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As an IBCLC I hear a lot of new mums talk about how painful their breastfeeding journey had been and it saddens me. One of the biggest tips I give all new mums is education and preparation! Preparing for childbirth is so important and the Calmbirth classes are magic for this and then this is closely followed by breastfeeding education, which I try to incorporate into our Calmbirth classes (but do advise to do further self-education/preparation).

Yes, you can “prepare” for breastfeeding, education and knowledge are power and the key to a long, successful, and pain-free journey for breastfeeding. I think that trusting your own instincts are paramount and new mums (especially first time mums) most commonly say that, because they haven’t had a baby before they don’t know what they are doing……. I’m here to tell you that deep down you actually DO know what you are doing.

So back to my original point – Breastfeeding should not hurt, yes, the nipples can get tender (I mean just let a baby suck on the end of your finger to test that one out!) and yes it can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful! If you are finding feeds are painful then please get some advice (and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if your first option is not helping). Our babies are very resilient and if you need to latch and detach to relatch 3 or 4 until your breastfeeding position feel comfortable, then DO IT. Trust me 1 feed can make all the difference between cracks/blisters and enjoyment of breastfeeding. Last piece of advice, if in doubt go and see a professional, that is what we are here for!!

Photo: @colleenadamsphotography

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