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Breastfeeding: I Can’t Take the Pain Anymore!

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 27, 2018

Question

Salam Aleikom. I am a new mom and I am struggling with breastfeeding. I have enough milk, but breastfeeding is so painful, I cannot bear it! Sometimes I put my milk in the nursing bottle instead of breastfeeding, but feel guilty about it as I know how it is important for a baby. What do you advise me?

Counselor

Answer


Breastfeeding: I Can't Take the Pain Anymore!

In this counseling answer:

“Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt,” a lactation consultant assures mothers. “When it does, it’s usually a signal that something is wrong and we need to find a way to fix it.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties with breastfeeding.  While I am not sure how old your baby is, or how long you have been breastfeeding, or if you have breastfed in the past, the painful breast can be a problem.

Painful breastfeeding can be caused by many factors; however, one main problem is latching.

Sandra Yates of Vancouver is a lactation consultant. She says that latch problems are the most common cause of breastfeeding pain. “Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt,” she assures mothers. “When it does, it’s usually a signal that something is wrong and we need to find a way to fix it. When the baby is latched well, the nipple goes deep into baby’s mouth, right to the back. The baby’s tongue does most of the work in getting the milk out; if the nipple is not far enough back, the tongue will rub or press on the nipple and cause pain. Engorgement can make latching difficult. A baby who has been given bottles may use bottle-feeding techniques at the breast, leading to a poor or shallow latch.”

Sister, perhaps you are having such a problem. Please, consult with your doctor or midwife about these issues. They will be able to better assess your breastfeeding techniques to see if there are any problems with latching or other areas which may be responsible for the pain. Your doctor should also examine your breasts to ensure there is nothing else that can be causing pain such as cracked nipples, engorgement, etc. If there is a lactation specialist in your area, please seek out her help.


Check out this counseling video:


While some women adjust to breastfeeding with little problems, others experience painful breasts as you are describing. It is natural to not want to be in pain, sister. Please, continue to put your milk into the bottle until you can see your doctor and hopefully a lactation specialist, in sha’ Allah. Your milk is the best for your baby.

Additionally, give your baby extra snuggling time with skin to skin contact after your baby finishes eating. This will help continue with the bonding process.

Please don’t feel guilty! You are doing a wonderful job as a new mom, but you are one of the moms who have painful breasts during breastfeeding.

Also, if there are family members who breastfeed or sisters at your masjid whom you are close to, ask them for their advice. As women, we love sharing our experiences, offering help and comfort to a fellow mom who experiences issues. Please, reach out to your sisters as well.

In sha’ Allah, this will be resolved, sister. It is a common problem and usually easily corrected.

We wish you and your new baby the best!

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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