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Nursing News: Is Pain Normal?

January 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — lehighvalley @ 7:47 pm
Woman on couch nursing baby

Breastfeeding your newborn is an incredible opportunity to bond with them that brings a lot of joy to many new mothers. If you’re experiencing pain every time, however, you probably won’t find the experience to be as pleasant. If you’ve asked for help, you may have been told that discomfort is normal and to wait it out, but that’s not necessarily the case. Unfortunately, this is a well-known misconception about breastfeeding that is treated as common knowledge. Keep reading to learn more about the actual truth behind this myth about nursing!

Is Pain During Breastfeeding Normal?

Whether you’re a first-time mom or a skilled pro by now, it can be incredibly defeating to hear that the aches you’ve been having from feeding your baby are typical. While you may have some discomfort at first, it shouldn’t continue or worsen in time. In many cases, your child has a tongue-tie that prevents them from latching properly. This happens when the thin membrane that anchors your baby’s tongue to the floor, or frenulum, is too stiff, short, or thick. This limits their range of motion and they don’t form the proper suction when breastfeeding as a result.

They might also have a maxillary lip-tie in which the tissue between their upper lip and their gum isn’t shaped correctly which can also hinder their mobility.

How Do I Know If My Child Has a Tongue or Lip-Tie?

Some signs that your child has a tongue or lip-tie include:

  • The tip of their tongue appears more heart-shaped than pointed.
  • They can’t stick their tongue out past their lips.
  • The tip of their tongue doesn’t reach the roof of their mouth.
  • They have a gap between their upper front teeth.
  • They collect extra plaque buildup on their upper front teeth.

You may also experience one or all the following symptoms when this issue is present:

  • Sore, dry, cracked nipples.
  • Pain while nursing.
  • Decreased milk supply.
  • Blocked milk ducts.

Can a Tongue or Lip-Tie Be Fixed?

Fortunately, the fix for a tongue or lip-tie is relatively simple. Your child’s pediatric dentist can perform a brief procedure called a frenectomy in a single visit. This consists of removing a small portion of their oral connective tissue with a specialized laser. They’ll first apply a topical anesthetic to alleviate any potential discomfort. Then, because the laser cauterizes the site, there’s very little bleeding and reduced recovery time for your little one.

Thankfully, you don’t have to simply ‘put up’ with pain from breastfeeding. Contact your pediatric dentist today and you can potentially resolve the problem altogether!

About the Author

Dr. Garcia-DeMartino is a mother and a dentist who enjoys using her expertise to improve the lives of her patients in whatever way she can. She graduated summa cum laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University with degrees in biology and biochemistry. She went on to earn her DMD from the same school a few years later. Since then, she has completed additional training to build her skills including attending courses at the International World Clinical Laser Institute. If you’re having a hard time breastfeeding your baby and would like a consultation, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (908) 859-5260.

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