Many mothers experience nipple soreness when breastfeeding during pregnancy. Others report feelings of restlessness and irritation while nursing. This varies widely from mother to mother and is due mainly to hormonal changes. Soreness may also be associated with decreased milk supply later into the pregnancy, latch issues, thrush, etc.
Although the usual methods that we use to combat sore nipples may not be that useful during pregnancy (since the cause of the soreness is mainly hormonal), there are several things you can try:
- Try adjusting latch and positioning. Latch/positioning that feels fine when you’re not pregnant can be painful when your nipples are more sensitive due to pregnancy. Encourage your child to open wide, nurse gently, and avoid nursing acrobatics.
- Some moms have found that increasing fluids is useful.
- Yeast infections are more common during pregnancy, so thrush is a potential cause of sore nipples.
- In addition to distracting baby at times to delay nursing, consider distracting yourself during nursing. Try reading a book or watching TV to take your mind off the sensation of nursing.