Ouch!! Even though you have gotten through the early stages of breastfeeding and everything seemed to be going well suddenly you are experiencing pain again. What is happening!?! Here are some of the most common reasons you are experiencing pain.
A yeast infection. Yeast is a common cause of pain. Yeast loves to grow in warm moist environments and what could be better than a leaky breast? Typically you will have sore nipples despite a good latch, pain radiating into the breast and deep red nipples. Some moms describe the pain as a fire in their breast. Sometimes too we see thrush (bright white plaques) in your infant’s mouth.
• Some things that help are making sure that your baby is latching well and not damaging your nipples, washing your bras in very hot water and keeping your breast as dry as possible (changing breast pads often helps).
• Your OB or Nurse Practitioner can prescribe some treatments as well. This can include Gentian Violet, an OTC treatment; please call us for details of how to use this treatment. You may continue to breastfeed during treatment.
Mastitis. This pain will be more intense than a yeast infection. Most moms feel “flu-like” symptoms such as fever, body ache and fatigue. You may have one or both breasts affected and you may or may not feel a lump in your breast.
• If you have these symptoms please call your OB for treatment. You may continue to breastfeeding during treatment.
Biting. As infants are teething it is not uncommon for them to bite mom. They are just looking for something to chew on and unfortunately our nipples are often in their mouth. Your natural reaction of startle and withdraw is often enough of a scare that your baby will not bite again. However if your baby does, remove them from the breast each time to tell him that he cannot bite and feed at the same time. Consistency with this action will stop the biting.
We are here for you if you need any help or have any questions, no matter how old your infant is.