Sore nipples suck: Steer clear of the sting
Maybe your nipples are novices. They may be new to the feeding scene and therefore, they may take a real beating when you first start. We share a few tips to take care of your nips.
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You can’t really prepare your nipples for breastfeeding.

Rubbing them with anything or pulling on them when you’re pregnant will do nothing, so don’t bother.

It’s more important to take the right precautions during feeding to avoid sore, cracked nipples.

This is one of the most common problems with breastfeeding, especially in the early days.

Some of the causes of sore nipples are:

  • incorrect latching
  • your baby's feeding position
  • taking your baby off the breast incorrectly
  • a very strong sucking action by your baby, especially in the beginning
  • not allowing your breasts to dry out between feeds
  • a thrush infection

If these problems are not resolved early, your nipples may become cracked and bleed - which is exceptionally sore and makes breastfeeding difficult.

Always ensure your baby is correctly latched:

  • She should have her jaw around a good section of the breast, not just be pulling at the nipple. If you are unsure, show your clinic sister your feeding technique, so she can advise you.

Change is as good as a holiday:

  • Change the feeding position in the first few weeks for every third or fourth feed. This will help you work out which position works best for you and your baby.

Stick the dismount:

  • Master the art of taking your baby off your breast properly without hurting your nipples. You should break the suction by putting your finger in the corner of her mouth. Don't pull the nipple out - this hurts.

The more, the merrier:

  • Try feeding more frequently, so she doesn't suck too hard once she latches on. Once you're finished feeding, allow your breast to air for a few minutes. This aids with drying it out.

Give them their air supply:

  • Once you're done feeding, allow your breasts to air for a few minutes. This aids with drying it out. Remember breast pads or bras with plastic linings retain moisture. Try not to use them too often and always change them when they are wet.

Get creamy:

  • You don't have to use nipple cream, but if your nipples are very tender, choose a cream that's light and does not need to be removed in order for you to feed your baby.

The thrush of the matter:

  • If you suspect thrush, consult your health professional and obtain an anti-fungal cream. Your baby may also have thrush in the mouth, so have her examined as well. Otherwise you will just keep infecting each other.
  • Thrush is a common, harmless yeast infection. It does cause discomfort and your baby may be reluctant to feed.

Also read: Is it thrush?

Also read: How to latch

Also read: Breastfeeding benefits...for you!

How has breastfeeding been for you? Do you have any tips or tricks? Share your experiences by emailing chatback@parent24.com.

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