Can breastfeeding be a dangerous activity? Absolutely. Are nipple injuries common during breastfeeding? Absolutely. Are they necessarily painful? No, but they can be very annoying and frustrating. If you’re breastfeeding and get a nipple injury bite, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage and limit the chance of further injury.
Different Types Of Nipple Injuries
There are a few different types of nipple injuries that can occur. The most common type is called an abrasion or laceration. This occurs when the skin on the nipple gets rubbed or torn. It’s usually caused by something like clothing rubbing against the nipple, a breast pump, or breastfeeding.
Other types of nipple injuries include compression injuries and entrapment injuries. Compression injury happens when there’s too much pressure on the blood vessels near the nipples and they close off completely, cutting off blood flow to the area. This can lead to tissue damage and infection.
Entrapment injury happens when something blocks one of the small veins that go from your breasts to your heart (the vena cava). When this happens, you can’t get enough oxygenated blood to your nipples which can cause them to die (this is more likely with larger breasts).
Risk Factors For Nipple Injury
Nipple injuries can occur during breastfeeding, and they are a common cause of pain and discomfort for mothers. Here are some risk factors that may increase your chances of experiencing this type of injury:
- Having large breasts or being pregnant
- Using improper bras or nipples
- Breastfeeding in public places where there is a lot of movement, such as hospitals or airplanes
- Hitting your nipple with something hard, like a bottle top
Ways To Limit Nipple Injury While Breastfeeding
While breastfeeding, it is important to be aware of the different ways to limit nipple injury bites. By using specific techniques, you can reduce the risk of your nipples becoming bruised or chapped.
One such technique is called “slinging.” Slinging involves positioning the baby so that their weight is evenly distributed between both your breasts, which reduces the amount of pressure and friction on your nipples. You can use a nursing pillow or an electric pump to help support the baby’s head and lower back while they breastfeed.
You can also try to keep your nipples cool and dry, use a nursing pillow or support, avoid over-expressing or tugging on your nipples, and breastfeed in a comfortable position.
If you do experience nipple pain or discomfort, you can try using warm water, ice packs, medication (such as ibuprofen), or massage. Additionally, there are a variety of products available that help protect your nipples from heat and cold.
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and complementary ways to feed your child. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to avoid getting nipple injuries while breastfeeding. However, there are some precautions you can take to reduce the risk of nipple injury.