About engorgement, cracked nipples, sore nipples...

Feb 23, 2011
Hi frnds...
Got sum nice information for new mothers regarding breast feed, cracked nipples, sore nipples...etc. So sharing wid you all....

After the birth, tremendous hormonal activity in your body instigates milk production. Often the milk "comes in" overnight so that your breasts suddenly become large and tightly swollen both with milk and an increased supply of blood. Sometimes the chemical messages the breasts receive are over-emphatic and the breasts become engorged; rigidly hard, hot and painful with even the areolae around the nipples distended.
Breast engorgement is caused by an imbalance between milk supply and infant demand. This condition is a common reason that mothers stop breast-feeding sooner than they had planned.[3]
Breast engorgement can occur due to four main factors such as a suddenly increased milk production that is common during the first days after the baby is delivered or when the baby suddenly stops breastfeeding either because it is starting to eat solid foods or it is ill and has a poor appetite. Breast engorgement may also be caused when the mother does not nurse or pump the breast as much as usual.
After the first 3 to 4 postpartum days, the quantity of colostrum is quickly replaced by an increased milk production. When milk production increases rapidly, the volume of milk in the breast can exceed the capacity of the alveoli to store it and if the milk is not removed, the alveoli become over-distended which can lead to the rupture of the milk-secreting cells [4]
Accumulation of milk and the resulting engorgement are a major trigger of apotheosis, or programmed cell death, that causes involution of the milk-secreting gland, milk resorption, collapse of the alveolar structures, and the cessation of milk production.
Severe breast engorgement can lead to the flattening of the nipples or, it can result in inverted nipples which make it impossible for the baby to suck out all the milk from the breast. This is one of the common causes of the stagnation of milk in the breast.
Not all women experience breast engorgement after they give birth and some degree of engorgement of the breast is however normal within the few postpartum days. Women with mild to moderate hypo-plastic breasts with a wide space (>1 inch) and a tubular shape are at particular risk for producing less than 50 percent of the milk necessary for the first week. More concerning are the moderate to severe degrees of breast engorgement. In these cases, the condition can continue for up to ten days or more even though the patients will experience serious symptoms only during the first six days.
Overfilled breasts can lead to severe engorgement due to waiting too long to begin breastfeeding the baby, not feeding often enough or due to small feedings that do not empty the breast, very common in cases when the baby is fed formula or water. Severe engorgement of the breast can lead to breast infection.
Sore Nipples:
Soreness from unaccustomed use is much rarer than people used to think. Unless you are red-headed or very blonds, with pale skin and very pink nipples, you should be able to avoid soreness without limiting your baby's luxurious sucking time.
*Avoid washing nipples with soap: in late pregnancy or while breast-feeding. They have built-in lubrication from tiny glands around the areolae ("Montgomery's tubercles") which you don't want to remove. It is more effective than any cream you might use to replace it, and more hygienic, too.
*Don't massage and scrub nipples to harden them. They are made for the job of breast-feeding and you don't want them tough, you want them flexible and elastic.
*Try to let them air-dry after feedings, speeding up the process with warm air from a hair dryer if you are rushed.
*Keep plastic-backed breast pads for special occasions. Once they are damp they will keep your nipples damp and soggy. Ordinary pads are better; frequently changed bras are better still. You can often stop leakage by pressing the center of the nipple firmly in with the end of your finger.
*Never pull a sucking baby off the nipple. Wait until he pauses for breath or break the suction by inserting a gentle finger in the corner of his mouth.
*Make sure your baby never sucks on the nipple; his jaws must squeeze the areolae with the nipple itself drawn right to the back of his mouth.
*At the first sign of soreness, adjust your position so that a different part of the nipple takes the main stress.
Cracked nipples:
If a sudden, thin, sharp pain darts through your nipple as the baby latches on, and continues as long as he sucks, there may be a tiny crack in the nipple. A cracked nipple must be rested and reported to your doctor who will probably give you some cream to put on it to aid healing and prevent infection. Healing will only from the other breast. You can gently express the milk from the affected side.
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Friends's of Penmai
Oct 15, 2010
very nice article.. thanks for sharing..

Nice tips for the new moms regarding feeding and how to take care of the breast etc...

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