why do my nipples hurt after breastfeeding
Any woman can experience burning or pain in her breasts and nipples following breastfeeding -- especially if she is inexperienced or just start out breastfeeding. Many conditions, infections and complications can trigger symptoms. However, with a bit of extra care, you can treat and avoid burning and painful breasts after feeding your child. Pain and burning after breastfeeding often stem from improper positioning while you are feeding your baby. Sometimes your baby eagerly latches on to just your nipple rather than the areola and nipple. In addition, pain and burning occurs if your baby sucks too hard while nursing or bites you at the end of the feeding. Engorgement, where the breasts become full and hard with milk, also triggers pain and burning. This discomfort also can be caused by infections, such as mastitis or a blocked milk duct. Take a pain reliever, such as paracetamol, to ease pain and burning; talk with your doctor about what is safe to use while nursing. Wrap a cold pack in a towel and hold it against your breasts. Massage the painful spots on your breasts in a circular motion. Assure that your baby latches on properly at every feeding, taking your full nipple into her mouth. Manually express or pump a bit of milk before and after the next feeding to relieve any engorgement and make the areola softer, which will help your baby latch on better at the next feeding.
An inverted nipple, where the nipple sinks inward instead of protruding outward, often triggers breast and nipple pain and burning after a feeding. Similarly, a flat nipple, which doesnвt become erect during nursing, contributes to pain. If you suspect a clog or blockage, point your babyвs nose toward the clog to help draw it out. If that doesnвt help, pump your breasts for a couple of minutes to release the blockage. Seek medical attention or contact a lactation consultant if you are unable to nurse your baby due to pain or burning in your breasts. Also call your doctor if breast pain is accompanied by a lump in your breast, fever, body aches, chills, the appearance of red streaks across your breasts or if your nipples become sensitive to cold temperatures. These could be signs of a serious infection or a condition such as vasospasm, where the blood vessels spasm in the breasts.
There s a reason nipples are considered one of the most erogenous zones of the human body. These highly sensitive body parts are both easily stimulated and easily irritated, and there are many reasons a person might find his or her nipples hurting from time to time.
One of the most common (and easily cured) causes of nipple pain is wearing tight or ill-fitting undergarments and clothing. But nipple pain is also a problem for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, sore nipples can be caused by infection, certain kinds of breast cancer and other conditions. Women who are pregnant may experience sore nipples because their changing bodies are producing more, which facilitates the growth of breasts and the eventual production of milk. Estrogen increases the amount of blood circulating through the body, and when combined with progesterone and other hormones, it can cause nipples to become sore, discolored and ultrasensitive. are also prone to nipple pain. As a newborn baby learns to latch onto his or her mother s breasts, the mother s nipples and areolar tissue stretch, causing tenderness of the nipples. Additionally, some women experience chaffing, bleeding or cracked nipples when breastfeeding. Most of these issues result from incorrect positioning of the baby on the breast and can be helped by speaking with a lactation consultant or other expert about how to correctly position a baby while nursing. For those who are not nursing or pregnant (as well as for those who are), nipple pain may also be a sign of infection.
Most breast infections also known as mastitis are caused by bacteria that enter the skin through a break or crack in the nipple tissue. Once infected, the tissue of the breast and nipple can become itchy and painful to the touch. Medical treatment may be necessary if the nipple or breast becomes noticeably swollen or red, or feels abnormally warm. Nipple pain can also be caused by certain skin conditions, such as or dermatitis. These conditions can result in itchy, flaky skin that may be painful if left untreated. Fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes muscles and tissues to become tender or sore, can also result in nipple pain. In some cases, soreness of the nipples may be caused by a rare type of breast cancer known as Paget s disease. This cancer, which can affect both men and women, involves the skin of the nipple and, in some cases, the areola. The early symptoms of Paget s disease are similar to those of benign skin conditions and include itchy, flaky or red skin on the nipple or areola. The nipple itself may become flattened or produce a yellow or bloody discharge. Follow Elizabeth Palermo on Twitter @, or. Follow Live Science. We re also on.
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