Any mother that has suffered from sore ni*ples can attest that it hurts very much. Mild discomfort is normal in the first few days of nursing, particularly when the baby latches on. But tenderness that lasts longer than a week, or throughout the entire br*astfeeding session, indicates a problem.
Meanwhile, here’s a look at the five most common causes of ni*ple pain.
Causes of sore ni*ples while br*astfeeding
The most common cause of ni*ple pain is improper latching. Such discomfort is piercing, immediate and short-lived, typically occurring as soon as your baby starts nursing and gradually subsiding during the feeding.
When your child is nursing, keep the head level with your br*ast. if you hold him/her lower, the child will pull down on the ni*ple, which can cause pain. If necessary, place a firm pillow under the baby to elevate to the br*ast level. Also, try gently pushing the chin down so he/she can get more of your br*ast. It should be open enough to take in the entire ni*ple and a good portion of the areola (the dark area around the ni*ple).
Also known as tongue-tie, this is a relatively common condition in which the frenulum, the bit of tissue that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too short to allow for proper tongue movement. This can contribute to sore ni*ples. Look to see if the tip of your baby’s tongue is heart-shaped or if you have difficulty fitting your finger between the tongue and the floor of the mouth. If so, he/she may be tongue-tied; talk to your paediatrician. The condition can be fixed by snipping the tissue in a simple office procedure.
If your pain is burning or stabbing and does not lessen as the feeding progresses, it is likely due to a yeast infection known as candidiasis. Yeast grows in warm, dark, moist places, putting nursing ni*ples at risk.
To prevent candidiasis, use washable cotton br*ast pads instead of plastic-backed disposable brands; change and wash them, as well as your bra, frequently. In addition, keep the area as dry as possible by exposing your br*asts to air in between feedings.
Avoid using soap on your br*asts and rubbing harshly when washing or drying them; this can lead to cracked ni*ples, which in turn can set the stage for problems.
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Vasospasm of the ni*ples is caused by excessive blood-vessel constriction due to temperature change. Symptoms include burning or throbbing pain and ni*ples that turn white immediately after feeding. The condition needs to be medically managed, usually with oral medications that are safe for nursing mothers.
Chronic nipple pain can be a sign of pregnancy. Some women worry that ni*ple pain may be caused by br*ast cancer, but this is extremely rare.
Pain is usually a late symptom of br*ast cancer and there would be other signs such as a lump or inflammation. Still, see your doctor if your symptoms are isolated to one br*ast and do not clear up with regular treatment.
How to Treat Sore Nipples
1. Apple cider vinegar:
Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. After br*astfeeding your baby, dip a cotton ball into the mixture and wring out the excess liquid. Gently dab it over your ni*ple and areola. This mixture will destroy any bacteria and keep the ni*ple clean. After that, take one tablespoon of raw coconut oil and apply it. This will ensure that the nipple will not get dry and cracked.
2. Apply br*ast milk:
This is a unique way but sometimes br*ast milk itself may be the best remedy for sore ni*ples. This is because br*ast milk has anti-bacterial properties and can help heal sore, dry, or cracked nipples. Apply some br*ast milk on your ni*ples after feeding your baby about 4-5 times a day.
3. Ice cubes:
Place some ice cubes in a cotton cloth and gently press it against your ni*ple for around ten minutes. You can use this method regularly for relief.
4. Olive oil:
Mix one drop of tea tree oil and one tablespoon of olive oil in lukewarm water. Soak the mixture into a cotton ball and dab it on your ni*ples. Let it dry naturally, rinse off with water and pat dry. This will help relieve soreness of your ni*ples.
5. Aloe vera:
Aloe Vera is known to have soothing properties. Cut open the leaf of an aloe vera plant and scoop out the gel inside. Apply it to your ni*ples gently.
Soak some chamomile tea bags in hot water for a while. After that, take them out of the water and allow them to cool to a comfortable temperature. Squeeze the teabags to take out excess water and place them on your ni*ples. This will create a soothing effect. Remember to wash your ni*ples before feeding your baby.
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