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Nursing mother. Suffering from sore and bleeding nipples. Looking for effective solution

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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iam having problem while breast feeding. my son is 3 weeks old. from the begining i was giving my feeding as well as powder milk. iam suffering from sore nipples. i hvae consulted doctor and they have advised me to apply nip care ointment for a week and then try feeding my son using nipple shield. But my son is not able to suck through nipple shield. so i started pumping my milk and then bottle feed. iam feeding powder milk once and then my milk through out the dy. but my rgiht side brest is bleeding now. while pumping milk is turining red due to bleeding . i dont want to stop feeding my milk to baby. please provide me any solutions which helps me in heeling sore nipples.from the begining he was sucking for 45mins to 1 hr. i thought he may be hungry so he is taking long time. i think this may be the reason for my sore nipples. please provide me solution to quickly recover my sore nipples.
Posted Tue, 7 May 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 35 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

Sore nipple is frequently seen in new mothers. It is mostly due to improper feeding technique. Sometimes it may be due to a fungal infection where it can cause dryness and itching.

I will recommend that you do not worry too much about the pain and continue breast feeding. The breast that is bleeding may be given rest for a few hours.

Pumping may exacerbate the sore nipples.

Proper latch is a must to avoid sore nipples. Thus I will describe a proper latch. Take a comfortable position. Have adequate support for your arms and back. Hold your nipple with your thumb on upperside and fingers on lower side of breast away from areola. Ensure that your baby's mouth is wide open. Tickle on his cheeks to open it. Point your nipple toward upper mouth of baby. Bring him quickly and firmly to your breast when his mouth is wide open. Pull your baby's buttocks towards your body. Baby's mouth is opened wide, upper lip is curled upwards and lower lip covers the areola in a good latch.

Now I will advise you some tips to take care of your nipples:

1) Apply breast milk to your nipples and let it dry.

2) Apply purified lanolin or vaseline to moisturize your nipples.

3) Apply a cold compress for a few moments to sore nipples to decrease the pain and engorgement.

4) Use loose, cotton fabric to cover your sore breasts to allow your skin to breathe.

5) Change breast pads often.

Keep breast feeding. Your baby may breast feed for 8- 12 times a day or every two hours. Discourage bottle feed.

Regards and happy parenting.

Dr Vaishalee Punj
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