Breastfeeding Problems: What Causes Sore Nipples?

Many new mothers believe that breastfeeding is something which should come naturally to both them and the baby. However, it is actually extremely common to experience problems which can make breastfeeding either uncomfortable or difficult. With the right support, these issues can be overcome quickly, and the process should become an enjoyable bonding experience.

If you have become worried at all that your little one is not getting enough milk, it would be best to get a baby scale to measure the milk intake.

So let’s talk about this…

How Common Are Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding ProblemsOne of the most prevalent breastfeeding problems is sore nipples. In fact, almost every new mother experiences a little soreness during the first few days. After this time, an estimated twenty percent of mothers will continue to experience some soreness.

Nipple soreness after the first couple of weeks is often a sign of an underlying problem. Sometimes it can be an indication that your nursing bra is too tight, which can be easily resolved by purchasing a larger size. It might also mean that the breast pads you are using are not allowing the skin to breathe, and are therefore causing irritation.

However, by far the most common cause is a problem with how the baby is latching on.

Some babies are naturals when it comes to feeding, but others need gentle guidance to help them latch on correctly. Your baby should open their mouth wide so that they can take the nipple right to the back of the mouth.

If they do not do this, your nipple will experience friction during the feed, which can lead to soreness. When your baby fails to latch on properly, insert your finger into the corner of their mouth so that they release the nipple, then carefully guide them into a better position.

In a small number of cases, a baby cannot feed because they have tongue-tie. This can hinder latching, and is also a problem because your baby will not be able to take in enough milk during their feeds. If your baby does not seem to be putting on weight, despite frequent feeds, speak to your doctor about the possibility of tongue-tie. The condition is easy to diagnose and simple
to treat.

How To Relieve The Pain Of Sore Nipples

There is no need to stop breastfeeding while suffering from sore nipples. As long as you are taking measures to relieve the soreness, and you are addressing any underlying causes, you should find that the problem dissipates within a few days.

Expressing a few drops of breast milk after a feed and rubbing it into the skin is an easy and natural way to bring some relief. You should let the nipples air dry before getting dressed again, as this will minimize the chances of irritation.

Many women also find that the soreness subsides more quickly if they use cotton breast pads and bras, as these allow more air to circulate.

Sore nipples are an extremely common problem, but with a few simple measures you should be able to alleviate the discomfort without seeking help from a medical professional. However, you should contact your doctor if the soreness does not improve or if you notice any additional symptoms such as an unusual discharge.

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