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Breastfeeding should be a comfortable and pleasant experience. However, during the first week or two, many mothers notice nipple tenderness. This may occur because normal postpartum skin changes or to inexperience with latching on. Tenderness of this kind soon disappears, although in some cases sore nipples became real problem. That is why many women would like to hear and learn more about prevention and treatment of sore nipples.
Nipple pain that occurs between feedings or that continues during the entire feeding is not a normal part of the breastfeeding experience each woman should have. You have to tell your lactation consultant, nursing mothers’ helper, or your health care provider if your nipples become cracked or blistered. Breastfeeding assistance from a knowledgeable breastfeeding professional can often correct these problems and prevent sore nipples.
Most nipple injury results from a poor latch, while effective latch on insures that the most sensitive part of the nipple tissue is pulled deeply into the baby’s mouth. The tongue is forward over the lower gum to help cushion the compression of the breasts. When a baby is not latch correctly, the baby grasps just the nipple shaft rather than locating the gum compressions on the breast. Mothers can identify a shallow, improper latch by removing the baby and checking the shape of her nipple. If the nipple looks creased, or drawn into a point, as a new lipstick looks, this is a sign that the baby is compressing the nipple shaft. Cuts can form across the crease line, as well as at the base or junction of her nipple and areola. If the milk flow pinches off due to a nipple latch, the baby will suck harder to get milk. It would also happen if the milk supply was low, or the breast is hard to draw in because of engorgement. This extra strong suction applied to such a small surface area can cause blistering and sore nipples.