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What is the Best Way to Relieve Breastfeeding Pain?

Anna T.
Updated May 17, 2024
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Breastfeeding pain can often be relieved with the use of warm compresses, lotion containing lanolin, and adjustment of the position of the nursing baby. Women who are in pain from breastfeeding may have an overgrowth of yeast inside the nipple. Breast yeast infections can usually be treated with both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Sometimes continuing to breastfeed even though it is painful will ultimately help to relieve pain that results from not breastfeeding often enough. Even though these tips may help relieve pain associated with breastfeeding, it's important that the root cause of the pain is determined to prevent the pain from continuing.

Warm compresses tend to be very helpful in easing breastfeeding pain. A warm compress can be created by simply soaking a rag in warm water. The compress may be applied to the sore breast several times throughout the day, just before breastfeeding begins. If the use of a warm compress is not possible, the same results may be achieved with a warm shower. Sometimes breastfeeding women get clogged milk ducts, which cause pain, and either a warm compress or a warm shower could help to correct that problem.

Many women experience breastfeeding pain resulting from sore, cracked nipples. Regular use of lotion containing lanolin can usually help with this, and doctors also additionally advise women to rub breast milk onto their nipples to help ease the soreness because breast milk has some natural healing properties. Sore nipples are incredibly common for many women who just begin to breastfeed, and the problem tends to go away after breastfeeding continues for several weeks.

Sometimes breastfeeding pain occurs because a baby doesn't latch onto the breast correctly. Most hospitals employ lactation consultants to help new mothers with breastfeeding in general, which also includes making sure babies have good latches. A mother should typically be able to tell that her baby has a good latch if the baby's mouth is completely hidden by the cheeks and the baby's lower lip is rolled outward, with the bottom pointing toward the chin. A new mother might also want to make adjustments to the way she holds her baby as he feeds because an awkward position could contribute to breastfeeding pain.

A breast yeast infection can affect new mothers who are breastfeeding their babies. Symptoms of yeast infections in the breast area typically include shooting, burning pain inside and around the nipple area as well as visible signs of breast inflammation. Mothers who have these infections can normally get rid of them without much difficulty by using over-the-counter yeast treatments designed for use on the breasts. If these treatments are ineffective, doctors can typically prescribe medicine to eliminate the infection. It is important to note that babies nursing mothers who have yeast may develop yeast infections inside their mouths, which is also called thrush, and will likely require treatment as well.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.

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Anna T.

Anna T.

Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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