So, as you begin your breastfeeding journey, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Millions of women are breastfeeding right now and there are plenty of solutions and accessories to help you overcome any bumps that you may encounter while nursing your baby.
One of the most common breastfeeding problems that moms face is sore nipples. New moms are sometimes surprised by how powerfully their newborns can suck. In addition, many babies have trouble latching on to the breast, which can result in friction and, ultimately, sore or cracked nipples. Not fun at all! Here are 7 tricks that can help you.
Check Your Baby’s Latch
A good latch is essential to successful, comfortable breastfeeding—so, make sure your baby is latching on properly to your nipple. Once you get this part of the process working smoothly, the rest is straightforward because your baby knows what to do instinctually.
Try Different Positions
Are you breastfeeding too often in the same position? Trying a variety of breastfeeding positions can help limit pressure on your breasts and can also help improve your baby’s latch—some babies really do prefer different positions! With a little trial and error, you’ll find the positions that put the least amount of pressure on you while still being comfortable for your baby.
Nipple Protection and Enhancement
Nipple Shields fit directly over your nipples and form a seal around the areolas. They are a great way to help moms continue feeding with sore nipples. Medela also makes breast shells that are worn between feedings and provide protection until nipples heal. They consist of a soft, protective layer that goes over your nipples to help them heal better by protecting them from friction. Also, if you are pumping and have sore nipples, make sure you’re using the right size of breast shields so that they are not rubbing against your nipples. Here’s a quick guide on how to find the right size for your body.
Apply Lanolin Cream
Lanolin cream is one of the most commonly used breastfeeding accessories to treat sore and cracked nipples. It’s made from all-natural, hypoallergenic ingredients and it is safe for both your skin and your baby. This means that you don’t have to wash yourself prior to nursing.
Rub Breast Milk on Your Nipples
You probably already know that human breast milk is full of natural healing elements that help your baby’s immune system. But, did you know that breast milk can also be good for sore nipples? Try rubbing a few drops of breast milk on your nipples and letting it dry before putting your bra back on. Because breast milk has anti-pathogenic and healing properties, it might help your sore or cracked nipples heal faster, especially if you use it along with moisturizing lanolin cream.
Let Your Nipples Air-Dry
Sometimes, the best thing for sore nipples is to give them some air. So, instead of putting your bra back on right away after feeding, try going topless for a while. Or, wear a soft cotton shirt with no bra. This one simple step can help your sore nipples heal and feel better in no time.