Preventing Nipple Soreness: Expert Tips from an IBCLC for New Breastfeeding MumsOct 02, 2023
Congratulations, new mum! Welcoming a little one into the world is an incredible journey filled with joy and challenges. If you've chosen to breastfeed, you're providing your baby with the best start in life. However, it's not uncommon for new mums to experience nipple soreness during the initial days or weeks of breastfeeding. The good news is that with the right guidance, you can minimise discomfort and enjoy a smoother breastfeeding experience. In this blog, we'll explore tips and recommendations from a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) on how to prevent nipple soreness and ensure a positive breastfeeding journey for both you and your baby.
Understanding Nipple Soreness:
Nipple soreness is a common concern for new breastfeeding moms. It can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and is often caused by a combination of factors, including incorrect latch, inadequate positioning, and skin sensitivity. It's important to address nipple soreness early to prevent it from becoming a hindrance to your breastfeeding goals.
Tip 1: Proper Latch and Positioning
Achieving a proper latch is crucial for preventing nipple soreness. Ensure your baby's mouth covers not only the nipple but also a significant portion of the areola. This helps your baby extract milk efficiently without putting excessive pressure on your nipples. Experiment with different breastfeeding positions to find the one that's most comfortable for both you and your baby.
Tip 2: Nipple Care
Preventing nipple soreness often involves a combination of strategies:
Nipple Cream: Pure lanolin-based nipple creams can help keep your nipples moisturized. Apply it after each feeding session to soothe irritation.
Airing and Sunlight: Allow your nipples to air-dry after feedings, and if possible, expose them to natural sunlight for a few minutes. Sunlight can have healing properties.
Breastmilk: Apply a few drops of your breastmilk to your nipples and allow it to air dry. Breast milk contains natural antibodies that can help with healing.
Hydrogel Discs: These soothing discs can provide relief by promoting healing and reducing discomfort.
Silverettes: Silver nursing cups, or Silverettes, are designed to help with nipple soreness by providing a protective and healing environment for your nipples.
Nipple Shields: Nipple shields are thin, flexible covers that can be placed over your nipple during breastfeeding. They can provide a protective barrier and help alleviate discomfort. However, it's essential to use them under the guidance of an IBCLC to ensure proper fit and positioning.
These approaches work together to provide comprehensive care for your nipples. Experiment with them to find the combination that works best for you.
Tip 3: Frequent Feeding and Pacing
Encourage your baby to feed frequently but with proper pacing. This can help prevent your baby from becoming overly hungry and latching too aggressively, which can contribute to nipple soreness. Pay attention to your baby's hunger cues, and offer the breast before they become too fussy.
Tip 4: Check for Tongue and Lip Ties
In some cases, tongue or lip ties in infants can contribute to nipple soreness. If you suspect your baby may have a tie, book an appointment with our experienced team to perform a complete assessment and diagnosis.
Tip 5: Seek Professional Support, Even Remotely
One of the steps in preventing nipple soreness is seeking guidance from a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). An IBCLC can provide personalised advice tailored to your specific situation. And the best part? Our IBCLCs offer remote consultations through telehealth, allowing you to connect with them from the comfort of your home, even while you're still in your pajamas!
Telehealth consultations offer the convenience of staying in your natural environment, giving your IBCLC valuable insights into your usual positioning for the latch. This means you can receive expert guidance without the hassle of traveling to a clinic or office, making it more accessible for busy new moms. Whether it's through a video call or a phone conversation, remote consultations can be just as effective as in-person visits when it comes to preventing nipple soreness and ensuring a positive breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby. So, don't hesitate to book in for this convenient option as you embark on your breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience between you and your baby, and nipple soreness should not deter you from this journey. With the guidance and support of a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) and these expert tips, you can prevent and manage nipple soreness effectively. Remember, it's okay to seek help when needed, and your comfort and your baby's well-being are top priorities. Embrace the joy of breastfeeding and cherish these precious moments with your little one. You've got this, new mum, even in your pajamas, with a combination of solutions to help you on your breastfeeding journey!
Take a proactive step towards optimal development by scheduling an appointment – online or in-person. Our team are here to guide you through personalised strategies for your child.
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