Pain or a burning sensation around the nipples is very common when breastfeeding. Most lactating mothers experience discomfort even at the slightest touch and breastfeeding becomes a task more than a joyful experience. There are a few home remedies which can help ease the discomfort; however, it is advisable to consult your doctor before trying anything new. Let’s look at the causes of sore nipples and hopefully this knowledge will actually help you avoid the condition completely.
Proper positioning of the baby is very important. If the baby is in an uncomfortable position, it will affect the way he/she will latch on to the nipple. In the initial stages most mothers find it difficult to get the baby in the correct position. The baby might not suck directly at the nipple and instead suck on the brown area surrounding it. Take the guidance of an older experienced woman like your mother or a close friend who has gone through motherhood to help you.
If the nipple is sore and you need to apply an ointment on it, make sure that it is safe for the baby. Clean your nipples thoroughly before the next feeding. It is best to opt for natural products as opposed to creams which have chemicals, just in case a few traces are left behind even after cleaning.
Coconut oil is one such product which helps soothe sore or cracked nipples and is also safe for the baby. Almond oil is another type of oil which is excellent for dry skin. It is very important to keep the area supple.
However, maintaining proper hygiene is very important. Apply the oils in between feeds, making sure to clean the nipple with warm water before your next feeding. Use a soft cloth or cotton; avoid soap as it makes the skin dry.
Try warm water compress with salt mixed in the water. Alternately, you can even try cold water compress, if you think it works better for you.
Keep changing the sides during feeds. This way when you feel the pain on one nipple you can let it rest and let the baby continue feeding on the other breast.
Make sure the feeding bra is made of a soft comfortable fabric to provide better comfort.
If you feel the pain is unbearable, consult your doctor who can examine you and provide suggestions accordingly.