What to do if my breast is hurting while breastfeeding?
If you have breast pain while breastfeeding, you continue to breastfeed your baby.
In addition to emptying your breasts of milk and preventing stagnation.
- This will help you determine:
- Breasts hurt while breastfeeding
- Breast pain after feeding
- Nipple pain during
- A painful lump in the breast;
- Nature of pain:
- Stabbing pain in the breast when feeding
- Busting in mammary gestation
- Burning in the nipple during;
- How severe the pain is, and when it subsides.
After feeding, wrap fresh clean sheets of white cabbage around the breast, and replace them as the leaf dries out. Whatever the cause of the pain, it won’t hurt, and in many cases, when breast pain occurs while breastfeeding, it will bring relief.
Contact and show your breasts to a specialist: a mammologist, a midwife or obstetrician-gynecologist at the maternity hospital where you gave birth, any doctor on duty at the nearest maternity hospital. Maternity hospitals are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The main causes of breast pain are:
- Cracked nipple due to improper latching to the breast,
- Breast engorgement due to fast filling with milk
- A reaction to the secretion of oxytocin
- Clogging of the milk ducts and lactastasis
- Breast abscess.
Cracked nipples are the result of improper breastfeeding in the first days when the milk has not yet arrived. That is, the breast is soft, but it hurts. What is the cause? The baby is actively sucking the nipple, trying to get milk from the nipple and irritating the tender skin with his strong gums. As a rule, at first the mother notes that the nipple sensitivity increased in gv. If the baby does not learn how to properly grasp the breast, there will be cracks and pain in the nipples when feeding. Painful nipples when feeding already after the first sucking movements. The pain is severe, piercing, and subsides after feeding. The nipple skin is inflamed or cracked.
What to do?
- Continue to feed, preferably using a breast pad.
- If pain is severe, hand-express and feed with express milk
- Show your doctor and ask for advice on what to do.
- Treat the nipple area with sea buckthorn oil and wound healing substances approved for breastfeeding.
- Keep nipples exposed if possible and avoid giving both breasts for one feeding to speed up healing.
Reaction to the release of the hormone oxytocin
Oxytocin causes the muscle fibers of the milk ducts to contract violently to release a portion of milk. Women note this as a tingling sensation in the breasts when gv. Typically, this pain when feeding appears in the beginning and goes away on its own.
Lactostasis develops more often in the first days of lactation, when milk begins to flow. At first, there is a lump in the mammary gland, which hurts when you put pressure on it. The pain is stronger before breastfeeding, and the pain in the breast continues during feeding, somewhat weakening after it. Sometimes you notice a burning sensation in the breast, burning or burning breasts during breastfeeding. Mothers also say that the breast is heavy, distended, red and painful, especially where there are lumps. Lactostasis can be complicated by mastitis, and you need to act immediately.
What to do:
- Sometimes moms say: «I got cold breasts, I don’t feed» or «my breasts are red and painful, I don’t feed. This is not the right approach. Continue to breastfeed, give to the breast more often than usual, with the obligatory emptying. As soon as the lumps disappear, the pain will go away. For more details see the article Lactastasis.
- Apply a warm warm compress to relieve spasm of the mammary ducts.
- Consult your doctor about taking magnesium and calcium preparations that prevent excessive smooth muscle spasms.
Rapid arrival of milk in the breast.
When your baby is actively suckling on the breast, a lot of prolactin and oxytocin are released. These are hormones that stimulate the production and release of milk. As a result, the mother notices how hard the breasts become when breastfeeding because they fill up quickly with milk. This is a normal process of becoming lactation, occurring in the first days after birth and when the milk was not enough, and efforts were made to arrive. The main thing is not to have hard breasts after the lactation is over
What to do:
- Provide a proper grip on the breast and feed until it empties
- Wrap a cabbage leaf after breastfeeding
With severe thrush in the baby, the fungus penetrates the nipple skin and milk ducts of the mother’s mammary gland. Colonies of the fungus are not always visible. There is increased nipple sensitivity, burning nipples or stabbing nipple pain during gv, and skin itching with every feeding.
What to do:
- See your pediatrician to carefully examine your baby’s oral cavity
- Treat the nipple and areola area with a soda solution
- Use an antifungal agent, topically or internally, as recommended by your doctor.
Mastitis occurs if lactastasis is not taken care of in time. If the breast of a nursing mother becomes inflamed, as a result of inflammation and milk stagnation, germs get into the milk lobe through nipple fissures. So the usual serous inflammation quickly becomes purulent. There is a strong throbbing, sometimes shooting pain in the breast, or more precisely in the mammary gland in gv. Breast, hot, red, swollen and painful at gv and before and after feeding. And not only do my breasts hurt during gv, and the temperature is also rising, up to 38-39 degrees.
What to do:
- At the first symptoms, try to squeeze the breast or put the baby
- Call an ambulance, because an obstetrician-gynecologist and a surgeon have to be seen immediately, because of the high risk of an abscess and the need for surgery
- Take an antipyretic if you have a fever
Compression of the breast by an incorrectly fitting bra, by being in an uncomfortable body position for a long time (for example, if you put pressure on your breasts while sleeping on your stomach during gestation). It is not accompanied by consolidation of breast areas, passes when you release from the bra.
What to do?
Try to choose a nursing bra, avoid sleeping on your stomach and uncomfortable positions.
If your breasts hurt six months after breastfeeding or even later, if you identify a lump in the breast during gv or another formation, be sure to see a mammologist and have your breasts examined.
In any case, with any pain, regardless of whether one breast hurts during or both, just started to hurt breast during or a lot of breast pain during feeding, whether there is a painful lump in the breast during or painful breasts during without lumps and temperature, quickly go to the doctor. Only a doctor will be able to determine the correct cause of pain and make the necessary recommendations or prescribe treatment and prevent the development of undesirable effects.
Elena Demchenko graduated from Donetsk Medical Institute named after M. Gorky with a degree in pediatrics.
Work experience in medicine: district pediatrician, neonatologist of the department of nursing extremely premature babies, joint stay of mother and child, resuscitation and intensive care of newborns.