Nipple Injury in Breastfeeding: Tips to Avoid and Treat

Did you know that breastfeeding can put stress on your nipple? The constant pulling and stretching on the nipple may lead to nipple pain in some women. In fact, a study found that almost 30% of new mothers experienced some kind of nipple injury in breastfeeding from the first six weeks of breastfeeding. Let’s take a look at why this happens and how you can avoid or treat it so that you can continue to breastfeed without pain.

What is Nipple Pain During Breastfeeding?

Nipple pain during breastfeeding can affect one or both nipples. The pain can feel like a sharp, burning sensation, or tingling and stinging. Nipple pain can happen for a variety of reasons, including improper latch, poor breastfeeding technique, a clogged milk duct, or certain skin conditions. Nipple pain during breastfeeding can occur due to a number of reasons. What might be the cause of nipple pain?

Causes of Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding

  • Poor Breastfeeding Technique – Improper breastfeeding technique is one of the main reasons for nipple pain during breastfeeding. This can include misjudging your baby’s latch, incorrect positioning of your baby’s head and shoulders, incorrect hand placement by your partner, or using an improper breastfeeding technique. 
  • Poor Breastfeeding Positioning – Improper positioning of your baby during breastfeeding can also cause nipple pain. While breastfeeding, your baby should be facing your breast with his mouth open wide and his nose pointing towards his shoulder. If your baby’s mouth is facing towards your breast or he is facing you, the latch is incorrect. If your baby is latched on but his nose is pointing to the side, he is latched on incorrectly. 
  • Clogged Milk Duct – A clogged milk duct can cause nipple pain or nipple pain during breastfeeding. It can happen if the duct becomes plugged with dirt or bacteria. In this case, a clogged milk duct is easy to fix. You can encourage your body to unplug the duct by applying heat and using some form of manual expression. 
  • Skin Conditions – Some skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, can cause nipple pain. Eczema can appear as red patches on your breasts, while psoriasis can appear as raised, scaly patches on your breasts. If you have a skin condition and it is affecting your nipples, your health care provider can recommend a treatment.

Tips to Avoid Nipple Pain While Breastfeeding

If nipple pain during breastfeeding is due to a clogged duct, you may be able to unplug the duct yourself. To do so, you will need to apply heat, massage your breasts, and use some form of manual expressions such as hand expression or pumping. 

If nipple pain is due to a poor breastfeeding technique, you can fix the problem by adjusting your breastfeeding technique. You may need to do some extra research or ask for help from a lactation consultant. If your nipple pain is due to a skin condition, you should see the best dermatologist in Endwell to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. If your nipple pain is due to improper breastfeeding technique or positioning, you can take steps to fix it and avoid nipple pain. You can also ask your partner for help with breastfeeding to make sure your baby is getting enough milk.

Conclusion

Nipple pain during breastfeeding can affect many breastfeeding mothers. It’s important to know the various causes of nipple pain to determine what you can do to avoid it or treat it as soon as possible. While nipple pain is frustrating, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t mean you are a bad breastfeeding mother. There are plenty of ways to treat nipple pain and continue breastfeeding successfully.

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