better latch
    - Experiment with different nursing positions
    - Relatch baby if the feeding is too painful
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