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Do you often feel discomfort or physical pain when breastfeeding? Here's why...

Updated: Apr 3

Discomfort and physical pain is common in breastfeeding mothers. The most common cause being when your baby is not in the correct position while it is breastfeeding. When you feel pain or discomfort while you are nursing, it is prudent to reposition your baby to get a better latch and thus reducing the discomfort. If the pain persists, please seek the help of a medical professional or your lactation consultant.

Other causes of breast pain may include:

A plugged milk duct. Milk ducts get plugged in some cases. A lump or some pain may arise from the breast area. Some of the remedies to this may be:

  • Taking warm showers or using warm compress on the area

  • Positioning your baby's chin so that it points towards the clogged area during feeding

  • Gently massaging the area while the baby is feeding

  • Applying cold compress(ice wrapped in a thin towel between feedings)

If the lump does not go away within a couple of days, call your doctor

Mastitis. This is an inflammation of the breast. If the breasts are sore, have red streaks, or have a hard red area you may have mastitis. It can also come with fever and chills. If you have this symptoms contact your doctor. If it is caused by an infection it is prudent to seek medical help

Oral thrush. Babies sometimes develop a yeast infection in the mouth called oral thrush. The signs include cracked skin in the corners of the mouth, whitish or yellowish patches in the lips, tounge or inside the cheeks. This infection can spread to the breast

Call your doctor if you witness any of this signs

Inverted or flat nipples. Women who have inverted nipples or flat nipples become as erect as they should when a baby may have a harder time breastfeeding or nipple pain

Home remedies for breast pain while lactating are:

  1. Nurse first on the side that is less sore and vary breastfeeding positions

  2. Make sure your baby latches onto your breasts correctly

  3. Get a nipple shield as per your doctor's or lactation consultant's advice

  4. At the end of a feeding, massage some breast milk onto your nipples and let them airdry

This article was written by Samuel Geoffrey Omambia

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