What could be casing extra sore nipples or breast pain? Most of the time some nipple sensitivity in the first few weeks of breastfeeding is normal, but if it continues it is usually a sign of baby not latching correctly.
Here are some pointers to look at when suffering from breast or nipple pain …
1. Thrush. Are your breasts hot and painful? You might be suffering from a yeast infection called thrush. Points to remember:
– Thrush infection usually starts by the yeast creeping into a cracked nipple and then spreads into the breast tissue.
– Yeast thrives on milk, so do not apply your own breastmilk to your nipples for pain relief.
– Breastfeeding thrush infection can leave mom feeling tired and even result in a high temperature.
– Baby can also get thrush in the mouth (Oral thrush) If you suspect that you might have thrush you will need to get treatment with baby, so that the two of you do not infect one another.
– Some moms find that they have a decrease in milk supply with a thrush breast infection
– Mothers may think that they can not continue to breastfeeding when they have a yeast infection, but this is not true.
– How can you prevent a breast thrush infection? Wash your hands after each feeding, remove damp nursing pads often, get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet.
2. Mastitis. If your breasts feel extra full and hard and you have areas on your breast that feel hot, then you might have mastitis. Masitits is caused by not emptying your breast. The milk that is left behind usually clogs the milk ducts and then causes severe pain and infection. Points to remember:
– You should never stop breastfeeding when you have mastitis as this will just make it worse. Baby will help drain your breasts so that they can feel better again.
– You might find that you have a nipple discharge (puss discharge) Do not worry it can not harm baby.
– How can you prevent it? Always make sure that your breasts are emptied after every feeding. If not by baby then by a pump.
– Drink lots of vitamin C
3. Raynauds disease. Many moms have never heard of this, but is found in over 20% of all breastfeeding moms, without them even knowing, since the doctors usually diagnose it as thrush. Points to remember:
– What is it? Raynauds phenomenon is caused through the restriction of blood through the vessels. When baby stops drinking mom might find that her nipples are white and give a sharp pain into the breast.
– Raynauds is usually characterized by the skin changing color after breastfeeding, due to a change in temperature. Read more on raynauds while breastfeeding
4. Bad latch. This is the most common breastfeeding problem. Many moms give up on breastfeeding due to extremely painful and sometimes even bleeding nipples. Things to remember:
– Baby should not only have your nipple in his mouth but also a large part of your areola as well.
– Baby should be kept against you skin to skin with tummy against your tummy. Not lying flat on a pillow!
– If your nipples are flat you should try shaping your nipples with your hands for baby.
– If you have very large breasts, you should try using positions like the football hold with baby under your arm on your side, supported by a pillow.
Remember that breastfeeding is a qualified skill for you and baby, it will get easier as time goes by.
Seek professional help if the problems persists.