I breastfeed, my chest hurts - what to do? Chest pain when feeding: causes
Often, nursing mothers complain: "When I breastfeed, my chest hurts." There are many causes of these painful sensations. Some problems can be solved by the mother herself, and the rest should be referred to a doctor.
What can cause pain while breastfeeding?
When the breast hurts a lactating woman directly from the start of feeding - this happens due to filling the breast with milk. So the hormone oxytocin acts. It stimulates the muscle cells in the breast to enhance the production of milk.Oxytocin is released during feeding the first few days after birth. Later, when you just think about feeding the baby, the hormone is released. You may even find that milk flows calmly without feeding.
Different women feel this physiological reflex differently. You can feel:
- slight pricking or prickling sensations with pins or needles;
- strong pressure in the area of the mammary glands with slight pain, and sometimes with discomfort.
Over time, the woman becomes accustomed to breastfeeding, and the discomfort and painful sensations become less noticeable.
Retracted, flat or very large nipples can cause pain when feeding. Some women have congenital nipples that make feeding difficult. Nipples with some diseases or milk stagnation and swelling of the breast become flat. But you should know that during pregnancy you should prepare your nipples so that the child can capture them, even when they are pulled in. Often, flat and retracted nipples become convex when properly attached to the breast and under the influence of sucking the baby.
Many mothers note that the nipples are tender and when the baby is attached, the breast hurts when feeding. All this, with undeveloped nipples, can lead to cracks that will not give the opportunity to properly feed the baby, and can also cause mastitis. Breastfeeding should be comfortable.At the same time, it is necessary to adjust the correct nipple grip of the child, select a comfortable position and develop the nipples before the baby is born. And complaints like “breastfeed, nipples hurt” should not be with a young mother.
A good grip on the baby’s nipple and the periphery is essential. If your child sucks only the nipple, it is very important to gently pick it up from the baby by placing a clean finger in the corner of the mouth and try again to insert the nipple with a halo into the mouth of the newborn. Round and tight nipple - so it should be before and after feeding.
If the chest hurts, I feed what to do? Can I skip feeding because of pain? All these questions must be asked to the obstetrician in the delivery room. Delaying feeding can lead to even more pain and harm you and your baby.
Try changing positions every time you are breastfeeding. It is possible to choose the most comfortable position. This will help regulate pressure on certain areas of the breast and make feeding more comfortable.
Milk production in large quantities.
Some mothers who produce a lot of milk complain that their breasts are nursing.At the same time, these moms feel painful attacks deep in the chest when the child is attached.This disease state usually disappears during the first three months of breastfeeding. If the baby captures the breast correctly every time and sucks well, milk production should be leveled to the limits to meet the needs of the baby.
When breastfeeding is sometimes a tightness in the chest in the form of education. This is not always accompanied by fever or other symptoms. This happens when part of the mammary gland cannot be freed from milk due to inflammation or blockage of the milk duct. This can later lead to mastitis.
Feed every two hours with this breast. This helps loosen the cork, and the milk starts free movement.
You can use a light massage of the chest, starting from the sore spot. First in a circular motion, and then longitudinal towards the nipple. Use a warm compress on sore areas.
A thrush or fungal infection can develop in your baby’s mouth and go to the nipples.This occurs when the imbalance in the mother's body is due to various infectious diseases, HIV, diabetes, anemia, while taking antibiotics and steroids. The wet, warm, unprotected environment of the mouth of the child when he sucks the breast is an ideal place for the development and reproduction of candidal infections.
Other signs of a fungal infection are pink, shiny or hot pink with nipple blisters, itching and cracks. Shooting pain deep in the chest during or after feeding is possible.
Sometimes candida infection can also damage the milk ducts - the channels through which milk flows to the nipples, and therefore chest pains with HB (breastfeeding).
In contrast to the constant, pain during thrush occurs when feeding a child, and after. Although some doctors doubt that it is possible to damage the milk ducts. Basically, only the nipples are affected.
If your chest hurts with HBV, and the child begins to refuse the chest, you need to consult a doctor to get advice.
Candidiasis treatment can take several weeks, so you need to follow these tips to avoid the spread of infection:
1. Often change disposable pads.
2. Bra every day should be clean and ironed.
3. Wash hands with yourself and the child as often as possible.
4. Boil over daily boiling water over all parts of the breast pump that concern milk.
5. Ensure that family members do not suffer from thrush or other fungal infections. If they have symptoms, make sure they get treatment.
In the first few days after the baby is born, the breast is poured with milk, and there is a significant rush of blood to the breast, which makes the tissues swollen.This can lead to the fact that the chest is significantly increased in size and becomes hot and painful. Milk-producing cells, in this case, become more voluminous, and the skin of the mammary glands - red and shiny.
This is completely normal and is an adaptation of the body to the fact that the child does not need nutrition and fully satisfy their needs for feeding. After the newborn begins to eat regularly by the hour, the mammary glands will regulate and produce the required amount of milk. The discomfort in this case disappears.If this does not happen, contact your midwife or doctor.
If there are complaints like “I am breastfeeding, my chest hurts during lactation and in the intervals between breastfeeding,” this may be the cause of lactostasis - overflow of the mammary glands. Most often, this condition is observed in the first days after the start of feeding.
This is normal for the mammary glands, however, they become larger, heavier and begin to produce more milk. Sometimes this overflow can turn into stagnation, then the chest becomes large and painful. You may also feel breast swelling, redness, warmth, pulsation and flattening of the nipple. This condition is sometimes accompanied by low-grade fever and can be confused with an infection of the breast. In order to get rid of this condition, good breast pumping after feeding is required.
If the chest and temperature are nursing, and the mammary glands become inflamed and painful, it may mean that lactational mastitis has developed. In order to maintain breastfeeding of a child, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor and immediately begin treatment.
When mastitis occurs, the following symptoms occur:
- only one mammary gland is affected;
- chest tense;
- hot to the touch;
- there is pus or blood in the milk;
- red stripes or spots on the chest are detected;
- symptoms develop within a few hours.
This can happen if there is contact with a family member who has a cold or has an infectious disease.
“The chest hurts, I feed the baby with the help of a bottle and nipples” - this is the wrong approach to breastfeeding. Mastitis is easily distinguished from lactostasis: the latter disappears after 24 hours during a massage. With mastitis, the doctor prescribes antibiotics and resolving agents. But even if you are taking medication, you must continue to breastfeed during treatment. This is the best option for you and your child.
To solve the problem of "breastfeeding, chest pain" requires complete relaxation when applying. This can help to cope with discomfort. In some cases, with severe pain, you can take "Paracetamol" or "Nurofen" to relieve pain.
If the breast is poured, and the baby is unable to completely capture the nipple,it is necessary to try to start feeding with the breast that is more comfortable for the baby, or use a breast pump until the baby is comfortable enough.
Try using warm, wet compresses on the mammary glands before feeding to help the milk calmly, without delays, flow into the mouth. After feeding or decanting, cold wet compresses, cooling gels or cabbage leaves can be applied to the chest. Cabbage leaves can reduce swelling, although there is no convincing evidence for this method.
A too full mammary gland can also make feeding impossible. If your baby refuses breastfeeding, chokes on too much milk, try this technique:
1. Attach the baby to the chest as usual.
2. When you feel that the milk is coming heavily, carefully pull the nipple out of the baby’s mouth and strain some amount into a jar.
3. Attach the baby to the breast again when the flow slows down a bit.
4. The more often you apply the baby to the breast, the faster the necessary amount of milk will be normalized and produced, so that you and the baby will be able to feel more comfortable.
If a nursing breast hurts between applications and does not go away within a few days, you should consult a doctor to rule out causes that need treatment, for example, thrush or mastitis.
What else can cause chest pain?
After the birth of the child constantly hurts chest. The causes of this symptom may not have anything to do with the act of breastfeeding. It may be:
1. Inconvenient bra. For normal filling of the mammary glands, it is necessary that the side seams should be on the side, not on the chest, and the cups should not squeeze or press the mammary glands.
2. Premenstrual pain. If menstruation begins during the feeding period, the chest may be painful. Mostly unpleasant sensations appear in the upper outer part of the chest and in the axillary areas. This pain begins with the onset of menstruation and can last for a week or two. Relief comes after ovulation occurs in the middle of a cycle.
3. The breast hurts in lactating and with fibrocystic mastopathy. It is harmless, and in this disease you can not deny the baby in feeding. For any discomfort, it is better to visit a doctor to rule out possible causes of pain.
Breastfeeding can be difficult at times, especially in the early days.Often, you can hear complaints from women who have given birth to a first child: I am breastfeeding, my chest hurts. But it is important to remember: you should not solve the problem yourself.
In the maternity hospital, they will teach you how to breastfeed, help you make breastfeeding a joy. Nevertheless, many women may have certain problems.
After breastfeeding, you need to decant a few drops of milk and gently rub it into the nipples with clean hands. Human milk has healing properties, soothes and softens the nipple and areola. In addition, you can make an air bath and wear a bra with soft cotton pads.
Avoid wearing bras or clothes that are too tight to the mammary glands and exert pressure on the nipples.
Avoid the use of soaps or ointments containing astringents and other chemicals that affect nipples. Do not eat foods that make milk a bitter for a baby. Washing with warm, boiled water is all that is needed to keep your nipples and breasts clean.
When your baby is between 6 weeks and 2 months old, you may feel that the breast is not fully emptied after feeding. This is normal. The newborn may suck only five minutes at first.This means that you and the baby simply adapt to the process of breastfeeding.
Make sure your baby takes the breast well and sucks it actively. Feed often and on demand, and let your baby decide when to stop feeding. This will help eliminate complaints such as chest pain. The causes of this symptom may vary.
Offer both breasts at each feeding. The baby will not leave the breast until it is full. A second breast should be offered if the baby sucks or stops inactive.
A lot of milk
Some mothers drink plenty of fluids, making sure that there is enough milk. But with an overfilled breast, feeding can turn into a tense and uncomfortable process for both the mother and the baby.
With each feeding, you must use one breast. Only with anxiety or refusal to offer the second child.
If you feel that the other breast is unbearably full, before you are ready to feed, it is necessary to express some milk for a few minutes to reduce the pressure. You can also use a cold compress or towel to reduce discomfort and swelling.
Try positions that are more comfortable to feed.This improves the release of milk. You can use feeding in a supine position on the side or sitting with a high chair under the leg.
Feed your breast frequently, which is full to release it and prevent lactostasis from developing.
Avoid using the bottle with the teat if possible.
A nursing mother should have enough rest, eat right and drink enough fluids, but do not overdo it!