Common Concerns and Problems 115
These ideas may make it easier for your baby to suckle:
• Start breastfeeding right after birth, before your breasts
become full. Make sure your baby takes a good mouthful
of breast (see page 108).
• If your breasts become too full, remove
some milk by hand to make them softer.
This will make it easier for the baby to get
more breast in its mouth.
• Lightly touch or roll your nipple before
you feed. Do not squeeze it.
• Try cupping your hand around the breast
and pushing back to make your nipple
stick out as much as possible.
Offer the whole breast. This helps the
baby get a good mouthful of the breast.
Sore or cracked nipples
If you feel pain from breastfeeding, the baby
probably does not have enough of your breast in
its mouth. If the baby suckles only on the nipples,
they will soon become painful or cracked. A cracked
nipple makes it easier for a woman to get an infection.
You can teach your baby to take more breast in his
mouth. Here are some suggestions.
Prevention and treatment:
• Be sure to hold the baby so it can get a good mouthful
of the breast (see page 108).
• Do not pull your breast out of the baby’s mouth. Let the
baby feed as long as it wants. When it is done, it will let
go of the breast itself. If you need to stop before the
baby is ready, pull down on its chin or gently put the tip
of a clean finger into its mouth.
• Soothe sore nipples with breast milk at the end of a
feed. When the baby has stopped feeding, squeeze out a
few drops of milk and rub them on the sore places. Do
not use soap or cream on your breasts. The body makes
a natural oil that keeps the nipples clean and soft.
• Avoid rough or tight clothing.
• To help sore nipples heal, leave your breasts open to the
air and sun, if possible.
• Continue to feed from both breasts. If a nipple is very
sore or cracked, start on the less painful breast and then
switch to the other breast when the milk is flowing.
• If the pain is too great when the baby suckles, remove
the milk by hand and feed the baby with a cup or spoon
(see page 119). A crack should heal in 2 days.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012