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Breastfeeding Advisor

Nipple problems

Take appropriate measures depending on the symptoms

For breastfeeding mothers, the most common nipple problem is sore nipple. This often occurs in the early postpartum period.
It is said that most sore nipple occurs because the mother isn't used to the appropriate way to hold the baby and let the baby suck on the nipple. In any case, it can be a challenge to continued breastfeeding. In this section, we’ll show you how to prevent sore nipple and coping strategies.

How can you prevent and cope with your symptoms?

Symptoms Cause Prevention Coping strategies
Temporary nipple soreness that happens in the early postpartum period   Application of breastmilk
Inappropriate way to hold baby and let baby latch on Appropriate way to hold baby and let baby latch on
Baby's inappropriate sucking style Application of medicine
Use of nipple protector
Enforced removal of breast from baby's mouth Do not force baby away from the breast
Breastfeed or express milk before the breast engorges
Breast engorgement
  • Abraded wound
Candida (thrush infection) Treatment of baby's oral Candida, mother's colitis
Preventing wounds and cracks from getting worse
Consulting a specialized agency (doctors, midwives, and lactation consultantts)
Other nipple infections
Use creams or ointments Do not use inappropriate creams or ointments
Baby bites the nipple Paying attention to baby's sucking Consulting a specialized agency (doctors, midwives, and lactation consultantts)

Symptoms

Nipple irritation

  • The nipple is unusually sensitive because it isn't used to external stimuli.
  • There is nipple soreness with no visible damage, etc.
  • The pain can be an initial symptom of internal bleeding, blisters and cracking (rhagades).

Reddened skin

  • The surface skin of the nipple is thin.
  • The surface skin is partly peeling off, and the sub-epidermal layer is visibly inflamed.
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Bleeding, internal bleeding

It is believed that there is edema or pooled blood in the nipple, and the negative pressure produced by the baby's sucking promotes anoxia in the papillary tissues, which increases capillary permeability and leads to burst capillaries and internal bleeding.


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Crack

Created on the tip, sides and neck of the nipple; it resembles chapped skin and hurts when pressed or sucked.


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Blisters

Often caused by shallow sucking and deficient milk discharge.


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Leucoderma

  • White blobs of about 1mm in diameter found on the tip of the breast duct; these cause intense pain during breastfeeding.
  •  
  • It is believed to be related to breast duct closure.

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Bite wound

  • Occurs when the baby bites the nipple.
  • Found mainly in the neck region of nipple.
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Cause

Transient nipple soreness in the early postpartum period

What kind of nipple soreness?

  • Temporary pain in the nipple occurs in the early postpartum period even when the baby sucks appropriately.
  • The pain goes away in 20-30 seconds.
  • The pain achieves its peak 3-6 days postpartum.
  • After reaching its peak, the pain goes away as breastmilk secretion increases.

Why?

  • The nipple is too sensitive in the early postpartum period.
  • The breastmilk secretion mechanism hasn't started to function completely.
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Nipple soreness caused by holding the baby inappropriately and by the baby sucking inappropriately.

What kind of nipple soreness?

  • Many kinds of early postpartum nipple soreness are said to be caused by holding the baby inappropriately or by the baby sucking inappropriately.
  • Occurs rapidly when baby starts sucking.
  • Pain slowly goes away, but it continues during breastfeeding. The skin from the tip of the nipple to the whole areola hurts.

Why?

  • The baby doesn't latch firmly onto the areola, but shallowly.
  • The baby sucks on with pursed lips.
  • The baby's whole body isn’t turned to face the mother.
  • The baby isn't held tightly to the mother, etc.

Example of baby not held to mother tightly.

Example of baby held appropriately while breastfeeding.


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Nipple soreness caused by the baby sucks inappropriately

Why?

  • The baby is pressing nipple while sucking.
  • The baby sucks on with pursed lips.
  • The baby is sucking with her tongue pulled back behind the gum,etc.
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Nipple soreness caused by enforced removal of breast from baby's mouth

Why?

  • Removing the baby from the breast before the baby is satisfied.

Nipple soreness caused by thrush infection

What kind of nipple soreness?

  • Stringing feeling with itching and a stabbing, burning pain in the whole breast or deep inside the breast, whether breastfeeding or not.
  • The breast and nipples shine pink or red, become swollen and the skin becomes so thin that it almost peels off.
  • The pain doesn't go away even when baby latches on appropriately.

Why?

  • Candida can occur anytime.
  • It is especially possible when the baby has an oral Candida infection or diaper rash or when the mother has colpitis.
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Nipple soreness caused by other nipple infections

Why?

  • Caused by Staphylococcus aurous and hemolytic Streptococcus.

Nipple soreness caused by the use of creams and ointments

Why?

  • Pain can get worse by using the wrong ointment or cream.

Baby bites the nipple

Why?

  • The baby won’t bite when latched on appropriately, but will sometimes bite not sucking.
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Coping strategies

  • Application of breastmilk
    Nipple tissues are hydrated and healed by applying expressed breastmilk after breastfeeding.
  • Application of medical treatment
    Promotes the recovery of wounds by hydrating the affected area.
  • Use of nipple shield.

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