While this is not something to get too hung up on beforehand, you may want to be prepared for some discomfort.
Lactation experts say breast-feeding shouldn't hurt -- and that if it does, something isn't right. This might mean a blocked duct, or maybe an infection. More often, though, there's a simpler cause: inexperience.
Most women do experience some pain when they first start out, typically due to the way the newborn is (or isn't) latching on. A correct latch (the successful positioning of the nipple in the baby's mouth) doesn't always come naturally, but it can usually be learned with some practice, and lactation consultants are available to help out.
If you do experience pain, know two things:
- For most women, it passes, and breast-feeding turns into an easy and enjoyable time between mom and baby.
- Do call a lactation consultant (or doctor or knowledgeable friend) for help as soon as you think you may need it. The sooner you get it right, the better for everybody.
Next: Have they told you there might be blood?