Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.
But some women experience pain during breastfeeding, due to some reasons including Sore Nipples
Some of the causes of sore nipples include:
- Incorrect latching.
- The position of feeding.
- Taking your baby off the breast incorrectly.
- A very strong sucking action by your baby, especially in the beginning.
- Not allowing your breasts to dry out between feeds.
- In extreme cases, a thrush infection.
If these problems aren’t resolved early, your nipples may become cracked and they may even bleed. This is exceptionally sore and makes breastfeeding very difficult.
Follow these guidelines:
- Always ensure that your baby is correctly latched when feeding and not just pulling at the nipple. If you are unsure, show your clinic sister your feeding technique so that she can advise you.
- Change the feeding position in the first few weeks every third or fourth feed. This will also help you work out which position works best for you and your baby.
- To take your baby off the breast properly without hurting your nipples, you need to break the suction by putting your finger in the corner of her mouth. Don’t pull the nipple out.
- Try to feed more frequently so that she doesn’t suck too hard when put to your breast. When you’ve finished feeding, rub a little of the breast milk onto the nipple area and leave the area open for a few minutes to dry out.
- Breast pads or bras with plastic linings keep the moisture in, so try not to use them too often. Always change them when they’re wet and try to give your breasts some air.
- You don’t have to use creams on your breasts, but if they are very tender choose a cream that is light and which doesn’t need to be removed to feed.
- If you have thrush, you will need to see your doctor. He or she will prescribe a breast gel that will also help treat your baby’s thrush.