Sore nipples are a common problem of breastfeeding. You may feel a little uncomfortable when your baby suckles on your nipples or when breast milk starts leaking. This condition normally goes away as you take care of your baby and breastfeeding will become much more comfortable for you. However, If the painful soreness lasts too long, it can lead to a difficult let down reflex, a low breast milk supply, or early weaning. So you may want to prevent this condition when they don’t even start. Here are our 5 tips to help you prevent sore nipples.
1. Make Sure That Your Baby Is Latching Right
Proper latching is one of the keys to successful breastfeeding, and it is also a way to reduce nipple pain when breastfeeding. When the baby latches onto your breast correctly, both the nipple and areola will fit inside the baby’s mouth. If your baby latches only on your nipples, their gums press on it when they suck breast milk. The pressure will eventually make your nipples hurt and feel uncomfortable. On top of that, your baby may become fussy as they won’t be getting much breast milk due to bad latching. If you are not sure whether you are doing it the right way, ask your obstetrician or pediatrician for advice as soon as possible.
2. A Good Breastfeeding Position will Help to Prevent Sore Nipples
A good breastfeeding posture will be comfortable for both you and your baby as it is supporting the proper latch. Cross-cradle hold and football hold are best to begin breastfeeding. These positions will help you see clearly if your baby is latching well or not. It Is also helpful that you use pillows or seats for breastfeeding. These accessories will help you get into breastfeeding positions easier since you don’t have to lean over. Leaning can strain your back, arms, and neck. You also should change your position in different breastfeeding sessions. If you stay in the same position all the time, your baby’s mouth will put pressure on the same spot of your nipple. Over time, this pressure will lead to sore nipples.
3. Feed Your Baby On Time
A newborn baby has a small stomach, so they will get hungry soon. If you let your baby be hungry for a while, they will suck harder during the nursing session. Furthermore, if you wait too long between feedings, your breasts can also become engorged and make your baby harder to latch properly. These two factors combined can quickly lead to sore nipples.
4. Soften Your Breasts So Your Baby Can Latch Well
As mentioned, if your baby latches properly, it will help to prevent sore nipples. However, sometimes your breasts become engorged and hard which makes it’s difficult for your baby to latch on. You may experience breast engorgement because of the hormonal changes during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Another reason for this condition is you miss a feeding or if you have an overabundant supply of breast milk. So to help your baby latch better, you can try removing a little bit of breast milk before each feeding to relieve the tightness and soften your breast.
5. Be Careful When You Stop Breastfeeding to avoid Sore Nipples
At the end of a feeding, your baby normally will let go of the mother’s nipple by themselves. However, they may stay attached to you even if they fall asleep. In this case, do not try to pull your baby off your breasts. Doing this may cause pain and damage to your breasts and lead to sore nipples. Especially if you do it over and over again. Instead, you should gently place your finger into the side of your baby’s mouth and safely break the suction of the latch. After that, you can hook your finger around your nipple to protect it from being chomped on as you remove your breast from your baby’s mouth.
Here you go, now you have our guide about 5 tips to prevent sore nipples during breastfeeding. Do you have any other tips? Please share it with us in the comments!