By: Melissa Nagin
Breastfeeding and Sore Nipples
The most common issue that breastfeeding mothers encounter is sore nipples. Today well examine some of the reasons for them and show you simple remedies to help you feel better.
Avoiding Sore Nipples
The key to avoiding sore nipples is proper positioning and latch on. Touch the nipple to the baby’s mouth until the baby has a wide open mouth.
Sore Nipple Remedy: Saline Soaks
A fantastic remedy for sore nipples is warm saline soaks. Take a teaspoon of salt and put in a cup of warm water. Then, soak your breast. Soak the nipple for 10 minutes in the saline solution and air dry.
Sore Nipple Remedy: Hydrogel Pads
Another option for sore nipples are hydrogel pads, which you can cool in the refrigerator or the freezer and where them in your bra. You can purchase them at any pharmacy. Another option is a lanolin cream, but you would want to make sure you have one hundred percent lanolin and not have other ingredients in it.
Sore Nipple Consultation
The key to avoiding sore nipples is proper positioning and latch on, if you think you’re having a problem with positioning or latch you really need to see a board certified lactation consultant as soon as possible.
Tips to relieve sore nipples
There are a number of ways to relieve the pain and discomfort of sore nipples and these include:
- Position baby properly – this can be done by nursing your baby while you are both lying down, and ensuring that your baby’s nose and mouth are facing your breast
- Make sure that you and your baby are both comfortable before you start breastfeeding. Use a nursing pillow and check that your back, arms and legs are supported
- Support your breast by cupping your hand in a “U or C” shape to get your baby to latch properly
- Detach your baby properly and never pull your nipple out of your baby’s mouth. Place your little finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth to break the suction
- Feed your baby as often as possible. When feeding, offer the breast that is less sore
- Take a warm shower or apply warm compresses to sore breasts to soothe them
- Apply a block of ice to your nipples to numb the pain
- Keep nipples dry by changing nursing pads frequently to avoid excess moisture being trapped
- Express milk as this will soften the aerola and lubricate the nipple as well as get the milk flowing
- Wear a comfortable nursing bra as a too tight bra can constrict circulation
- Apply expressed milk on your nipples, then air-dry your nipples
- Avoid using a nipple shield as they can prolong nipple soreness
- Use nipple protectors over tender nipples to avoid your clothing from rubbing against them
- Avoid using soaps or ointments that contain strong chemicals or astringents, rather clean breasts and nipples with water