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Breast Feeding & Sore Nipples

Sore nipples after breast feeding

Once breast-feeding is established you may find that your milk will not let-down if you are tense, anxious or embarrassed. The baby latches on and sucks but gets little or nothing and may come off again, howling indignantly. The milk will not flow comfortably until you can find enough privacy for relaxation.

Oxytocin also makes the muscles of your uterus contract, which is why breast-feeding tends to speed up your womb's return to its pre-pregnancy size. Some women feel those contractions as mild "colicky" pains. A few find them a very uncomfortable part of starting breast-feeding. They tend to be rather worse after later babies than after the first, but they are only noticeable for two or three days.

Sore nipples

The mistaken idea that nipples got sore from the unaccustomed use of suckling was responsible for a lot of misery both for mothers (who had sore nipples) and babies (whose sucking time was rationed). Indirectly it was also responsible for a lot of breast-feeding "failures" because soreness affected supply and rationing affected demand. The principal cause of nipple soreness is not unaccustomed sucking but any.

Nipples are not for sucking on. If they are drawn in and out over the baby's gums and tongue the friction certainly will make them sore and he will not even get much milk. So the principal cause of sore nipples is poor positioning. Your baby must draw the nipple right to the back of his mouth followed by a good mouthful of areola. The two together make a "teat" that is held in place by his suction while his jaws squeeze the margins of the areola and breast tissue, squeezing milk from the milk glands. Never subject your nipple to suction by pulling your baby off it, either. Wait until he pauses for breath before easing him off your breast. Or break the suction by inserting a gende finger in the corner of his mouth.

If you get a bruised feeling where his gums have worked on the areola, adjust your position at the next feed so that a different part takes the main stress. Avoid washing nipples with soap in late pregnancy or while breast-feeding. They have built-in lubrication from tiny glands around the areola ("Montgomery's tubercles") which it's a pity to remove as it is more effective than any cream you might use to replace it, and more hygienic, too. Don't massage and scrub nipples to harden them.

They are made for the job of breast-feeding so they don't need any special preparation. And you don't want them tough, you want them flexible and elastic. At the end of a feed, express a drop of hindmilk from the breast your baby has just finished, and use it as a location to cover your nipples and areolae.

by: Dawn PirrieAbout the Author:Find loads off baby gifts and free baby advice, we have articles on potty training, homemade baby recipes, baby shower, your baby health, parenting and pregnancy advice and so much more that we feel would help any new parent/parent's in times of need or just planning ahead.


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Breast Feeding & Sore Nipples