Why Do Nipples Get Sore With Breast Feeding?
It is quite normal to have sore nipples when you have your first baby and have just started to breast feed. There may be even some mild discomfort when the baby latches on to the nipples to breast feed first or when the milk starts to come out of the nipples. This discomfort and tenderness tends to go away as and when you get habituated to breast feeding over time. In some cases though the tenderness gets worse as the days go on and the nipples may get sore and painful.
There may be many reasons for the nipples to get sore with Breast Feeding. They may include poor technique when holding the baby for feeding and may even be caused due to an infection. A sore nipple may lead to depleted milk coming from the nipples or pain when breast feeding. Thus it is important to know the various methods by which you can prevent the nipples to get Sore from Breast Feeding.
How to Prevent Sore Nipples from Breast Feeding?
Below mentioned are some of the ways to Prevent Sore Nipples from Breast Feeding.
Making Sure That Baby is Latching on Nipples Properly
This is quite a common cause for females complaining of sore nipples from breast feeding. The correct way to latch on is when the whole of the nipple along with the surrounding areola is inside the mouth of the baby. The nipple should be deep inside the baby’s mouth. This goes a long way in preventing sore nipples from breast feeding.
If the baby just latches on the nipples the gums of the baby will press on the sensitive nipples and may cause pain and soreness. It may also result in the baby not getting enough milk and make the baby fussy and hungry often. Thus learning how to latch on the nipples is the best way to prevent Sore Nipples from Breast Feeding.
Positioning the Baby
Having a good position for breast feeding is also an important aspect to prevent Sore Nipples from Breast Feeding. It will not only promote a good latch but will also make the baby and the mother more comfortable. The best positions for breast feeding are the cross cradle hold and the football clutch position when you first start breast feeding as it gives you a complete view of the nipples and you may know whether the baby is latching on in the proper way.
Using a nursing pillow is also quite helpful in lifting the baby up to the level of the breast so that the baby can latch on to the nipples properly. Alternating breast feeding position is also quite useful in preventing sore nipples from breast feeding. Breast feeding in the same position may make your nipples tender and sore.
Soften Hard Breasts
It is quite common for females to have hard breasts after starting breast feeding. This may be because of a missed feeding or surplus milk being produced in the breasts. If the nipples become hard it becomes difficult for the baby to latch on to the nipple and feed. Thus it is recommended that if you have hard or tight breasts to remove some breast milk before starting to feed the baby and prevent sore nipples from breast feeding.
Feeding Every Two Hours
Babies have a very small stomach and they tend to easily digest the breast milk and hence it is imperative to feed the baby approximately every two to three hours. If you delay feeding the baby will get that much hungrier and tend to latch on the nipples that much more aggressively which may cause sore and painful nipples.
Keeping Skin around Breasts Healthy
This is yet another way to prevent sore nipples from breast feeding. Rinse the breasts with warm water and avoid using harsh soaps as they may dry out the nipples and crack the skin which may become painful and sore. You can also make use of a nipple moisturizer to keep the nipples moist and prevent them from getting sore from breast feeding.
Maintain Caution When Removing the Baby after Feeding
When the baby breast feeds there is a tight latch between the mouth of the baby and the nipple. After feeding if you remove the baby immediately it may result in damage and pain to the nipples especially if it is done repeatedly. Thus it is advisable to remove the baby slowly by first removing the mouth of the baby from the nipples gently and then placing the baby gently on the bed or cradle so as to prevent sore nipples from breast feeding.