Sure, breast is best for your baby, but if you're in pain, it hardly feels best for you. Here, solutions for common culprits.
Hitch: Cracked or sore nipples Fix: A problem latch-on is likely to blame for soreness past the first week of nursing. A baby-safe breast balm can help, as can an effective latch-on. To achieve one, place your baby's nose (not her mouth) in front of your nipple, and when her mouth widens and her head tilts back, pull her straight onto the breast.
Hitch: Mastitis (breast infection) Fix: If you have a red and tender breast along with flulike symptoms, call your doctor (who may prescribe antibiotics), and continue to nurse frequently.
Hitch: Clogged milk duct Fix: To relieve this painful lump, take a warm shower, apply warm compresses, and massage the breast while nursing or pumping. Call your doctor if the pain hasn't resolved in a day.
Hitch: Thrush (yeast infection) Fix: If you have painful, pink nipples or your baby has white patches in her mouth (or a diaper rash), your doctor can prescribe an antifungal cream.