EXCLUSIVE: Mother’s diary: Expert tells you the causes of sore nipples and ways to deal with them
Sore nipples can be painful and uncomfortable. Here are a few ways that can help relieve the pain.
There’s no escaping from those hungry grabs of your tiny tot even if you have just fed them. This, coupled with several other reasons can cause sore nipples, more so if you are a first-time mom. While there’s no other alternative but to keep breastfeeding the baby, especially if s/he is less than 6 months old, despite the pain, now you know why motherhood is called both beautiful and a challenging phase, but keeping in mind certain points can help relieve the pain and discomfort.
“Sore nipples are usually due to improper positioning of the baby during breastfeeding, improper latching or inverted nipples. It may also be due to improper and early release of the baby feeding at the breast without first breaking the suction and the baby sucking for comfort and falling asleep after feeding at the breast,” Dr. Uma Vaidyanathan, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, tells you.
She lists a few ways that can help.
Extract a little milk right before feeding so that the nipples soften, and the baby can latch on to it easily.
Extract and apply breast milk to nipples after feeding and let it dry. It is a natural source of antibodies and helps in healing.
Use proper support for your breasts. You can use soft nipple shields over the nipples to avoid friction between the sore nipples and clothes.
Ice packs help with pain and discomfort.
Nipple care ointments can be used. They contain lanolin and are freely available. You may apply it over the nipples after breastfeeding. However, one must ensure to clean the nipples before breastfeeding again.
While sore nipples are common in new mothers, and can heal in sometime, Dr. Vaidyanathan says, it may be of concern if the nipples are visibly cracked or bleeding. “In this case, one should contact a doctor at the earliest, without any delays,” she advises.
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