4 Breastfeeding Concerns – Solved

Help is at hand from the Sister Lilian Centre!

“My nipples are flat!”

Nipples are simply the ‘spray nozzle’ through which breast milk is ejected – Baby is meant to latch onto the dark areola around the nipple, so you can breastfeed well! Here’s how:

  1. If your breasts are engorged and are pulling your nipples and areolae flat, making it difficult to latch Baby, first express a little milk by hand or with a breast pump.
  2. Gently use a nipple puller before each feed or roll your nipples between your index finger and thumb, and soon Baby will latch happily.

Painful engorgement

If your breasts aren’t properly emptied by frequent suckling, the tissue pressure might seal your milk ducts, or the milk may thicken and block them. Painful lumps are often the first warning sign. Try these tips:

  • Feed Baby from the fuller, heavier breast first, don’t schedule-feed, and don’t limit feed length
  • If you suspect engorgement, feed Baby immediately, massage the lumpy areas, or express milk by hand or with a gentle action breast pump
  • Apply breast cooling gel pads to soothe pain, engorgement and inflammation

If you experience a fever, continue with these tips but see your midwife or doctor, too.

Painful, cracked nipples

Make sure Baby latches well, leave breasts open for 10 minutes after each feed, expose them to occasional sunlight and make sure that thrush infections are treated promptly. You could also:

  • Apply a healing nipple cream after each feed to soothe and protect sensitive breast tissue – no need to remove it before feeds if it’s 100% natural, safe, pure and hypo-allergenic
  • If direct feeding is too painful due to cracked, tender, flat or depressed nipples, use nipple shields with a wide contact surface to guarantee comfortable suckling

Leak a lot!

It’s normal to leak breast milk in the early weeks, but this will settle as breastfeeding becomes established. Use ultra-absorbent breast pads to keep you dry.