If your nipples start to hurt during feeding, you probably suffer from a nipple gap. This is because breastfeeding should not hurt. If you put your baby properly on the chest, your breasts will not usually be damaged. Unfortunately, that does not always work and then nipple gaps can arise.
Nipples is an innocent disease, but of course the pain is not pleasant. Nipple gorges can arise from improper use, for example if your baby just sucks on your nipple. Therefore, try to have your baby take as large a part of the areola in its mouth as possible.
If your baby has just been born, it may give you an unpleasant feeling during the first few days if you are breastfeeding. This is because the connective tissue in the nipples has to be slightly stretched. If your child is drinking well, this unpleasant feeling disappears happily quickly again.
However, if the pain persists and you also have sensitive nipples between the food, you will probably suffer from nipple gaps.
How do you recognize them?
Painful nipples do not always have to indicate nipple gaps. Your nipples can also be more sensitive during your menstruation, ovulation or a new pregnancy. Symptoms of nipple gaps are:
Your nipple is clearly damaged (small tears or wounds)
Your nipples also remain sensitive between the diets.
The pain gets worse while breastfeeding.
Tips to prevent chapping
Carefully lay the baby. Wait until the mouth is wide open to take a big bite and then pull it towards you. Possibly you can support your chest with one hand, four fingers underneath, thumb on top of the chest.
Ask for help if you are uncertain about it. A well-groomed baby lies with his belly close to the mother, has a large part of the areola in his mouth, the lips curled outwards, and the chin and nose touch the chest.
Feeding should not hurt. If this is the case, it is important to better lay your child.
Let your nipples air dry after feeding.
Carefully remove the nipple from its mouth when your child is ready to suck.
Put your baby before he is completely upset. Your child will be slightly less hungry and therefore drink more quietly.
Try to feed in a different posture.
Tips to soften nipples
Allow a drop of breast milk to dry on the nipple after feeding.
Raise your nipple as far as possible in the air.
Use so-called nipple protectors after feeding. Nursing pads can stick against the wound.
You can treat the chunks with purified lanolin.
Apply very carefully, wait until the mouth is wide open.
If feeding really hurts too much, pump off a diet. The expressed milk can be given to your baby with a cup, food syringe or spoon.
Try a different posture during feeding.
Dry wound healing
After feeding, put a small drop of milk on the nipple and allow your nipple to dry in the air. You better not do this if your baby suffers from thrush. In that case, you can also use breast shells or nipple protectors. They ensure that air circulation is possible around your nipples and catch any leaking breast milk.
Wet wound healing
Use gell-pads that you put in the fridge beforehand. The cold relieves the pain after feeding and ensures that the wounds heal faster.
Do not use nipple caps. These can only aggravate the chunks, because the skin remains moist under the caps so that the nipples can only be damaged more.