Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your baby. It is amazing and the most natural way to feed your baby. But nursing isn’t always easy and takes time for mom and baby to get the hang of working together. During this learning process, it’s common to experience some discomfort like sore nipples and dry, cracked, sensitive skin. And when the baby perfects his latch, that pain will go away. In the meantime, you can try some things to make this process easier for you and your baby, and finding the best nipple cream for your needs will help you too.
If you are pregnant or a new breastfeeding mama there are many reasons why you might be experiencing nipple pain.
A little bit of nipple tenderness is normal. This mild pain is common, and usually, as the weeks go on, breastfeeding should become more comfortable. But the consistent and chronic pain is a warning sign that something may not be right, and if this is the case you should speak with your healthcare provider.
If you are breastfeeding and your nipples hurt the reason may have more to do with the baby than with you:
– Poor latch – Breastfeeding takes practice to make perfect. Your baby has to learn to take in a lot of breast tissue to express milk from the breast. If the baby’s lip is tucked inward or their latch is too shallow can cause friction against your nipple.
– Tongue-tie – Tongue tie is when the band connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is too tight or too thick. When a baby latches on, he or she often squashes the nipple causing sore, cracked nipples, and sometimes mastitis.
– Lip tie – This is when the tissue connecting the upper lip to the upper gum is too thick or too tight. This results in restricted movement in the mouth and makes it hard for the baby to latch properly.
– Repetitive position – Breastfeeding in the same position can also cause painful nipples. You can use it from time to time in different breastfeeding positions.
– Clogged milk ducts – This can happen if your breasts are not emptied frequently enough or completely. Usually clogged ducts are uncomfortable but treatable. Massages and frequent pumping (especially after feeding) help a lot in these cases.
– Mastitis – It is an infection of the tissue of the breast that occurs most frequently during the time of breastfeeding. Mastitis can happen when a milk duct gets clogged and doesn’t drain properly, but most often is when bacteria enter the breast through the nipple which can happen when a breastfeeding mother has a sore or cracked nipple. The symptoms of mastitis can come on very suddenly and you may feel like you are getting the flu before you feel discomfort in your breast. If you feel pain or see the telltale redness, you have to speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
There are many reasons to have nipples pain.
If you are breastfeeding and have some troubles in this process or nipple pain, then it is good to see a lactation consultant for help. Тhere are some organizations that also offer free support and can help you out.
Tips for well breastfeeding and prevention of nipple pain
One of the keys to successful breastfeeding is a good breastfeeding latch. When your baby latches onto your breast correctly, it also helps to prevent sore nipples. For successful breastfeeding, your nipple has to be deep inside your baby’s mouth.
A good breastfeeding position will be comfortable for both you and your baby, and also will encourage a proper latch. It may be helpful to use a nursing pillow. It will lift your lap and bring your baby up to the level of your breast. This breastfeeding accessory saved my life. Leaning over is very uncomfortable and my nursing pillow saved my back, arms, and neck.
Engorged and hard breasts
If your breasts become engorged and hard it is difficult for the baby to latch on. This could happen within the first few weeks of breastfeeding, if you miss a feeding or if you have an overabundant supply of breast milk. To make it easier for your baby you can remove some breast milk before each feeding. When your breast is softer will be much easier for your baby. Also, if your baby is very hungry probably will have aggressive suck and it is good to be easier for him or her. Newborns digest breast milk quickly because they have tiny stomachs. This is why they need to eat frequently and if your baby is not very hungry the breastfeeding will be easier for you and him or her.
End of feeding
At the end of feeding be careful with removing your baby from your breast. During breastfeeding, babies create a strong seal between themselves and the breast. And at the end of it, they may release the seal and let go of the breast on their own. Also, they may stay attached and fall asleep. If this happens, do not pull your baby directly from your breast because it can irritate and cause nipple pain. You can prevent damaging your nipple by gently placing your finger into the side of your baby’s mouth and carefully interrupt sucking. Then, to protect your nipple from being chomped on, you can hook your finger around it when removing your breast from the baby’s mouth.
Keep your breasts, nursing bra, and breast pads clean and dry
Wash your breasts with warm water and avoid using harsh soaps. Also, you don’t need to use creams or ointments to prevent nipple problems before they occur. Choose a nursing bra and breast pads made from natural materials and that are comfortable, keep good hygiene and you will be fine. And if you have some nipple problems then use a nipple cream or ointment to relieve the pain.
Things to consider when choosing a nipple cream
– Ingredients – Look for natural and organic ingredients when searching for the right nipple cream. This is very important because your baby may end up ingesting some cream while eating.
– Texture – All creams vary widely in texture and thickness and this affects the application. You will need a soft and smooth cream to get relief. Consider trying a couple of different ones out to see which is the easiest for you.
– Numbing Agents and extra scent – This goes along with sticking to natural and organic ingredients. You don’t need extra scents and any sort of numbing agent. It is better to skip the numbing agent because if some go to the baby’s mouth can affect feeding. And the extra scent is just not necessary.
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