How to Prevent Sore Nipples from Breastfeeding!
Many mothers who begin to nurse their babies come to believe that sore nipples are part and parcel of the breastfeeding process. Lactation experts disagree. According to them, pain signals that something is probably wrong with the way you’re breastfeeding your child.
Why do nipples get sore after breastfeeding?
Your nipples need time to adjust to all the attention it is getting suddenly. Plus, you will inevitably cause yourself grazes and splits in the process of learning how to correctly breastfeed. Don’t let this deter you, continue feeding your baby. It is only natural that your nipples will be sore in the early days, it is not accustomed to being worked out. However, this soreness should go away with time.
If this is not the case, you may not be using a breast pump correctly, have a poor breastfeeding latch or might be developing an infection. You can prevent sore nipples from breastfeeding by employing the following precautionary measures –
- Assume a comfortable breastfeeding position – It will ensure a good latch for your child. Use the football clutch hold or the cross-cradle hold – it will enable you to view your nipple and the baby’s mouth at the same time. You could also use a nursing footstool/pillow to lift your lap and raise your child’s mouth to your breast level. Bring your child up towards you instead of leaning down as leaning down can strain your neck, back and arms. Alternate breastfeeding postures, so your baby can focus on different parts of your nipple and not the same spot over and over again. It will prevent one area of your nipple from overuse and work to reduce nipple soreness.
- Allow your child to find his/her own latch – Newborns are innately trained to find their mother’s latch without any external help. As long as the mother brings her baby near her breast, the child will bob his/her head and adjust their head in the position most suited to find a latch onto their mother’s breast. It may take a little more time than introducing a latch to your baby, but it will be less painful.
- Be careful when you detach your baby from your breast – A strong seal is created between the baby’s mouth and your breast when the baby breastfeeds well. The baby may break this seal by itself after feeding or continue to stay attached. If you pull him/her off your breast without breaking this contact first, you can risk hurt and damage to your breasts and nipples. Slide a finger inside your baby’s mouth to gently break the suction. Then shield your nipple from the baby’s mouth as you remove him/her, so the baby cannot bite on it in protest. You will settle down and ease into a painless way to detach your child from your breast after feeding with enough practice.
Breast-feeding need not be associated with nipple soreness. Follow the above tips and decrease the chances of nipple soreness from breastfeeding.
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