Is It Possible to Breastfeed Without All the Pain?
Your baby’s lip-tie or tongue-tie could be to blame.
If you’re a new parent, you likely love all the cuddles and snuggles you can have with your new baby. And breastfeeding offers a special closeness and bonding experience for mothers and their infants. Aside from the bonding benefits, breastfeeding provides a host of health benefits as well. But unfortunately, for some moms, their initial breastfeeding experience isn’t what they dreamed it would be. Thankfully, breastfeeding is possible without all the pain; some things may just need to be adjusted.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
As we said earlier, breastfeeding provides many benefits for both infants and their mothers. A mother’s breast milk is chock full of beneficial nutrients that help support the baby’s growth and development. Not only that, but breastfeeding can help protect your little one against certain illnesses and diseases. Check out this list of beautiful benefits you and your baby can expect to experience as part of the breastfeeding process.
1. Today’s moms can breastfeed (almost) anywhere.
Modern society has made it easier than ever for moms to find a safe place to breastfeed their baby. From pop-up moms’ rooms at airports to discreet privacy nursing covers, breastfeeding is more convenient than ever. And nursing moms don’t have to worry about finding safe water or a bottle warmer when their baby is hungry.
2. Breast milk delivers antibodies from the mother to their baby.
A mother’s milk is full of antibodies called immunoglobulins. The mom’s immune system makes these proteins after exposure to something that triggers an immune response. These immunoglobulins ward off germs, illness, and various diseases and are circulated throughout the body, finding their way to the blood, sweat, saliva, and breast milk.
3. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies.
Ultimately, for mothers who can effectively nurse their babies, breast milk is the best choice. Compared to baby formulas that can be purchased off the shelf, the nutrients in breast milk are easier for the baby’s body to absorb and use. However, although “breast is best,” there are scenarios where a mother is unable to produce enough milk for their baby. In these situations, they can select a healthy formula to properly nourish their baby as an alternative.
4. Breastfeeding helps ward off illnesses for baby.
Breastfeeding helps protect babies from various short- and long-term illnesses and diseases. Further, breastfed babies are at a lower risk for developing asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, and stomach bugs.
5. Breastfeeding has health benefits for mom too.
Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Why is breastfeeding painful?
For some mothers, breastfeeding can be a painful experience. In most cases, this pain is temporary and is due to sore, tender nipples, especially once the mother’s milk comes in a few days after the baby is born. And since babies tend to feed every couple of hours, the problem can often get worse before it gets better, causing nipple cracks, bleeding, or blistering.
But in some cases, the problem doesn’t get better, and the baby still won’t feed. In these cases, it is essential to check the baby’s latch. The baby should have a large portion of the lower part of the areola in their mouth when feeding, with the nipple against the roof of their mouth, cupped gently underneath by the tongue.
Sometimes, however, this is impossible for babies, as they may have a lip-tie or tongue-tie. In these situations, the baby can’t take in enough breast milk, leading to frustration for both mom and baby and a supply and demand issue.
A lip-tie or tongue-tie can be corrected.
The good news is your baby’s lip-tie or tongue-tie can be corrected. Your child’s pediatric dentist is specially trained to perform a frenectomy with the newest laser technology to keep your child perfectly comfortable. Not only that, but an anesthetic can be used to make the procedure that much more comfortable.
The diode laser surgery we perform at Must Love Kids in Vancouver, WA, is short and sweet, taking less than ten minutes from start to finish. The laser itself has several benefits over traditional frenectomies performed with scalpels or scissors. The diode laser cauterizes the frenulum (a fold of soft tissue that’s located under the center portion of the tongue) to minimize bleeding and eliminate the need for sutures. Also, the diode laser treatment provides a quick experience with a much more comfortable, faster healing time than alternative methods.
Contact Must Love Kids if you are struggling with breastfeeding and suspect your baby may have a lip-tie or tongue-tie.
Lip-ties and tongue-ties are easily corrected. If you suspect this might be a problem for your baby, request an appointment with your pediatric dentist or pediatrician as soon as possible to discuss if a frenectomy is the right form of treatment. The sooner a lip-tie or tongue-tie is corrected, the sooner you can get back to nursing your baby and experiencing all the beautiful benefits of breastfeeding.