NURSING YOUR NIPPLES: A breastfeeding mom’s survival guide to coping with tender, cracked nipples (Don’t forget, it’s temporary!)
In This Article (Source: http://www.whattoexpect.com)
The real culprit may actually be a positioning problem: Your eager feeder may simply not be taking enough of your breast into her mouth. If she’s nursing just on your nipple, her voracious sucking (and/or gumming) can definitely leave you feeling chewed up — and possibly leave her unsatisfied with her meal. (In other words, “I’m still hungry, Mommy!”) So what’s a new mom with battered boobs to do? Follow these steps that’ll take you toward nipple relief and protection:
Latch on, latch off. Make sure your baby is latched on to both the nipple and the areola. If she’s not latched on properly, unlatch and try again: Break her super-suction by gently inserting your pinkie into the corner of her mouth before removing your nipple. Then wait until she opens wide again, and pop your breast back in. Relax, don’t rush — just keep repositioning her until you’re both content.
Mix it up. Varying your nursing position — alternating the cradle hold and the football hold, for example — can also help ease soreness. That way, a different part of the nipple will be compressed at each feeding; but make sure your baby’s body is always facing your breasts, so that you two are tummy to tummy. (If you continue to have trouble with proper positioning, ask your practitioner for the name of a lactation consultant, or contact your local La Leche League chapter, a free resource, for some help.) After each feeding, rub some expressed milk on your nipples, then briefly expose your breasts to let them air dry. (If you live in a particularly humid climate, a hair dryer — set on warm, not hot — can do the trick.)
Lube it up. To ease soreness and heal cracking now, liberally apply an ultrapurified, medical-grade lanolin (such as Lansinoh ointment) to your nipples after each feeding. Chilled wet tea bags can feel extremely comforting. Also, change your nursing pads often to keep bacteria at bay.
Keep on trucking. It might take a week or more to fully heal, so be patient, Mama. In the meantime, it’s actually best to keep nursing your baby through the discomfort. (You can start with the less sore breast, but don’t repeatedly favor it over the more painful one; sometimes it’s easier to switch breasts after the letdown, when your milk is flowing.) Avoid skipping or restricting nursing sessions, because not only can the resulting engorgement add to your soreness, but milk that doesn’t flow can clog ducts, which is a setup for mastitis — a breast infection that involves fever and flu-like symptoms along with extreme pain, hardness, or reddening of the breasts. It can be treated simply with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it could form an abscess, which would need immediate medical attention. You should also call the doctor if your nipples are pink, itchy, crusty, or burning, which could be signs of thrush — a common yeast infection that thrives on the lactose in milk and can affect both mother and baby. (Check the inside of your baby’s cheeks or tongue for a curd-like coating, which is often a clue.) Again, if either you or your baby is affected, breastfeeding needn’t be interrupted, but the condition shouldn’t be left untreated. Ultimately, you don’t want your milk supply to be reduced.
It may seem unbearable now, but have faith: This, too, shall pass. Remember: Breastfeeding is a learning process for you and your baby. You two will become nursing pros in no time!
You’ve been there, done that Puteri. Yakin boleh!
Please excuse this mommy’s rambling. She’s been cooped a bit too long agaknye.