Breastfeeding can be a special time for you and your baby, but there may be some bumps in the road along the way. Here are some solutions for common breastfeeding issues and concerns. For more information, contact Trinity's Breastfeeding Services at (309) 779-2692.
Treating Sore nipples
Sore nipples can occur for many reasons, from baby getting a poor latch to using the wrong size bra cup. Here are some things to try. Please note - blisters, cracking, bleeding and continued pain are not normal.
Contact a lactation consultant at (309) 779-2692 for more assistance.
- Nurse baby on the nipple that is less sore first.
- Try different nursing positions.
- Pump before baby latches onto your breast. This softens the area so baby gets a better latch and starts milk flowing.
- Get a good latch by tickling your nipple on baby's lip so he/she opens mouth wide. Point your nipple up to baby's upper lip and nose so he/she has a lot of the lower areola in his/her mouth.
- Correctly remove baby from your breast if it is still sore after one minute of nursing. Try again to get a good latch.
- Massage and squeeze your breast if baby becomes sleepy to keep him/her nursing vigorously. Stroking baby's head, chin, back or feet also helps.
- After nursing, look at the shape of your nipple. It should be round, not pointed or pinched.
Additional ways to help sore nipples heal
- Apply breast milk to your nipples after nursing and let air dry before closing bra flaps.
- Do not use soaps or lotions on your nipples.
- Change nursing pads when wet. Do not use plastic lined pads.
- Take over-the-counter medication for pain, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
- Use 100% pure lanolin (PurLan or Lansinoh) or vitamin E capsules on nipples after you nurse. (Do not use lanolin if you are allergic to wool or sensitive to mascara.)
- Pumping your breasts on low pressure may help your nipples heal. Feed the pumped milk to your baby.
Using lanolin to help sore nipples
• Do not use if you are allergic to wool or sensitive to mascara.
• Air dry nipples after nursing.
• Apply sparingly to nipples after nursing or pumping.
• Do not wash off before nursing or pumping.
If you see no improvement, contact a lactation consultant at (309) 779-2692.
Breast milk storage and heating guidelines
- Feed baby fresh milk whenever possible.
- Keep breast milk chilled during transports.
- Label with date and amount, and refrigerate as soon as possible.
- Breast milk may be frozen. Freeze in the smallest amounts your baby may take in a feeding. Use the oldest breast milk first.
- Warm breast milk by gently swirling in a cup of warm tap water.
Never microwave breast milk as it destroys the germ-killing cells.