When a baby is born, it knows how to drink milk. It is a god's gift to the baby. The baby will start sucking at the mother's nipples to drink milk. Some times, the baby sucks the nipples so hard, that the nipples crack and cause them to sore. More often than not, sore nipples are caused due to faulty breast feeding by the mothers.
Causes of Sore nipples:
- When the baby is not held properly, it finds difficult to reach to the breasts. The baby will start sucking hard at the nipples to draw milk and cause sore nipples.
- When the milk supply is insufficient, the baby has to struggle to get the feed. It will suck hard and cause sore nipples.
- Sometimes, if the baby is fed beyond one year, then, the baby's teeth can cause the nipple to sore.
- If the baby is continuously fed on the same breasts, then constant sucking can lead to sore nipples.
- Some infection of the nipples can also cause sore nipples.
Precautions for avoiding sore nipples:
- While feeding the baby, hold the baby close to your chest. This way, the baby can reach your breasts properly and will not struggle to get the milk.
- Try to provide support to the baby's body by holding the baby with both the hands. You can also keep a pillow for baby's comfort.
- Take turns with both the breasts while feeding the baby.
- While breast feeding, do not pull your baby away from the breasts abruptly.
- Generally a baby feeds every 2to 3 hours. Be ready when your baby's feed time is nearing. This will allow the baby to feed peacefully, before it gets restless and clamps the nipples.
- If the nipple is cracked, stop breast feeding for a couple of days to heal the nipples. Visit your doctor and follow his advice. Do not apply anything on the nipples without asking your doctor. It may be harmful for your baby.
- Try releasing some milk before the baby starts to feed. This will ensure free flow of the milk and the baby will not have to struggle to get the milk. If the breasts are too full, try to remove the excess milk by hand or with the help of a pump. This will also help you preventing milk clots. These clots can be very painful and lead to an infection and even fever. Over a period of time, this clot can form lumps and could lead to breast cancer.
- If the milk is inadequate for the baby, tell your doctor. The doctor will advice you to take some supplements to increase the milk production.
- Milk production can also be increased by including dry coconut, fenugreek seeds and fenugreek leaves and ova seeds.
Generally, sore nipples are caused due to breast feeding. However, in case you have sore nipples even though you are not breast feeding, then you could be having some infection. There are chances of having breast cancer. You should immediately rush to your doctor.