Although breastfeeding can be a wonderful and miraculous experience that helps a mother and baby bond, it doesn’t come without a cost. Breasts can end up becoming very painful and tender after breastfeeding. There are a few methods to help combat pain for different situations that are natural and effective and won’t cause harm to the mother or the child.
Cracked Nipples Or Areola
This is a very common problem for new mothers. It is generally caused by not being able to get the baby latched on the correct way. You, as the mother, must ensure that the baby is fitting the whole areola inside their mouth. If they do not they will not be able to get sufficient suction. This is irritating for the baby and it will cause you to get cracked nipples.
The way to get rid of cracked nipples or areolas, or at least ease the pain, is to rub a little of your breast milk around them and let it dry on there. Your milk is filled with nutrients and they can help bring some moisture back to the tender area. If that doesn’t work, you can try applying a decent amount of lanolin from your local drug store. You may also need to work on finding a good position that guarantees a nice latch for feeding.
Tender (Or Hard) Breasts
Not feeding often enough can cause your breasts to get very firm. It’s not the good kind of firm, but the kind that will make you want to cry even from the gentlest touch. This may happen to mothers that decide to go back to work while still breastfeeding. This is easy to get over though. Make sure you carry a portable breast pump with you and that you pump often. Warm heating pads or a washcloth that is heated from hot water can also help quite a bit.
If you are having itchy nipples or breasts you should understand that it is quite common and normal. It may just be due to the added stress of having a newborn or it could be a bacterial infection. If it does not go away within a week or so, you should have your doctor check it out and they will know what the best route to take would be. You may want to also invest in a new bra – one that is made from organic cotton so it can allow your breasts to breathe. Avoid washing your breasts, and especially your nipples, with soap while showering. Just use warm water and be careful not to be too rough with them.
These tips should help you with most pain you may encounter while breastfeeding. Watch for warning signs and be ready for whatever may come up. Having a plan ready will help shorten your healing time.