A lot of mothers complain about tender nipples that
make breast feeding painful and frustrating. There
is good news though, as most mothers don't suffer
that long. The nipples will toughen up quickly
and render breast feeding virtually painless.
Improperly positioned babies or babies that suck
really hard can make the breasts extremely sore.
Below, are some ways to ease your discomfort:
1. Make sure your baby is in the correct
position, since a baby that isn't positioned correctly
is the number one cause of sore nipples.
2. Once you have finished feeding, expose
your breasts to the air and try to protect them from
clothing and other irritations.
3. After breast feeding, apply some ultra
purified, medical grade lanolin, making sure to avoid
petroleum jelly and other products with oil.
4. Make sure to wash your nipples with water
and not with soap.
5. Many women find teabags ran under cold
water to provide some relief when placed on the
6. Make sure you vary your position each time
with feeding to ensure that a different area of the
nipple is being compressed each time.
Clogged milk ducts
Clogged milk ducts can be identified as small, red tender
lumps on the tissue of the breast. Clogged ducts can
cause the milk to back up and lead to infection. The
best way to unclog these ducts is to ensure that you've
emptied as completely as possible. You should offer
the clogged breast first at feeding time, then let
your baby empty it as much as possible.
If milk remains after the feeding, the remaining amount
should be removed by hand or with a pump. You should
also keep pressure off the duct by making sure your
bra is not too tight.
Also known as mastititis, breast infection is normally
due to empty breasts completely out of milk, germs
gaining entrance to the milk ducts through cracks or
fissures in the nipple, and decreased immunity in the
mother due to stress or inadequate nutrition.
The symptoms of breast infection include severe pain
or soreness, hardness of the breast, redness of the
breast, heat coming from the area, swelling, or even
The treatment of breast infection includes bed rest,
antibiotics, pain relievers, increased fluid intake,
and applying heat. Many women will stop breast feeding
during an infection, although it's actually the wrong
thing to do. By emptying the breasts, you'll
actually help to prevent clogged milk ducts.
If the pain is so bad you can't feed, try using a
pump while laying in a tub of warm water with your
breasts floating comfortably in the water. You should
also make sure that the pump isn't electric if you
plan to use it in the bath tub.
You should always make sure that breast infections
are treated promptly and completely or you may
risk the chance of abscess. An abscess is very
painful, involving throbbing and swelling. You'll
also experience swelling, tenderness, and heat in
the area of the abscess. If the infection progresses
this far, your doctor may prescribe medicine and