Bringing a new baby into the world is an incredible and awe-inspiring event that will alter the way you see the world forever. It also comes with a great deal of new responsibilities and health concerns, some of which you may never have realized would pop up as an issue in your life.
If you've chosen to breast feed your child, you may find yourself dealing with the difficulty that comes with sore and sensitive nipples. This can create a great deal of frustration, as you want badly to provide for your baby but are also dealing with intense discomfort. Following the suggestions below may put you in a position to accomplish this task comfortably and lovingly:
Allow For Self Latching
Modern techniques for breast feeding often suggest that there are latching positions that are superior for feeding your child. These specialized positions are designed to maximize both air flow and milk flow, but they can also have the unfortunate side effect of creating discomfort for the mother.
Your baby, however, has a natural latching instinct that will allow him or her to find the position that is best. This position is also likely to coincide with a greater amount of comfort for you, as the natural instinct has been honed biologically across the generations and is sure to keep your child fully protected.
Time Your Feedings
A very young child is unlikely to eat on a regular schedule despite your best efforts. Hunger can strike at nearly any time, and if you're suffering from particularly sore nipples when it does, then you can be in extreme discomfort while trying to meet your child's needs.
What you can do, however, is start to notice signs that your baby is approaching hunger. If you're able to feed your baby at the first signs of his or her discomfort, you may be able to limit your own discomfort by encouraging feedings at times when your nipples are less sore and vulnerable.
Consider Other Causes
While many nipple problems are caused by soreness or chafing by latching issues, some are more serious. Intense redness and soreness can be the result of bacterial or yeast infections of the skin on your breast, and the more serious of these can be transmitted to your child.
If you suspect that you have a skin infection, you should seek medical treatment. A topical antibiotic will likely resolve the problem quickly, providing you relief and allowing you to return to happy motherhood. If you need more help or have other questions, contact a lactation specialist for information.