STOP THE MADNESS!
Normal breastfeeding should not hurt. A good latch is one that encompasses at least an inch of the areola so that baby is latched on behind the nerve ending. A poor latch is one where the baby is on the end of the nipple either initially or has slipped down and is causing pain. I hate to be a lactation nerd, but I here is a diagram of the breast.
It is so important that moms have this information because you can see where the nipple and areola are in relation to the milk (lactiferous) sinuses. In other words, the farther onto the breast your baby is latches, the less pain you have and more milk is transferred. In other words, you are a good mother. You want the best for your baby, but letting your baby cause you pain is not best for you or the baby.
If you already have nipple trauma and correct the latch, there may still be pain for the first 30-60 seconds, but after that it should be comfortable to nurse. If your baby slips down during the feeding because you are not supporting the breast or the arm with which you are holding your baby tires because you are not supporting your arm with a nursing pillow or armrest, detach the latch.
The proper way to detach a latch to to take your finger and slip it into the baby's mouth past the gums so that the suction is broken. Turn your finger slightly to release the baby's grip and then take him off. Start your latch again. See our breastfeeding latch blog post for proper latch techniques if you need more help with this.
If you have followed proper procedure and still have pain, this is the time to see a lactation consultant, but normal breastfeeding should not hurt. It should be a comfortable experience for mom and baby. The sooner your latch is corrected, the better chance you have of meeting your personal breastfeeding goals.
If you need time for one nipple to heal while you are correcting the latch, using a quality breast pump to express and syringe feed the milk to your baby is a good way of transitioning to pain-free nursing. And as always, the right nipple cream can help healing. We recommend Breastmilk Bandit Natural Nipple Cream made from organic extra virgin coconut oil.