Breastfeeding should be pleasant for you and your baby! If either one of you is not having a good time, something is not right. As a new mom, you have instincts to guide you. Your baby has instincts and very strong reflexes to guide him. But neither one of you has ever done this before and, most likely, you have never seen a baby breastfeed. It’s natural and expected that you will need some help.
Contact a lactation consultant immediately if you experience:
- Weight loss after day 4.
- Any nipple pain in the first 24 hours after birth. Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt—ever! Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is not right.
- Sore nipples that are not feeling and looking better each day.
- Redness, pain or severe swelling in the breast.
- Twins or more.
Or if your baby experiences:
- Inadequate weight gain or inadequate wet/dirty diapers at any time.
- Trouble latching on to the breast or seems to latch on but “falls off” after a short time.
- Long feeds after day 3 (over 45 minutes of continuous nursing) or feeding very frequently (every hour or less).
- Fussiness or inability to settle after feedings.
- Very short feedings (less than 5 minutes) or no interest in feeding at least every 3 hours.
- A directory of lactation consultants can be found at the International Lactation Consultant Association website.
Your health care provider or doula may also be able to direct you to a reputable consultant in your community.
See also: What is a Lactation Consultant? and Should I Meet with Lactation Consultant During Pregnancy?