- Sore nipples are caused by incorrect positioning and improper latching. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s normal. See a lactation consultant - she’ll help you position your baby correctly and get her to latch on properly. Continue to nurse, giving the good side first before offering the sore side. Air the sore nipple and smear a little of your own breastmilk on it to help it heal faster. You may also want to use a nipple cream and wear breast shells to relieve the soreness. Wear nipple shields as a temporary and last resort so you can nurse your baby without causing further pain to your nipples.
- Engorgement happens when your breasts are overfull, swollen and taut, hot, tender and achy. You may feel it most when your milk comes in and peaks, typically on the fourth day. Your baby may find it hard to latch on when your boobs are so full and hard. To prevent engorgement, feed, feed and feed your baby. Relieve the discomfort by gently expressing your breastmilk, covering your boobs with a hot towel or simply taking a warm shower. Tucking chilled cabbage leaves inside your bra works wonders if you’re experiencing severe engorgement - strange, but true!
- Blocked ducts cause hard, painful lumps, which, if left untreated, can lead to mastitis (an infection of the milk ducts). It happens when your breasts are not well-drained. Empty your breasts by nursing more often, or expressing to clear the plugged duct. Try feeding your baby on the affected side first, with his chin nearest the lump - his sucking power will help clear the blockage. Try massaging your breast towards the nipple while you feed and when you’re having a warm shower. See a doctor if you have a high temperature or your breasts become more painful. The blocked duct may have become infected, and you may need antibiotics.