Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding frequently features its fair share of questions. Here are answers to some common queries that mothers — new and veteran — might have.
During the first few days to weeks after delivery, you may feel strong, menstrual-like cramps in your uterus when your milk lets down. This is your uterus shrinking back to a smaller size.
If your baby is latched on appropriately, you might have 30 to 60 seconds of pain (from the nipple and areola being pulled into your baby’s mouth), then the pain needs to reduce. But if you continue to feel pain, stop feeding for a little while and reposition your baby on your breast. If the pain continues, something else may be going on.
If your baby regularly latches on wrong, sucking on your nipple without getting much of your areola in the mouth, you’ll probably feel pain throughout each feeding. Some mothers state it’s painful or feels like a pinch as their babies nurse. And you’ll most likely have sore, split nipples in no time. Consulting with your doctor or lactation consultant can help with these situations.
What Else Can Cause Breast Pain?
If your breasts ache and you have flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, a hard or red area of the breast, or red streaks on your breast, you may have an infection in your milk ducts called mastitis. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor. If he or she finds that you have mastitis, the infection can be easily treated with antibiotics.
You might likewise have a yeast (or thrush) infection of your breast. It’s important that you call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- shooting or burning breast pain either during or after feedings
- pain deep within your breast
- strong pain in the breasts or nipples that does not get much better after correctly latching on and positioning your baby
- nipples that are cracked, itchy, burning, or are pink, red, shiny, flaky, or have a rash with little blisters
Babies with oral thrush may have broken skin in the corners of the mouth, and whitish or yellowish patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks.
Sore breasts with a lump likewise might signify a plugged milk duct, where a particular duct gets blocked. To assist unclog the duct and alleviate your pain:
- Take warm showers or use warm compresses on the area, massaging the area, several times a day. Then, breastfeed your baby instantly.
- When breastfeeding, position the baby so the nose is pointed toward the clogged up area.
- If that does not work, try using a manual (hand) or electrical pump for a couple of minutes to assist draw out the stopped up milk.
- If the lump doesn’t disappear within a few days, or if you have any fever, chills, aches, or red streaking, call the doctor.
Women who have actually inverted nipples (that turn inward instead of extend out) or flat nipples (that do not end up being set up as they need to when your baby is nursing) likewise may have problem breastfeeding and may have frequent nipple pain. If either is the case, talk with your doctor or a lactation specialist about ways to make nursing simpler and minimize any pain.
Yes. Contrary to what many people think, you can continue to nurse your baby while treating your breast infection. In truth, continuing to breastfeed can assist clean up the infection.
Nipple Pain Remedy
When handling sore breasts or nipples, here are some guidelines for preventing pain in the future along with making yourself more comfortable while your breasts heal:
- Get a lot of rest and fluids.
- Try to nurse first on the side that’s less sore.
- Make certain your baby acquires your breasts properly whenever.
- Use wet or dry heat on your breasts (a warm water bottle, heating pad, washcloth, or warm shower) right before feeding. (However, if you have a yeast infection in your breast, you’ll need to keep your nipples dry because the yeast grows on wetness.)
- Gently break suction when removing your baby from your breast. (Slip your finger in the side of your baby’s mouth, between the gums, then turn your finger a quarter rely on break the suction.)
- Some moms with broken or sore nipples discover that pumping for 2 to 3 days permits their nipples to heal.
- At the end of a feeding, massage some breast milk on your nipples, and after that enable them to air dry.
- Gently massage the sore area before nursing.
- Put ice packs or cool compresses on engorged breasts after feedings.
- Vary breastfeeding positions to help drain all areas of your breast.
- Some women discover it valuable to nurse more often but for much shorter time periods, instead of nurse for extended durations.
- Ask your health care service provider if a nipple shield is a good idea to use while nursing. These guards are put over the areola and nipple during a feeding to protect sore or split nipples. Nipple guards might disrupt a mother’s milk supply, so it’s important to only use them under the guidance of a doctor or lactation expert.
- Consider using breast shields between feedings (not to be puzzled with nipple guards, which are used during breastfeeding) to protect sore nipples. Breast shields are dome-shaped covers that prevent nipples from rubbing versus clothes and assist them recover much faster.
- Ask your doctor or lactation expert to advise a cream to put on your nipples between feedings to assist sore nipples recover.
If you discover that you’re consistently unable to nurse your baby without pain, make certain to call your doctor or a lactation consultant.
Is It Dangerous?
Yes. If the breasts are cleared regularly, engorgement (when the breasts end up being overfilled with milk) will not happen. Engorgement can lead to mastitis and must be prevented.
But the longer you wait to breastfeed or pump — both at first and throughout your time nursing– the more unpleasant and engorged your breasts might become.
If you cannot feed your baby right now, use warm compresses and aim to pump or by hand express your milk. One way you can express your milk is by holding onto your breast with your fingers below your breast and your thumb on top. Gently but firmly push your thumb and fingers back against the chest wall, then roll your thumb and fingers toward your areola over and over to assist press the milk down the milk ducts.
Also, nursing frequently (approximately every 2 to 3 hours) and trying to empty your breasts can help with the initial discomfort and prevent engorgement.