Breastfeeding should be comfortable once a good latch and positioning are established.
Helpful Tips for Sore Nipples
- Check for a proper latch (Head slightly tilted back, line infant’s nose across from nipple, wait for open mouth, and latch quickly and deeply)
- Try different positions. (Football and cross-cradle are preferred when learning)
- After breastfeeding, apply a few drops of expressed milk (or lanolin) onto your nipples
- Change nursing pads frequently and allow nipples to air-dry
- If soreness persists, contact a lactation consultant or your health care provider
Plugged Breast Ducts
A plugged duct is usually caused by an obstructed milk flow and/or poor milk removal from the breast. It can feel like a small, tender, firm area and is not accompanied by fever or other symptoms.
Helpful Tips for Plugged Breast Ducts
- Nurse frequently, especially on the affected side
- Apply a warm compress to the sore area
- Massage area prior to and during feedings
- Pump or hand express milk after feedings if soreness/firmness persists
- Take an anti-inflammatory if needed
- Wear a bra that is supportive but not tight
- Rest often
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Call your physician if you develop a fever of higher than 101 degrees, chills, or flu-like symptoms
Tips for Getting a Good, Deep Latch
- Hold your baby close, tummy to tummy
- Tilt your infant’s head back slightly
- Align your baby’s nose across from the nipple
- Tickle the upper lip (lips should flare outward)
- Wait for a wide, open mouth
- Bring infant onto breast quickly and deeply
- Place a large amount of breast into the mouth
- You should feel a strong tug or pulling that is not painful (During the early days of breastfeeding, it can take time, patience and practice for your baby to latch on well)
- Keep trying and ask for help if needed!
Learn more about breastfeeding by visiting the Lactation Center at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.
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For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. More than 9,000 babies are born each year at Magee. The hospital also treats men for a variety of conditions, including surgical treatment. The Magee-Womens Research Institute was the first center to focus research only on conditions involving women and their infants.