You asked

I have been told breastfeeding hurts - is that right?

Everything is new after you have given birth, including breastfeeding. When the baby begins sucking for the first time, most mothers find this sensation somewhat uncomfortable. This feeling does disappear after a few minutes. Tenderness during the first few days is relatively common and should only last a few days. The pain should only be milk and should you experience any pain that is more than mild this is almost always due to the baby latching on incorrectly. If it hurts when you breastfeed your baby, take her off your nipple and start again. You can break your baby’s suction on your nipple by putting your little finger in her mouth next to your nipple.
There are a few things that you can do to avoid any discomfort while breastfeeding. It is very important that you make sure that your baby is properly positioned and latched on to the breast for feeding as this will reduce any pain or discomfort. Most new mothers and baby’s need a little help to get started on breastfeeding. Your midwife or nurse will help you to do it properly.
Breast milk contains a natural antiseptic, so gently rub a little expressed milk around each of your nipples after each feed to protect them. After applying the breastmilk, allow it to dry naturally before closing your bra.

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