When people talk about breast feeding being painful, I always assumed they meant in the bleeding nipples type of way, like when Little B had tongue tie and I was reduced to tears at every feed.
It didn’t occur to me they could be referring to anything other than nipples, until I started nursing Little B, that is.
He is so rough.
He twists, he turns, he wreathes around and tugs, all with the bit between his teeth, if you know what I mean. And while that’s going on he pinches and kicks. Little fingers reach round to the back of the arm I’m feeding on and knead away, leaving my skin peppered with little yellow bruises, and his legs furiously knead my lap, leaving red patches in their wake.
It’s not down to frustration with milk supply – it comes thick and fast – so I’m wondering whether it’s a boy thing. BB was so gentle in comparison.
So if you’ve got a ‘busy’ baby here are my 5 tips for pain-free breastfeeding:
1. Try and feed in a quiet environment, away from other people and distractions like the TV. This means all focus is on the feed and your baby is less likely to try and look around or do something else at the same time.
2. Keep your baby’s nails nice and short. There’s nothing worse than a baby who likes to
pinch knead your skin while feeding that also has sharp nails.
3. Try and wear sleeves while nursing, so if your baby does like to knead they’re doing it through fabric.
4. If you do have bare arms, make sure you’re leaning fully on a cushion or the arm of a chair so your baby can happily tuck their hand under your upper arm, but can’t pinch.
5. Firmly hold your baby’s legs to your body with your free arm, in a kind of swaddle so they don’t kick or wreathe around in your lap.
The only saving grace is that Little B doesn’t bite. Yet.