Nipple Pain Caused by Breastfeeding
Normally a nursing mother will feel pain in her nipples for a few seconds when the baby at the first time puts their lips on the breast.
But nipple pain will be not normal if it happens while breastfeeding or if the pain last long. These conditions of course makes breastfeeding becomes unpleasant and sometimes some mothers even stop breastfeeding.
“The most common cause of nipple pain while breastfeeding is breastfeeding in a wrong position. When this happens, the baby will not be large enough to meet the breast,” said Jan Barger, an internationally certified lactation consultant.
One way to help the baby to be able to do it right is to ensure that your child is ready to breastfeed. When the baby has opened his/her mouth wide, it will be easier for the mother to guide their mouth to the breast.
Provide support on the back of the baby’s head with the dominant hand, then point the nipple into the space between the nose and the baby’s upper lip.
When the baby’s mouth is open wide (like a yawn), then the mother can enter the breast into his/her mouth that starts with the lower lip and then closed with the upper lip.
Besides the problem of feeding positions, there are several causes of nipple pain or swelling caused by breastfeeding, which are:
1. Babies have a tied tongue. This condition is not common, but if the baby has excess skin (frenulum) which will make the mother feel as if the baby is biting when being breastfed.
2. The mother has a yeast infection (thrush). Nipple will appear red, blisters and has a burning feeling. In addition, mothers may notice white patches in baby’s mouth, on the tongue, inner cheeks and gums.
3. Leaving the baby breastfeed for too long in the first two or three days will make the nipples sore. When the baby had breastfeed for too long, then try to move it to the other side. Because this conditions will cause small abrasions on the tip of the nipple that can later be worse.
If those condition happens, then there are several steps that can be done to overcome them.
1. Try using breast coating between bra and nipples, this is to prevent direct rubbing between nipple and bra. Also use a nursing bra with the right size.
2. Put some pure lanolin on your nipples after breastfeeding.
3. Try to use a fan to cool off the nipples when finished breast feeding.
4. If caused by an infection, then try to consult with a doctor.
5. If the condition gets better, try to breastfeed your baby in the correct position.