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Causes of Sore Nipples while Breastfeeding

The causes of sore nipples while breastfeeding stem from one of two things and are best addressed immediately to prevent your good intentions for your baby from going south due to pain. It is easy to give up if you are finding breastfeeding difficult and even easier if the causes of sore nipples are not prevented. The good news is the two main causes of sore nipples while breastfeeding are easy to avoid.

The causes of sore nipples are either the baby is not positioned and latched on properly or the baby is not sucking properly. Because babies have the natural ability to suck properly, it is a behavior that is quickly learned. It is learned quickest when their sucking results in milk and their natural instincts are purposeful. So, by correcting the first problem of positioning for proper latching, in most cases, you will easily eliminate the second problem.

The ideal positioning for a nursing baby is with the head tilted slightly back in a position that the nipple naturally points to the roof of the mouth. Because improper latching makes sucking difficult and interferes with baby’s natural instincts, he begins to suck harder with no result causing the nipples to become sore.

The easiest way to prevent problems is to work with a lactation counselor or dula from the first day. It much easier after giving birth to have assistance with positioning and latching on from an additional and expert pair of hands. Breastfeeding is one of the most natural life processes so do not be embarrassed if you are having difficulty and need help. It is better in the long run to have help in the hospital and to perfect the process for you and your baby in order to increase your chances for success. Also remember that the inability to breastfeed does not signify failure and the most important thing is that your baby is properly nourished.

If you are certain that your baby is positioned well and latching on properly but are still experiencing sore nipples, talk to your doctor or the lactation counselor where you gave birth. Expert help is the best solution for difficulty breastfeeding.

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