Women's Health

Breast Pain while Breastfeeding

​​​​Nipple or breast pain is one of the most common reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding early, and there are several reasons for this to happen, and most of them can be easily resolved by continuing breastfeeding.

Causes of nipple and breast pain related to the mother:
  • ​Nipple wounds (caused by the baby or breast pump).
  • Nipple sensitivity, which usually increases during pregnancy and reaches its peak approximately four days after delivery.
  • Breast engorgement (excessive fullness of the breast).
  • A blockage in the milk ducts of the breasts.
  • Inflammation of the nipple and breast.
  • Skin disorders (such as dermatitis or psoriasis) affecting the nipple.
Possible causes of breast or nipple pain related to the baby:
  • Ankyloglossia: The baby's tongue can't move as freely as it should, making it difficult for the baby to nurse effectively.
  • Birth defects in the baby's mouth that make it difficult for the baby to latch on to the mother's breast.
Nipple pain while breastfeeding:
  • Natural nipple sensitivity: It is the feeling of pain in the nipple with the start of feeding. This pain usually decreases 30 seconds after the start of feeding. It also diminishes on the fourth day after birth and completely disappears when the baby is approximately one to two weeks old.
  • Sores and wounds in the nipple: Nipple infection is usually due to incorrect breastfeeding technique, and there are some factors that worsen the nipple injury (such as vigorous breast cleaning, the use of products that cause irritation, and the infant biting). In the case of sores or nipple wounds, the pain gets worse after beginning the breastfeeding.
Prevention of nipple injury:
  • Knowing how to position the baby properly so that he can breastfeed well.
  • Keeping the nipple dry and preferably letting it dry in the air after completing breastfeeding.
  • Avoid using soap or other cleansers on the breast.
  • If the child has a problem with the mouth, it should be treated as soon as possible.
  • If the child is biting, it is preferable to place the finger between the nipple and the child's mouth and tell him to stop biting.
Guidelines to promote healing of nipple wounds and sores:
  • Always start feeding with a healthy breast that does not have an injury.
  • When there are cracks in the nipple, an anti-sore cream (containing lanolin) can be applied and then covered with a non-sticky bandage to prevent it from sticking to the bra.
  • See a doctor if you feel an infection or a rash in the breast.
  • Apply cold or warm compresses to the affected area, avoiding applying ice.
  • If nipple pain is preventing the baby from emptying the breast, a breast pump can be used to empty the breast to give the nipple a chance to heal and prevent engorgement.
  • Avoid excessive use of vitamin E oil on the nipple; Because large amounts of it can be toxic to a child.
Nipple eczema:
Some people can develop eczema in the nipple area, especially for those who have it in other places of the skin, as it appears in the form of itching, burning, or a red, scaly rash. Some other skin diseases.

If the problem is eczema, it may improve by:
  • Avoid hot showers and irritants (soaps or perfumes).
  • Keeping the nipples dry.
  • The doctor may recommend applying a steroid cream while continuing to breastfeed, but the cream should be gently wiped off before each feeding.
Breast engorgement (excessive fullness of the breast):
Breast engorgement reduces the baby's ability to latch on properly so he can't nurse well, which makes engorgement worse because the baby can't empty the breast.
Here are some tips that can be done to prevent and manage congestion:
  • If engorgement makes it difficult for the baby to nurse, a small amount of milk should be manually expressed before each feeding to facilitate feeding.
  • Putting the thumb and forefinger behind the nipple (near the breast) and then pressing together towards the nipple in a regular manner to empty part of the milk.
  • A breast pump can be used to help relieve engorgement before feeding, taking care not to overdo it because using the pump frequently leads to stimulating the breast to produce more milk, which worsens engorgement.
  • Apply warm compresses or take a warm bath before feeding.
Blockage of milk ducts in the breast:
A blocked milk duct causes a painful lump to form on the breast. This blockage appears as a white dot or "bubble" at the end of the nipple.

Causes of blocked milk ducts:
  • Breastfeeding position is not changed.
  • Wearing tight clothes or an ill-fitting bra.
  • Soreness or infection of the breasts.
Ways to prevent and deal with duct blockage:
  • Ensure that the position is changed during feeding so that every part of the breast is emptied.
  • Try to put the child in a position so that his chin is near the blocked area; To help empty the milk in that area better.
  • Try to manually express milk after feeding.
  • Do not stop breastfeeding, as this may lead to breast engorgement and exacerbate the problem.
  • Try to use warm compresses or take a warm shower and then massage the breast manually.
  • If the obstruction does not improve within two days, see your doctor.

Last Update : 07 June 2023 02:44 PM
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