If the nipples become sore while breastfeeding, they can make breastfeeding an ordeal. Sore Nipples Pain while Breastfeeding can be treated well with thorough research into the causes. We explain what you can look out for and which aids help with healing.
Quick Guide for Sore Nipples Pain while Breastfeeding:
- Sensitive nipples are normal after birth. Pain beyond initial sensitivity is always a warning sign.
- Most common causes: unfavourable breastfeeding position, too much or too little milk and anatomical obstacles in the mother and child.
- That helps: find a comfortable breastfeeding position, let the nipples air-dry, apply wool fat and compresses, use nursing hats.
- Once the cause has been found and remedied, sore nipples usually heal within a few days.
Dock baby, let milk run, baby full, mom and child happy. Breastfeeding, the supposedly easiest thing in the world sounds so beautiful and uncomplicated – and for some women, especially in the first days and weeks, it is one thing above all: painful! The reason: sore nipples. If the thought of your child’s next meal brings tears to your eyes, you’re not alone. Many women have a problematic breastfeeding start. Mother and baby must first adjust to each other and learn to breastfeed together. We will let you know what to look out for and what to do if you have sore nipples.
What are the causes of sore nipples?
Sensitive breasts after childbirth? Don’t worry, that’s normal for now. Breast milk shoots in, and the breasts get bigger and then your newborn also sucks on the nipples almost continuously. All of these are unusual strains that your chest has to get used to for these. Many women find these changes a bit painful. Usually, however, this happens fairly quickly within the first few days.
Pain beyond initial sensitivity is always a warning sign. Please get to the bottom of the cause! On the one hand, of course, so that you can enjoy your breastfeeding soon, and on the other hand, to make sure that you don’t get an infection that may spread to the glandular tissue.
Possible causes of Sore Nipples Pain while Breastfeeding:
- An unfavourable breastfeeding position: Make sure that you are in a comfortable position while breastfeeding and that you are not cramping. A nursing pillow, support in the back and possibly a footstool help you to keep the comfortable position during the whole breastfeeding. Important basic rule: Always lead your baby to your breast, not the other way around. Your child should lie in a straight line stomach to stomach in front of you. If it is too low, too far away or has to turn its head, it creates a higher suction pressure. It irritates the nipples in the long run. Make sure that your child opens his mouth wide when docking and takes the entire areola in his mouth. The baby fits perfectly when his lips are turned outwards, nose and chin touch the chest.
- Too much milk: If the breast is filled too full with breast milk, your baby’s mouth cannot optimally enclose the nipple. Your child then sucks at the top of the nipple with full force and puts a lot of strain on it. You can tell that you have too much milk by the fact that you have a good milk donor reflex, your chest is tight, you may leak and your baby chokes or drinks very hastily at the start of breastfeeding. Probably some air gets into your stomach when you drink, and it is often bloated or has to spit. In this case, please contact your midwife. It will let you know what you can do to reduce your milk intake a little.
- Too little milk: Even women whose milk flows only slowly often complain of sore nipples. The reason: The baby builds too high a vacuum when breastfeeding to get the milk from the breast. Many mothers then benefit from a breast massage shortly before breastfeeding, drinking breastfeeding tea regularly or putting on the baby more often. However, please discuss all measures with your midwife. At best, she knows you well and knows how she can best help you.
- Anatomical peculiarities for mother or child: correct application technique, sufficient milk – and yet your nipples are sore? Now it is essential to ask your midwife or doctor for advice. From time to time, there are anatomical features that make breastfeeding difficult. If your baby likes to suck on the finger but turns away as soon as you give it his breast, this is a sign that your nipple does not reach the child’s palate while breastfeeding. It can be the case, for example, if you have hollow or flat warts. A nursing hat often helps here.
Also possible: The child has a lip band that is too short and cannot massage the milk from the nipple with his tongue. About 2 to 10 per cent of all newborns are affected. Please consult with your midwife, because depending on the version, it may be enough to change the breastfeeding position. If it doesn’t help, a doctor may have to cut the lip ribbon.
My nipples are sore. What can I do against it?
You can do this yourself with sore nipples:
- Don’t breastfeed your baby until they’re starving and greedily trying to get milk.
- Take your time putting on. Check your breastfeeding position and that of your child. Dock your baby calmly if she is not yet optimally seated or lying down.
- Change the breastfeeding position with every meal so that the same sore skin is not always used.
- Dock your baby as soon as they just suck or go to sleep.
- If the nipples are only slightly irritated and have no open sores, you can spread the last drop of breast milk on the nipples after breastfeeding. Their antibacterial ingredients protect your breast from infections.
- Let your nipples air dry after breastfeeding. It helps the healing process.
- Avoid a bra and wear loose clothing so that there is no additional friction on the irritated mamilla.
- Pay attention to your cleanliness and wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Please wash your nipples daily with warm water and pH-neutral soap. Then dry thoroughly with a clean towel.
These aids help with sore nipples:
- After the nipples have dried, you can rub them with a little wool fat. You also don’t have to wash off the grease if your little one wants another lookup.
- The use of nursing hats can also provide relief. And do not worry, It doesn’t mean that you have to breastfeed your child with this aid until weaning. When you are well-rehearsed, and your nipples have recovered, you can try again without them.
- Change your regular breast pads. Make sure they’re breathable, and your chest is dry.
- Apply cold compresses compresses to your nipples after breastfeeding. You can make the compresses yourself by drizzling them with black tea, or you can buy ready-made compresses (e.g. multi-mam compresses) in the pharmacy. They relieve the pain.
- Not only helps with sore baby butts: healing wool. After breastfeeding, simply place a thumb-sized piece on the dried nipples. The yarn has an anti-inflammatory effect and cares for the stressed skin.
How long does the healing process take?
As you read above, there are many things you can try to treat your sore nipples. However, you must get to the bottom of the cause. Once found and fixed, the nipples usually heal within a few days. The pain subsides significantly. If there is still no improvement, please contact your midwife or a doctor. There may be an infection with a yeast (thrush) that complicates the healing process.
Sore nipples – should I prefer to stop breastfeeding?
When each breastfeeding becomes torture, and the pain becomes unbearable, it is clear that you are thinking about stopping breastfeeding and switching to vials. According to medical, there is no reason for this. Because even if your nipples have an open wound, are bloody or oozing, it won’t harm your baby. Maybe it spits out a little brownish milk or has a dark stool. It is not a concern and usually goes away as soon as the nipples have healed.
Sure, the pain will cost you strength and drain your nerves. It is certainly good to give you a breather. Maybe you can take a temporary break and pump out the milk? So your nipples can recover, and you can gain a little distance from the problematic style start—everything at zero, and starting again with new energy and proper breastfeeding technology. If you have a look around among mothers, ask your midwife or browse through web, you will find that many women had difficulties with sore nipples, especially at the beginning of breastfeeding. In most of the cases, however, this could be treated well, and mother and child later had trouble-free breastfeeding.
And yet the ultimate goal is that you are excellent as a mother. If you prefer to stop breastfeeding because the Sore Nipples Pain while Breastfeeding is just too high, then that’s perfectly fine. You both must have a pleasant and intimate time, whether with a breast or a bottle.