A lot of things change when you become a mom. You will notice a lot of these changes happening even before your little one is born. One of the most noticeable changes you will notice right away is sore nipples. Some reasons contribute to sore nipples. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a mom or breastfeeding to experience sore nipples. In fact, you can experience sore nipples even if you are not pregnant or breastfeeding. Let’s go over the some of these reasons and ways to alleviate some of the discomforts as well as additional remedies to try at home.
1. Wear A Properly Sized Bra
One of the sneakiest culprits of sore nipples might easily be the fact that you are wearing the wrong sized bra. Interestingly enough, a majority of women do not wear the right sized bra. Not wearing the proper bra isn’t just uncomfortable, it can often be the reason for sore breasts and nipples.
How To Fix It:
The best way to remedy this is by getting fitted for a bra that suits your body. You can get measured at any bra shop like Victorias Secret, or you can measure your size yourself. If you want to measure yourself, you can easily do it by following these steps. Measure your band size (Use the inches side of your measuring tape). Then measure your bust size. (The part around your chest that is the fullest, usually at nipple level). Once you have your band and bust, calculate the difference between these two numbers for your cup size. The following differences indicate your cup size.
- 0 inch difference = AA cup
- 1-inch difference = A cup
- 2-inch difference = B cup
- 3 inch difference = C cup
- 4-inch difference = D cup
- 5-inch difference = DD cup
Once you have figured out your bra size, you can start shopping for one that will properly fit you.
2. Lanolin Is Your New BFF
Breastfeeding for the first time can be a challenge, especially if you have to deal with cracked and sore nipples. For all the first time moms who have experienced this, the pain and discomfort you go through can be downright painful. Use lanolin cream for a quick fix that will get you back into the groove of motherhood
How To Fix It:
If you are suffering from moderate to extreme nipple soreness, then lanolin is a must in your diaper bag. Apply a half a pea-sized amount of lanolin onto each nipple and gently massage it in. It is ok if it does not all absorb into your skin. Just be sure that the lanolin covers your nipples, especially if they are cracked. When it comes time to feed your baby, check with your cream’s manufacturer to see if you should wipe the cream off. Many lanolin brands are safe to keep on once it is time to feed your baby, but be sure to double check with the manufacturer before you do.
3. Be Sure You Are Properly Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding moms know that there is a right way and a wrong way to breastfeed. Not breastfeeding properly can cause your baby to have an improper or incomplete latch. This can cause great discomfort and eventually sore nipples. When your baby has to work harder to get to your breastmilk, unnecessary friction and irritation happens, which can cause nipple discomfort.
How To Fix It:
If you are breastfeeding for the first time, consider meeting with a lactation consultant. A lactation consultant can help guide you on the proper way to breastfeed. Lactation consultants are great because they are hands-on and will even help you and baby find a proper way of feeding. Whenever you go to breastfeed your child, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Find a comfortable spot where you can relax as you breastfeed. Don’t be afraid to lay down if that is easiest for you. Make sure that your baby is comfortable as well when he or she is going in for a feeding. And be sure that your breast is unobstructed so that the milk comes out without getting stuck.
4. Avoid Getting A Clogged Milk Duct
Getting a clogged milk duct stinks. And if you don’t resolve it quickly, it could lead to an infection such as mastitis. If you have experienced mastitis, you know that it can be incredibly painful at the site of infection. Not only that, but you can count on having sore breasts and sore nipples for the coming days.
How To Fix It:
Avoid getting infections such as mastitis by making sure you are breastfeeding properly. When it is time to feed your baby, make sure to offer a breast that is unobstructed by any mesh underwire. If you do have mastitis, a doctor can prescribe you medication to help. Tylenol can also help knock out a fever or any aches and pains that you might have in your breasts.
5. Apply Breastmilk
If you have a cluster feeder on your hands who prefers to nibble throughout the day, then you may be more vulnerable to experiencing nipple soreness. When a baby is latched on for too long, your nipples, which are already sensitive, to begin with, can get even more irritated. There is a simple fix for this.
How To Fix It:
If your little one is a cluster feeder, try to get him or her on a set feeding schedule. This means that instead of snacking around the clock, you will want to work towards more set times. Depending on your baby’s age, you will want to try and breastfeed every two to three hours for about 15 to 20 minutes on each side. You’d be surprised at the level of comfort you can give yourself when your baby is not latched on 27/7.
6. Maintain Your Breasts
Sore nipples can come about unexpectedly, but sometimes, you can prevent it. Before your nipples get cracked and pained, try out this tip to keeping them healthy
How To Fix It:
It sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but breastmilk can work wonders if you are suffering from cracked and sore nipples. Simply apply a bit of breast milk to the affected nipple before you start to breastfeed. It does not hurt to apply it to the other breast even if it does not feel sore. Allow the breastmilk to air dry. Do this several times throughout the day, and you are sure to feel your sore nipples heal up.
Additional Tips And Remedies
While you can sometimes identify what causes your sore nipples, there will be times you will find yourself with sore breasts and sore nipples without warning. Here are some additional remedies to try if you want to ease the discomfort of sore nipples.
Use A Warm Compress
You will want to invest in a decent warm compress once you start breastfeeding. Not only will it help with sore nipples, but it can work wonders for other things like a sore back and feet. To remedy sore nipples and breasts, apply your warm compress to the affected area. Just be sure not to apply any pressure. The skin around your nipple is very sensitive, so it is more susceptible to burns. Be sure that before you breastfeed, you let the skin around your nipples cool first.
Massage Out The Pain
Ok, while it may not literally massage out the pain, giving yourself a breast massage can work wonders. Massaging will not only help ease any soreness, but it can promote good blood and milk flow. This is especially helpful if you are trying to unclog a clogged milk duct. To properly massage, you will need to start at the top of your breast (right under your armpit) and massage down towards your nipple. Do not be alarmed if you squeeze a little bit of milk out.
Take A Warm Bath
A warm bath can work wonders if you are suffering from sore nipples. Fill up your bathtub with warm water (or hot if you prefer) make sure the water will cover your nipples and breasts completely. Once you are submerged, relax for several minutes so that the water can work its magic. For additional comfort, consider adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils. It does not hurt to massage your breasts while you are in the water as well.
Use Aloe Vera Gel
Herbal remedies such as aloe vera and basil leaves can work wonders in the healing process. Using an aloe vera leaf, you will want to cut it open and take out the gel. Apply the gel to your sore nipples and allow them to air dry. When they are done air drying, use a soft towel and some warm water to gently wipe the gel off. Depending on how bad your soreness is, you will want to repeat this four or five times throughout the day.
Basil leaves are another great herbal remedy that will help sore breasts. If you have cracked nipples, crushed basil leaves can help speed up the recovery process as well. Using a cup or so of fresh basil leaves, you will want to grind them into a fine past. Once you have your paste ready, generously apply it to your sore nipples. Keep this paste on until it has air dried then wipe off before you feed your little one. Be sure to follow this simple remedy five times daily for about a week to rid yourself of sore nipples.
You don’t have to suffer through cracked nipples and sore breast pain. Try out some of these home remedies today for breast pain relief!
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