As you become a mother, along with happiness, there is a lot you have to cope up with. Along with weight gain, hair loss, and discomforts like perineum soreness, you could also face sore nipples. Yes, you can often experience cracked or sore nipples as you experience maternity. It can be very painful each time you feed your baby, and each feed can actually aggravate the soreness.
So, let’s learn how you can relieve sore nipples. But, before we do that, let’s see why at all your nipples may become sore.
What Causes Nipple Soreness?
The reason why your nipples may become sore is very simple. As things are equally new for your baby as they are for you. As your baby starts to latch on your nipple for the feed, the breast tissue gets stretched. This is when you feel an uncomfortable pull while breastfeeding. If the position of the baby’s mouth isn’t correct, the problem could get aggravated over time and result in sore, cracked nipples.
It could also, however, be caused by yeast infection like thrust, a nipple bleb, Raynaud’s Syndrome (the nipple turns white and painful after feeding), or a bacterial infection in the nipple or the milk duct. In case it is any of these, please make sure that you see your doctor.
5 Easy Tips to Relieve Nipple Soreness Postpartum
Yes, your milk has a lot of healing power. Simply express some milk, apply it on your nipple and let it dry there naturally. Make sure you do not use creams like lanolin for the fear of aggravation. This will help you moisten the nipple and cause some self-healing.
Also, apart from wearing a nursing bra that offers the embrace of only soft fabric, also consider using organic, washable nursing pads which are softer than disposable pads. They keep your nipples clean and dry, saving them from further infection or discomfort while you are not feeding.
Don’t button up immediately after breastfeeding. The uncomfortable nipples need some air. This is why nursing bras and maternity clothing comes in so handy. Wear loose clothes and air the nipples out after each feed.
Unless absolutely necessary, avoid using a breast shield. Agreed that it’s meant to help your baby latch better, but here is what you must know. If the shield doesn’t vacuum properly on your nipple, it is actually going to cause more discomfort and further damage.
It’s totally understandable that when your nipples are sore, you may not want to feed as often. But, let’s face it, you can’t postpone breastfeeding. If you do, your newborn will be hungrier than ever and odds that it will latch and suckle frantically. This increases the chances of damage to your nipple and breast tissues, causing more pain and soreness instead.
Yes, since most times improper latching is the cause of sore or cracked nipples, helping the baby latch properly can stem the problem from the root.
The best way, though, is to let your newborn latch its mouth to your nipple on its own. Trust Mother Nature; babies have the innate ability to latch. However, you can also offer help. It helps the baby if you recline a little, and support the baby with your arms and hands to bring it closer to your breast. Also, make sure you feed on both the breasts one by one.
Sore nipples can be one problem that can make you feel less enthusiastic about maternity. So, know about it and take all the precautions that you must. If symptoms persist for weeks, make sure you do consult your doctor.