Why is My Breast/Chestfeeding Latch Painful?

At the beginning of a nursing session, it’s fairly typical for the nursing parent to have a few moments of discomfort. But once baby latches, other than some gentle tugging on your breasts, nursing shouldn’t hurt!

It’s important to stop nursing and resposition if nursing is painful. Continued painful nursing can contribute to sore and cracked nipples over time!

Here’s some tips for making you and baby more comfortable!


  • Get yourself comfortable first
  • Hold baby at nape of their neck at the shoulder blades
  • Aim your nipple at the nose and WAIT for that wide open baby bird mouth, then hug the baby on quickly
  • If painful or shallow, break the seal and start again
  • Turn baby into you so they are facing the breast, tummy to tummy
  • Be sure your hand is not on the back of the baby’s head or pushing their head and chin down


  • What is the shape of your nipple when it comes out of the baby’s mouth?
  • How does the latch feel?
  • Do your breasts feel drained after the feed?
  • Do you suspect baby may have a tongue or lip tie? Schedule an appointment with an IBCLC to follow-up!

A CAPPA CLE can help support you in achieving a comfortable latch at the breast/chest.

About the Author

Bonnie Holt Logsdon (she/her/hers), a Registered Dietitian (RD), International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Certified Lactation Educator™ (CLE©) and trainer through CAPPA and a trained birth doula with over eighteen years of experience in community-based practice.

Bonnie supports families during the prenatal and postpartum period for both lactation and nutrition support. In-person support is available in the Louisville, KY and Southern Indiana area and telehealth visits are available to anyone anywhere!

Offering personalized, affirming care to each family and individual is her #1 priority! Supporting families during this critical and emotional time in their lives is such important work. Her motto is to provide compassionate, non-judgmental support to meet you where you are and help you meet your chest/breastfeeding or nutrition goals.

When she is not doing this job that she loves, she spends time with her husband and son. After lots of travel they now enjoy adventure as a family of three. Fingers crossed we can get back to more travel soon!

She believes empowering people with education to make informed decisions related to their health and the health of their babies is powerful work. Support is provided for families of all backgrounds, structures, and identities.

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