I have been hand expressing milk to get a few drops onto my breast before feeding from the right side because every feed during day 7 my little man has been quite fussy when attaching. I was told by my midwife to do this on day 1 and had forgotten till now. It's funny how sleep deprivation makes your brain go fuzzy.
I'm guite surprised how easy it is to get a small amount of milk out actually. Just using my thumb and forefinger, gently pushing towards my chest first with the fingers on the edge of the areola, then bringing the fingers closer together and gently away from my body the nipple is squeezed and a little milk comes out.
Despite me expressing a little milk onto the nipple and getting him to be less fussy when attaching, it's still hurting quite a lot when he does attach, but the pain settles after a minute or so. I have read that this is common and not to worry unless the pain continues on into the feed.
Looking back now I can totally see my little guy's latch needed some attention. I've found during my experience with other mothers since then that when you have a lot of milk it can often hide a poor latch.
Expressing milk can help your baby be interested in attaching to your breast because they'll smell it on you and know that they are likely to get what they need, but it doesn't improve their latch on.
Imagine if you had low milk or only just enough milk and your baby had to work hard to get it they would be sucking really vigorously all the time and that would hurt throughout the feed. They would also have a good reason to improve their latch because it would make breastfeeding less tiring.
When you've got an abundant supply your baby is only really working hard at the beginning to get a let down and then your milk just shoots out. They have no reason to change their latch because they aren't working very hard to get milk out.
Soooo.... if you're having pain with the initial latch on and you know that you've got a great milk supply, just be wary and potentially seek advice because if that latch causes any damage or if they don't really drain your breast well you're on the path straight to getting mastitis.
My First Baby
Feeding Infants - My Son's Birthday
My Second Baby