Nipple soreness can be linked to serious problems like plugged ducts or mastitis. However, it can also occur for no obvious reason. The annoying thing is that sometimes nipple soreness can come about even after months of pain-free nursing. Women have a lower tendency of experiencing soreness in the earlier phases of lactation, but due to the constant pressure exerted by the baby on the breast while feeding, the possibility of nipple soreness can increase as time goes on. Here are some factors that contribute to nipple soreness when breastfeeding and how you can find relief.
Possible factors for nipple soreness
- Abrasion – A minor wound in which the surface of the skin is worn away by rubbing or scraping. This may be caused by the infant’s hand clamping tightly on the nipple area. During the teething period, an infant may tend to rub his tender gums, vigorously, along the nipple region, thereby causing the abrasions.
- Thrush – An infection that usually appears on the tongue and sides of the cheeks of your baby as white and gray patches. An infant with thrush may give the mother the same infection, causing initial soreness on the nipples.
- Plugged ducts – Presence of a hardened substance in the nipples may cause soreness and consequently, tenderness. If unmanaged, it may lead to further infection of the breast.
- Engorgement – A distension of the breast with swelling caused by vascular and lymphatic congestion arising from an increase in the blood and lymph supply to the breast.