Pain or Pleasure: The Dilemma of Early Breastfeeding


  • This research was conducted while the author was at Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the requirement for the Master of Nursing Degree.


ABSTRACT: For many women breastfeeding in the early days after childbirth is a painful rather than a pleasureable experience. Sixteen factors which have been reported to have an association with nipple discomfort were studied in 102 women in the first 96 hours after delivery. Only three of these 16 factors were found to be significantly associated with nipple pain. Both flat and inverted nipples and frequency of breastfeeding had significant negative associations with nipple discomfort. Engorgement of the breasts was found to have a significant positive correlation with nipple pain during breastfeeding. Breast preparation in the prenatal period was among the 13 factors which was not related to soreness in the early nursing period.