Sensitive or irritated nipples are a common problem you may face when you start breastfeeding your baby. It is recommended that they be treated or treated before they turn into cracked or bleeding nipples, considered serious skin conditions when breastfeeding. Find out what to do when you have sensitive and painful nipples, but most importantly, how you can prevent this uncomfortable and painful problem!
When does breastfeeding sensitivity and irritation appear?
Most moms have to do with the sensitivity of the nipples and slight signs of irritation from the first days of breastfeeding. Experts say that almost 96% of mothers exhibit tenderness and inflammation in the nipples in the first week after breastfeeding begins.
Breasts that become sensitive and easily irritated at the beginning of breastfeeding are not dangerous and do not require medical care. Until the breasts begin to get used to the new role they are breastfeeding, it is normal to feel some changes and a sensitivity in the breasts, especially in the nipples.
The peak period in which you could feel the breast sensitivity more acute is in the first week after birth, that is in the first 7-10 days of breastfeeding. The symptom settles within the first 15-30 seconds after the baby is breastfed. Normally, the sensation of irritation and sensitivity should disappear by itself.
The area around the nipples is full of nerve endings, which during sucking send messages to the brain to release oxytocin, responsible for triggering the milk flow. Once the milk starts flowing from the breasts, the sensitivity of the nipples should disappear.
If this symptom does not improve after the first week of breastfeeding and new symptoms are added: pain, inflammation, cracked skin and bleeding, it is important to contact your doctor, as this is a condition that requires medical treatment.
What are the causes of sensitive and irritated nipples?
When the pain develops, and the skin around the nipples begins to crack and eventually bleed, this is no longer normal and complications can occur.
There are two main causes that lead to sensitivity, irritation and, finally, breastfeeding nipple pain: either the baby does not properly grip the nipples when he starts sucking on the breast or is in the wrong position during breastfeeding.
If you are an inexperienced mom, you may have some difficulty in correctly positioning the baby to the breast, as well as figuring out if it properly contained the nipple. When the baby is breastfed, it should cover not only the nipple, but also the areola of the breast with the lips, otherwise it will suck incorrectly and will cause injuries, known as rags, frequent breastfeeding disorders.
Of course there are other causes that can lead to cracks, cracked or bleeding nipples.
For example, if you have anatomical problems of the nipples - they are flat or oriented inside the breasts - there is the risk of various skin conditions, caused by the difficulties that the baby is suffering from sucking.
Other breastfeeding complications - blocking galactophageal ducts, tightening the breasts - can become painful and irritated nipples.
How do you take care of sensitive and irritated nipples to avoid complications?
It is important to consider taking rapid measures to reduce the sensitivity of the nipples or irritations around the nipples, so that they do not degenerate into more serious infections and conditions.
The better you take care of your breasts after birth and take care of some of the essentials in positioning the baby in the breast, in how you remove the breast from the mouth and in the hygiene of the area, the less or less you will face nipple problems in during breastfeeding.
Make sure your nipples are always clean and dry. Avoid soaps or shower gels with perfumes and preservatives. Rinse only with warm water and dry the skin well around the nipples.
After each breastfeeding, grease your nipples area with a few drops of milk, as it has curative and prophylactic properties.
It helps the baby properly catch the nipples in the mouth when he starts to suckle. The little one must have a wide open mouth at the time of catching and cover all the breast areola, not just the nipple.
Try different baby positions during breastfeeding. Not only is his position on the nipple catching, it is important to prevent skin conditions, but also the one he has while sucking on the breast. It is important to test several positions and choose the one that is comfortable for both.
Gently remove the breast from the baby's mouth when he is sucking. If the detachment from the breast is sudden, there is a risk of causing injuries and injuries in the breast.
In case the condition of the nipples worsens and pain occurs, cracked nipples, which bleed and become reddish and inflamed, it is necessary to go to the doctor.
Until then, do not stop breastfeeding unless the pain is unbearable. You can apply ice packs before putting the baby to the breast to lessen the pain caused by sucking. After finishing the breastfeeding session, try the compresses with warm water to prevent infections and relieve discomfort.
If the condition worsens, go to the doctor. It may prescribe ointments with medical lanolin, specially designed for the relief of cracked or bleeding nipples and safe for the baby's health.
It is important to remember that prevention is the best treatment. From the first moment you start breastfeeding, make sure the baby's position on the breast or during breastfeeding is correct.
It uses silicone protectors for the protection of the nipples, from the first signs of pain, before the condition worsens.
Take all preventive measures so as to substantially reduce the chances that simple sensitive or slightly irritated nipples will turn into cracked and bleeding nipples.
Did you have problems with your nipples during breastfeeding? What symptoms did you have and how did you manage to cope and treat them? Tell us your opinions in the comments section below!
Tags Breastfeeding problems Breastfeeding problems Breastfeeding disorders