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. UPMC Magee is long renowned for its services to women and babies, but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and the hospital’s NICU is one of the largest in the country. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.