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nipple pain

does anyone have suggestions on how to ease nipple pain while breastfeeding?? I know they are gonna get sore but dang lol. My son latches on just fine too. I bought some of that cream but its just not cutting it.

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Asked by travisnowensmom at 1:20 PM on Aug. 28, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 14 (1,379 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Sore nipples are usually due to one or both of two causes. Either the baby is not positioned and latched properly, or the baby is not suckling properly, or both. Incidentally, babies learn to suck properly by getting milk from the breast when they are latched on well. (They learn by doing). Fungal infection (due to Candida albicans), may also cause sore nipples. The soreness caused by poor latching and ineffective suckle hurts most as you latch the baby on and usually improves as the baby nurses. The pain from the fungal infection goes on throughout the feed and may continue even after the feed is over. Women describe knife like pain from the first two causes. The pain of the fungal infection is often described as burning, but may not have this character

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:29 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • Sudden, unexplained onset of nipple pain when feedings had previously been painless is a tipoff that the pain may be due to a yeast infection, but the pain may come on gradually or may be superimposed on pain due to other causes. Cracks may be due to a yeast infection.

    Proper Positioning and Latching

    It is not uncommon for women to experience difficulty positioning and latching the baby on. Proper positioning facilitates a good latch and good latching reduces the baby's chances of becoming “gassy”, and also allows the baby to control the flow of milk. Thus, poor latching may also result in the baby not gaining adequately, or feeding frequently, or being

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:29 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • At first, it may be easiest to use the cross cradle hold to position your baby for latching on. Hold the baby in your right arm, the web between your thumb and index finger behind the nape of his neck (not behind his head) with your fingers (except for the thumb) supporting the baby's face from underneath, and your forearm supporting his back and buttocks. Hold the baby's buttocks between your chest and your forearm; this should give you good control. The baby should be almost horizontal across your body and should be turned so that his chest, belly and thighs are against you with a slight tilt so the baby can look at you. Hold the breast with your left hand, with the thumb on top and the other fingers underneath, fairly far back from the nipple and areola.

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:31 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • Improving the baby's suckle
    The baby learns to suckle properly by nursing and by getting milk into his mouth. The baby's suckle may be made ineffective or not appropriate for breastfeeding by the early use of artificial nipples or from poor latching on from the beginning. Some babies just seem to take their time developing an effective suckle. Suck training and/or finger feeding may help.
    ”My nipple turns white after the baby comes off the breast”
    The pain associated with this blanching of the nipple is frequently described by mothers as “burning”, but generally begins only after the feeding is over. It may last several minutes or more, after which the nipple returns to its normal colour, but then a new pain develops which is usually described by mothers as “throbbing”. The throbbing part of the pain may last for seconds or minutes and may even blanch again.

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:33 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • The cause would seem to be a spasm of the blood vessels in the nipple (when the nipple is white), followed by relaxation of these blood vessels (when the nipple returns to its normal colour). Sometimes this pain continues even after the nipple pain during the feeding no longer is a problem, so that the mother has pain only after the feeding, but not during it. What can be done?
    # Pay careful attention to getting the baby to latch onto the breast properly. This type of pain is almost always associated with, and probably caused by whatever is causing your pain during the feeding. The best treatment is the treatment of the other causes of nipple pain.

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:34 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • # Nipples can be warmed for short periods of time after each feeding, using a hair dryer on low setting.
    # Nipples should be exposed to air as much as possible.
    # When it is not possible to expose nipples to air, plastic dome-shaped breast shells (not nipple shields) can be worn to protect your nipples from rubbing by your clothing. Nursing pads keep moisture against the nipple and may cause damage that way. They also tend to stick to damaged nipples. If you leak a lot you can wear the pad over the breast shell.
    # Ointments can sometimes be helpful. If you do use an ointment, use just a very small amount after nursing and do not wash it off.

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:35 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • # Do not wash your nipples frequently. Daily bathing is more than enough.
    # If your baby is gaining weight well, there is no good reason the baby must be fed on both breasts at each feeding. It may save you pain, and speed healing if you feed your baby on only one breast each feed. It will help to compress the breast, once the baby is no longer swallowing on his own in order to continue his getting milk. You may be able to manage this some feedings, but not others. In very difficult situations, a lactation aid can be used to supplement (preferably expressed milk), so that the baby will finish the feeding on the first side.

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:36 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • If you are unable to put the baby to the breast because of pain, in spite of trying all the above measures, it may still be possible to continue breastfeeding after a temporary (3-5 days) cessation to allow the nipples to heal. During this time, it would be better that the baby not be fed with a rubber nipple. Of course it is also best for you and the baby if the baby is fed your expressed milk. Use the technique called “finger feeding” or cup feeding.

    Nipples shields are not recommended for sore nipples, because, although they may help temporarily, they usually do not. They may also cut down the milk supply dramatically, and the baby may become fussy and not gain weight well. Once the baby is used to them, it may be impossible to get the baby back onto the breast. In fact, many women who have tried nipple shields find that they do not help with soreness.

    Answer by agriffinmom4 at 1:37 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I used to pump a little first. If I was very engorged it hurt too much to nurse. Just pump so that your breast aren't as hard. Do it whenever they hurt. This only last for a few weeks. Hang in there, it gets much easier!

    Answer by mompam at 1:47 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • If the baby is latched properly and you haven't used any bottles or pacifiers it shouldn't hurt. The hair dryer is no longer recommed. Creams including lanolin can make things worse. You do NOT want to feed a bottle at all, it will make things worse (the baby will learn to suck wrong).

    You can take painkillers. They aren't contraindicated and moms that have C-sections use them all the time. It just may be your nipples have always been in a bra and protected and it will take awhile for them to get used to being used. You can try keeping your flaps down in your nursing bra to let them get air or not wearing a bra at all.


    Answer by Gailll at 1:49 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

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