When you’re nursing your baby, you may feel like you can’t go a second without dripping milk everywhere. After all, your little one constantly needs to be fed. But even though feeding your child is an excellent way to take care of them and keep them healthy, it comes with its fair share of challenges as well. One of these challenges is the ever-present risk of nipple injury.
Luckily, there are several steps that you can take to reduce the risk of getting hurt while breastfeeding your baby and protect yourself from further pain or damage as best as possible. Keep reading to know more about what nipple injuries are, how they occur, and how to prevent them from happening.
What is nipple injury?
Nipple injury is any kind of damage to the nipple and surrounding area. There are many types of nipple injuries that may occur when breastfeeding. While some may cause little to no pain at all, others can cause substantial pain, swelling, or infection. Regardless of the type of nipple injury you experience, you can take steps to protect yourself from it happening again in the future. The most common type of nipple injury is caused by the baby biting or sucking on the nipple too hard. Biting too hard can cause bruising or scabbing on the nipple, causing it to be less sensitive or even pain the mother while she is feeding. Sucking too hard on the nipple can also cause damage, which is especially dangerous if the nipple is already damaged from previous injuries.
How can nipple injury happen while breastfeeding?
While nipple injury can happen at any time while breastfeeding, it is most likely to occur if the baby has difficulty latching on or latches on improperly. A poor latch can cause the baby’s mouth to be too open or too closed, causing uneven pressure that can result in injury. The nipple also has sensitive nerves that are easily damaged by the roughness of any kind, like that caused by a poor latch. Additionally, a baby who is too young to feed from a bottle may suck on a nipple too hard, causing damage.
Wrapped Nipple Injury
Wrapped nipple injury happens when the baby sucks on the nipple too hard, causing damage to it. The damage may be mild or severe, depending on the severity of the wrapping. If the baby was wrapping his fingers around the nipple while sucking, he may damage the nipple. The damage can range from slight reddening of the nipple to severe injury, which may require removal of the nipple by a health care provider or a lactation consultant.
Unwrapped Nuckle Injury
Unlike the other nipple injuries discussed here, the cause of this type of nipple injury is not related to the baby at all. Unwrapped nuckle injury happens when a baby wraps their hand around the breast too tightly while feeding, causing damage to the nipple.
Bitten Nipple Injury
Bitten nipple injury is a type of nipple trauma that can happen while breastfeeding. Bite nipple injury happens when the baby bites down on the nipple too hard, causing damage.
Sucking-In-The-Air (S.I.A.) injury
Sucking-in-the-air injury happens when the baby sucks in the air while feeding, causing damage to the nipple.
Tugging and Straining (T.S.R.) injury
Tugging and straining injury is a type of nipple trauma that can happen while breastfeeding. Tugging and straining injury happens when the baby rubs or tugs on the nipple while feeding, causing damage to the nipple.
What you should do in case of a nipple injury
If you experience nipple pain, swelling, or bleeding while breastfeeding your baby, you should seek medical help right away. If you experience a nipple injury while breastfeeding, you should clean the area with soap and water and seek medical attention later.
What to do if your nipple is damaged
If your nipple has been damaged, you should clean the area with soap and water and keep it dry. You should also avoid squeezing the nipple. You should also avoid re-wrapping your nipple as it can cause more damage.
Nipple injury during breastfeeding can cause pain, swelling, and infection. The good news is that this type of nipple trauma is quite rare, and there are things that you can do to prevent it from happening. Though it can happen to any breastfeeding mother, it is most likely to happen to a new mother who isn’t used to nursing her baby. To reduce the risk of nipple injury, please be guided by the above steps.