Breastfeeding brings a lot of changes to the body. If you just started breastfeeding, then you might have noticed breast size fluctuation, leakage, breast tenderness and several other changes.
Additionally, some of you might face problems such as mastitis, nipple soreness, thrush, plugged milk ducts and engorgement. You may also experience having chapped skin around your nipples, and the skin may appear cracked or flaky.
Causes of Sore Nipples: What’s Normal, What is Not
Nipple soreness during breastfeeding is caused due to a number of reasons and you should know that you’re not alone in this.
Breast tenderness, changes in breast size, slight pain in the nipples and mild cracks are very normal. They can be taken care of by simply following breastfeeding guidelines, nursing techniques, and using a cream for sore nipples.
However, if you are experiencing severe nipple soreness, infections, clogged milk ducts and other such unbearable symptoms, it may not be normal. In such cases, it is best to see your doctor and resolve the issues in the early stages.
When you experience nipple pain, here are some of the common causes to look for:
- Your baby’s vigorous sucking
- Improper latching or positioning of your baby’s mouth while feeding
- Extremely dry skin
- Tight or wrong kind of nursing bra
- Formation of thrush or yeast infection
- Clogged milk ducts
- Wrong size and improper use of pumping equipment
- Mastitis formation
- Your baby sucking for comfort and falling asleep without unlatching
- Feeding when the baby is overly hungry because the feeding time has passed, can lead to frustrated/angry sucking
How To Care For Sore Nipples During Breastfeeding At Home
Experts say that slight nipple sensitivity is quite normal during your early breastfeeding weeks. However, it becomes a matter of concern when sore nipples are a daily issue, making you dread the whole feeding experience.
Therefore, it is essential to follow important nipple care tips during your breastfeeding period. Take a look at some breast care tips and treatment methods for sore nipples:
- Hygiene – Practice good hygiene and take extra care of your body. When taking a shower, make sure to wash your breasts with just warm water and not soap. This is because shower gels/soaps tend to wash off the natural oil produced by your Montgomery glands (on the areola), resulting in dryness, cracking and irritation.
- Pre-Feeding – Avoid cleaning the nipples or breasts before feeding because the bacteria on the surface of your breasts are helpful in developing your little one’s gut microbes.
- Nursing Pads – If you’re using nursing pads, make sure to change them frequently so as to keep the area dry and lower the risk of infections like thrush.
- Feeding Gap – See to it that the gap between feeding isn’t too long. Feeding on time and on-demand (8 to 12 feedings per day) is not only important for your baby’s growth but also essential for maintaining a healthy milk supply. In fact, it’s advisable to continue feeding even when you have sore, cracked nipples or mild bleeding in order to avoid clogging of milk ducts and other complications. Unless you feel unbearable soreness or severe damage in any of the breasts, avoid long feeding gaps.
- Nursing Bras – Go for those comfortable, cotton, non-elastic-strap nursing bras that are skin-friendly, help absorb dampness and protect your breasts from infections.
- Nipple Cream – Applying nipple creams can soften the skin and reduce cracking which often results in sore nipples. You can apply a cream for sore nipples that help soothe tender areas and allow you to comfortably continue nursing.
Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream: Safe For Mummy, Safe For Baby
Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream is the best nipple cream for breastfeeding, for dry and blistering nipples. It is made with natural ingredients and clinically tested, making it safe for all skin types.
Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream is free of paraben, phthalate, alcohol and artificial fragrance. It’s formulated with five simple and natural ingredients such as:
- Lanolin helps soothe dry or dehydrated skin
- Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea Butter) helps retain moisture and reduces loss of water by forming a barrier on the surface of the skin.
- Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil provides deep hydration and improves skin elasticity to prevent premature ageing and wrinkle formation.
- Phoenix Dactylifera Fruit (Date) Extract which soothes and hydrates sore and cracked nipples and is rich in antioxidants.
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) provides moisturising and healing effects and helps to strengthen the skin barrier
Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream is Halal-certified and that makes it even more accessible to all mums. And like all products from the brand, Mama’s Choice conducted the quality assurance tests in Singapore for the Intensive Nipple Cream. It’s also made with food-grade ingredients so there is no need to worry about your child ingesting it while breastfeeding.
Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream is available now at $10.90 now on mamaschoice.sg, Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10.
Breastfeeding is the most important, fragile and emotional part of motherhood. I hope these preventive techniques and treatment methods help you sail through your breastfeeding journey, joyfully.
While you have these tips handy, make sure to notice unusual changes like infections, pus formation, elevated pain in one area of the breast, high fever, increased redness, swollen glands in the armpit/neck, white/blue nipples, white spots and other severe symptoms. Immediately consult your doctor in such cases.
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