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Ages & Stages

Discomfort When Breastfeeding

I find that breastfeeding hurts a lot for the minute or so after my baby latches on. I know how important breastmilk is for her, but the initial pain makes me want to give up. Will this situation change?

Some new mothers feel more discomfort than others during different aspects of the breastfeeding process, and some women have more-sensitive nipples than others. Some feel, as you do, that the first few suckles of a breastfeeding session are uncomfortable.

It may help to know that most of these sensations fade after the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding. Other mothers dislike the feeling they experience as their milk lets down, but most mothers readily adjust to this brief “pins and needles” sensation.

It would be a shame to give up breastfeeding because of temporary feelings of discomfort. Hang in there for at least a week or two and then reassess how you feel.

If you have severe pain or discomfort that does not diminish as the baby settles into nursing, ask for help with latching on and request pain medication, if needed, that’s safe to take when breastfeeding.

Last Updated
New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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