It is normal to feel sensitivity in your nipples as you get used to breastfeeding. Here are some tips to help you adjust:
- Check that your baby is positioned properly and is latched on correctly
- Dry your nipples carefully after feeding; leave a drop of milk on your nipples and allowing them to dry naturally
- Place dry breast pads in your bra to keep your nipples dry, replace them frequently
- Avoid using soap on your nipples
- Contact your midwife if tenderness persists.
Sore And Swollen Breasts (Engorgement)
The build-up of milk and other fluids in the breast tissue is called engorgement. It causes the full breast to become tight and hard. Engorged breasts can be painful, tender and make it difficult for your baby to latch onto the breast.
Tips to help with engorgement:
- Try expressing a little milk before feeds to soften the areola so your baby can attach more easily. For more, see Expressing Breast Milk
- Check your bra isn’t too tight.
To help prevent engorgement, ensure that you feed your baby regularly and often from birth.
Breasts Feel Hard And Lumpy
If you feel a tender, hard lump developing in your breast, you may have a blocked milk duct. If this happens, here are some tips for dealing with a blocked milk duct:
- Use warmth (e.g. a hot shower) before a feed to help milk flow
- Feed often from the sore breast
- Try gently massaging the lump during feeding
- Try alternating your baby’s feeding positions. For more, see Breastfeeding Positions
- Check that your bra is properly fitted.
If the lump becomes bigger or more painful you may have mastitis, please contact your healthcare professional. For more information on mastitis click here.
Remember, if you are ever in doubt, always ask your healthcare professional for advice.