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Sore Nipples, What Can I Do

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Posted by on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 14:57
This news item was posted in Breastfeeding category and has 1 Comment so far.

Sore Nipples. When you begin to breastfeed, usually in the first 2 to 4 days, you may have nipple discomfort.

The soreness seems to be unrelated to the length of time your baby is at the breast or whether you prepared your nipples before birth.

Your nipples may remain a little sensitive for a few days after the birth. Fortunately, this problem tends to disappear quickly.

Try to find out what may be contributing to your discomfort, and make the necessary changes.


Sore Nipples Possible Causes

1. The baby isn’t taking enough of the areola into her mouth or isn’t latching on correctly because

•    of the way she is positioned

•    the breast is engorged

•    the nipple is retracted

•    she has nipple confusion because of a pacifier or bottle

2. Your nipple is pulled out of shape on one side.

3. Your let-down reflex isn’t working well.

4. Your skin is not supple enough.

5. Your skin is sensitive.

6. Your baby has a strong suction.

7. If time passes, your nipples are still very sore and your areola is tingly or itchy, you could have a thrush infection. If so, your baby will probably have the same infection in his mouth. Both of you will need medical treatment.

Sore Nipples, What Can I Do?

What you do depends on what caused the problem.

1. Pay attention to the way you put your baby to the breast

•    is his head in the curve of your arm, his tummy against yours, and his bottom cupped in your hand?

•    is your nipple lying in the middle of his mouth, or is it pulled to one side?

•    Is your baby sucking just the nipple, or is he taking in the areola too?

•    Do you press on your breast with your finger, causing the nipple to tip up in the baby’s mouth?

2. Don’t use soap on the nipple or areola. it destroys the natural acidity of your skin, making the entire area less flexible and more brittle and encouraging cracks to develop.

3. Don’t wipe off the milk. Instead, allow milk and saliva to dry on the skin. Both have a softening, sterilizing effect.

4. Contrary to popular belief, women with sore nipples should nurse more often, not less. If the baby is put to breast more often, for shorter periods, he will not be starving at the beginning of the feed and will grip the breast with less intensity, When the baby nurses more frequently, he can grasp the nipple together with the areola more easily because the breasts are not as full. Women who breastfeed on demand have sore nipples half as often as women who feed on a 4-hour schedule.

5. The baby’s initial sucking before the milk lets down can be the most uncomfortable part of the breastfeeding process. You can relieve your child of this job by expressing a little milk by hand before the feeding. This way, he doesn’t need to suck as strongly at the beginning and can latch on to the breast more easily.

6. Put your baby to the nipple that is less sore first. The let down reflex will make the milk flow to both breasts, When she is moved to the sore breast, your baby won’t need to suck as strongly to get the milk.

7. If your let down reflex is not working well, your baby has to suck hard without getting good results. The strong sucking can hurt your nipples, which can inhibit the milk ejection reflex further, Then you need something to help you relax!

8. Alternate the positions you use to put the baby to the breast, to change pressure on the nipples.

9. Some women I know have had good experience using inexpensive plastic tea strainers to heal sore nipples. They cut off the handle and put the strainer over the nipple, inside the bra. The strainer lets air circulate, and the nipple heals in a couple of days. You may also use breast shells with air holes for this purpose.

10. Use breast pads made from natural fibers (for example, cotton and silk), Plastic liners may aggravate the situation.

11. Modified, purified, allergen-free lanolin can be left on the nipple during breastfeeding to heal cracks in the nipple. Vitamin A and D cream and vitamin E capsules also speed healing. A midwife I know with decades of experience has found the application of almond oil helps heal sore nipples quickly.

12. Centrally heated homes have low humidity and this dries out skin more easily. A humidifier can help.

13. If you start taking preventive or therapeutic measures for your sore nipples soon enough, you probably won’t have to interrupt breastfeeding at all.

14. Keep in mind that nipple problems are temporary.

Rose Water Compress
–  1 lb. (454g) cottage c
–  50m1 rose water
–  1 drop rose oil
–  1 drop each, sheep yarrow and chamomile blue essential oils, optional
Combine cooled ingredients and apply to breast.

14. If your cracked nipples seep a little blood into the breast milk, don’t worry it doesn’t hurt the baby, and you can continue breastfeeding. It looks worse than it is.

15. Use nipple shields during feeding only as a last resort, never to prevent a problem. Nipple shields cause many problems of their own.

16. Homeopathic remedies may aid healing. You might try one under the guidance of a specialist. Let the practitioner know you are breastfeeding. Some homeopathic remedies typically used in this situation are Castor .

17. You may want to try Bach Flower remedies. Could there be internal, spiritual reasons for the sore nipples? What might they be? A trained therapist may be able to help you choose an effective remedy based on your answer. Agrimony, Aspen, Beech, Centaury, Crab Apple, Heather, Holly, Larch or Pine might help.

18. Aromatherapy: Rose water inhibits infection and encourages healing. Cool, damp compresses placed on the breasts can be helpful. Try the recipe I like for a rose water compress appearing in the box above.

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1 Response to “Sore Nipples, What Can I Do”

  1. 29 October, 2010, 16:43

    Sore Nipples | Cure Pages…

    Sore Nipples. When you begin to breastfeed, usually in the first 2 to 4 days, you may have nipple discomfort. The soreness seems to be unrelated to the length…

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