Four Tips For Preventing Sore Nipples During The Early Stages Of Breastfeeding
What many first-time mom's don't realize is the amount of discomfort that can come from breastfeeding. Even second and third-time moms can prepare themselves for it and still come off a bit surprised by the continued discomfort. Sore nipples that continue to lead to discomfort can continue even after the baby is done with the feeding. Luckily, there are ways that this can be avoided. Here are four tips to consider:
- Be Gentle: Breastfeeding is completely natural, which means that you don't need to do any extra washing of the nipples. When you do shower, simply rinsing is enough. It's better not to wash with soap or other treatments since this can be rough on the skin, especially if it's already sore. You also want to be sure that when you get out of the shower, you are only pressing dry rather than rubbing, which can irritate the skin. From here, you might even consider allowing some time for your nipples to be exposed rather than covered. This way, air is circulating around them for some time, which can provide some healing before they are covered again.
- Use Breast Shells: You probably don't want your clothing to be rubbing against your nipples during the day, which can cause them to become irritated. Instead, it's better to consider the use of breast shells, which will prevent this and ensure that your nipples aren't rubbing against anything.
- Use the Right Breast Pads: When and if you do wear breast pads, you want to be sure that they are the right ones. Disposable ones tend to be the most damaging since they rub against the nipples, trap in moisture, which can lead to irritation, and can even stick to the nipples, making it quite uncomfortable to remove them later on. Instead, it's recommended you use washable breast pads that are made of silk or cotton that allow for the movement of air and moisture and don't stick to the skin.
- Use a Natural Moisturizer: What is natural moisturizer? Breastmilk, of course! Once the baby is done eating, use one finger to gently rub any excess breastmilk over the nipple. This is much better than using any over-the-counter moisturizers, which can not only be damaging but aren't likely to be good for the baby once they are ready to eat again. it can even cause confusion because of the change in smell it may cause or texture.
Using these four tips is sure to help breastfeeding feel more natural and comforting. If you are still having issues with discomfort, you can always consult with your midwife, who can help with providing different techniques and methods for proper latching.