If you're getting ready to have your first baby, it's natural to wonder not only about how breastfeeding and latching should work but also how they should feel. It's important to have an understanding of what a good latch should feel like so when the time comes for you to begin breastfeeding, you'll have a better sense of whether your baby is latching properly.
So what should a good latch feel like? First and foremost, there should be no pain or pinching. You should feel a gentle tugging at your breast as the baby sucks, but that's all.
If you're experiencing some pain in your nipples, especially during the first few days after giving birth, don't worry—it's quite common. Sore nipples are often caused by a poor latch. If you adjust and practice latch techniques, the pain often disappears in a few days.
While that's true, some women who are correctly latching their babies also experience nipple pain. Why is that? It's because some women's breasts don't adapt as well when they're suddenly nursed on 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. Just as each woman has a different pregnancy experience, and then a different experience with each child, each one's body responds differently to breastfeeding.
Your goal is to get to the point where all you feel is the pleasant sensation of your baby gently sucking at your breast and lovingly gazing into your eyes. Try the following suggestions if you're feeling more than a little discomfort, or if that discomfort lasts beyond the first few days:
Source: Heather Kelly is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)