The task of breastfeeding is a very important job that cannot be done half heartedly. Once you start you must continue until the job is done even if you don’t feel like it, and there is just no time for pain. It’s not supposed to hurt anyway, if done correctly. Many times the discomfort can’t be avoided no matter what you do, so having a few solutions to sore breasts when breastfeed will come in handy when times get rough. Here are a few tips that may help you if you run into painful breastfeeding dilemmas.
What is the problem?
If breastfeeding causes you a great deal of pain, you should first check the baby’s position. She may be sucking at the wrong angle or the nipple isn’t far enough inside the mouth. Your baby should be tummy to tummy facing you, and her mouth should be wide open around the nipple and the areola perfectly. With practice you will be able to feel the correct position when it is happening. Remember to alternate breasts with each feeding to help avoid soreness.
If your nipples have painful cracks after feedings, try using some coconut oil or olive oil on each nipple after feedings. There are a few salves on the market just for such issues, but look for one that is all natural or organic such as “Fix that Sucker Nipstick Nipple Butter” for sore nipples.
When I was breastfeeding I was told to put a bit of my own breast milk on my nipples and that would help to heal them. I never had sore nipples but I tried it anyway, just in case.
Changing your feeding schedule may help too. Try feeding the baby more frequently for shorter periods of time. I breastfed my baby every three hours or so, but not for very long. Some babies will suck harder if they have been waiting a long time to feed and are very hungry. The less time they have to wait the better.
Things like soap, alcohol, and perfumes can irritate the nipples especially if they are cracked, so please avoid those products while breastfeeding. A warm wet cloth on the nipples is all you need to clean them and it will also sooth away the soreness. I placed a cloth with very warm water on my nipples after a few feedings to help with swelling and irritation.
Whatever method you use to help heal your breasts should work quickly. If you are still not healing and things are getting worse please check with your doctor. The sooner you can get past the pain the better. Your baby needs you healthy and happy too. Breastfeeding under terrible conditions is not good for anyone, so consider using a bottle at least until you can heal and feel better.