Every 3 out of 4 breastfeeding women experience different degrees of sore nipple problems. The basic cause is that the infant is unable to latch on properly during the feeds. Proper breastfeeding shouldn't cause pain, but bad positioning does. You need relief from your sore nipples.
There are many other causes of sore nipples. Wearing the wrong size of bra, cracks on the niplles caused by excessive dry skin or injury in the chest area can also cause sore nipples. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause, skin infections, thrush, mastitis and breast cancer are other causes of soreness.
1. Breastfeeding Position
Sometimes the remedy is so simple that it just requires commonsense to work. Most mothers are able to realize and get pain relief by changing position of breastfeeding.
Maintaining a position in which the infant can latch on properly will avoid sore nipples. the infant's lips should be flat on your breast and the chin should press the breast. keep your fingers between the infant's lips to break the suction when the baby finished feeding.
2. Breast Milk
Breast milk is antibacterial and can be easily used to heal the sore nipples. You can apply your own breast milk to get relief.
In order for the soreness to subside you need to do the following a few times a day.
- smear break milk on the sore nipple before and after breast feeding
- if the other nipple is also sore then do the same to the other nipple
- do apply breast milk in between the breast feeds also
This way you would have moisturized the sore nipple with the most compatible antibacterial liquid your own breast milk. Within a few days the nipple soreness should disappear.
3. Coconut Oil
After you own breast milk the beast antibacterial liquid you can apply is virgin coconut oil. Gently massaging your sore nipples with coconut oil will reduce the dryness on the nipples and will reduce cracks, tears and chapping if any.
It is important that you use warm oil for best results.
- add a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in a crucible
- warm it in microwave
- test the warmness by fingers and use it if not too hot otherwise wait until it reaches an acceptable temperature
- gently massage both nipples one by one.
Do it several times a day to heal fast. Make sure that the coconut oil is completely removed by washing your breast and nipple with warm water before breast feeding.
4. Warm/Cold Compress
Both warm or cold compresses will give temporary relief from the soreness of nipples. While other methods of reducing soreness take time and are ongoing you can use the warm and/ or cold compress to get instant relief.
The warm compress will soothe the discomfort. You can apply a warm washcloth dipped in water after wringing for 10 minutes to get good blood circulation. Do it about 10 15 minutes before breast feeding.
Cold compress on the other hand works by numbing the area. it numbs the nerves which transmit pain to the brain. it will also reduce swelling. In fact if you have swelling then you should only use cold compress and completely avoid hot compress.
Wrap ice cubes in a wash cloth and place it on the nipple and swollen area for a couple of minutes. Lift it for 30 seconds and apply again for a couple of minutes. Do this on and off cold compress for 15 minutes several times a day.
If you have severe soreness, cracks followed by pus then visit your doctor. You may require other medical treatment.