Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt or be painful. If breastfeeding is painful, often times it is due to improper latching on to the breast or positioning. Seek the help from a lactation consultant or health care provider to help you determine why it is painful to breastfeed your baby.
Preparing for Your Nipples
You don’t have to do anything to your nipples to prepare or toughen them up for breastfeeding. Long ago, it was once thought that you had to rub them with a cloth to prepare them. Later research has shown that your body begins producing a protective substance on the nipples during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Breast Care While Breastfeeding
During pregnancy, your body will begin to produce small bumps on your areola’s. These bumps are called Montgomery glands. These glands begin producing an oily substance that help keep the nipple and areola protected. Don’t squeeze these glands.
While, you are pregnant and breastfeeding it isn’t necessary to use any soap on your breasts. Using soap on your breasts can dry them out, making them more prone to infections. While you are showering or bathing, just rinse them off with water. If you accidentally get soap on them, just rinse it off.
Sore or cracked nipples need immediate attention to prevent breast infections. If you notice that your nipples are getting dry and cracked you can squeeze a tiny amount of breast milk and rub on them or use lanolin. It’s also best not to use any lotions on your breasts, unless you have severe dry skin or other skin issues.
Talk to Your Doctor or Midwife About Breastfeeding
While, you are at your obstetrician or midwife’s office ask them to examine your breasts to determine if you have any issues that could hinder breastfeeding. Most most moms often wonder if their breasts are capable of producing enough breast milk or if they are large enough. Don’t worry breast size isn’t an indicator of how much milk your body will produce.
Inverted or Flat Nipples
Some mother’s have problems with their nipples; however, this shouldn’t stop them from attempting to breastfeed. If you have flat or inverted nipples, don’t worry you can usually breastfeed with a little help. Most doctors and lactation consultants recommend wear breast shield during the last trimester of pregnancy to help draw your nipples out. The nipple shields can also be used to help draw the nipples out before you feed, but it is best to try to get your baby to latch on the breast. Some moms use a manual breast pump to help draw the nipples out prior to feeding. You don’t need to use a breast pump for very long, if used to long your milk will begin flowing. Use it just long enough to draw your nipples out so that the baby can latch on properly.
Products I Recommend for Breastfeeding Mom’s
Lanolin can help sooth irritated and cracked nipples. This product is safe to use while breastfeeding and won’t hurt your baby.
Breast shields can help your baby latch and continue to breast fed. These are a great option for mom’s to try if your baby won’t latch on the bare nipple.