Pregnancy and postpartum life cause a woman's breasts to go through some pretty dramatic changes. Yes, you may like the way your new girls fill out your tops and you will probably have to buy a new bra or two. Bu,t unfortunately, it's not all good. In fact, you can expect to feel a lot of pain and discomfort in the first weeks and months after giving birth. With all of these changes, how do you know what's normal when it comes to your breasts? Particularly, how are your nipples supposed to feel postpartum?"
According to Today's Parent, many women find that their breasts have a huge growth spurt after giving birth as their milk comes in after birth. And, as Parents mentioned, those pesky pregnancy hormones cause nipples and the areola to darken in color.
Your breasts will not only look different — they'll feel different too. It's not uncommon for breasts to be tender, sore, or even cracked and bleeding as you and your baby find your nursing rhythm. As Today's Parent noted, some women's breasts will become engorged — painful or hard — if they are too full. Engorgement puts pressure on the nipples and can cause them to become flat, making it difficult for baby to latch.
There are, however, some things you can do to ease the pain a bit. As What To Expect suggested, making sure your baby is latched on to the nipple and the areola when you nurse can help keep your nipples from taking too much abuse as your baby tries to get her fill. The article also recommended changing positions at each nursing session to make sure baby gets access to different parts of the nipple every time. A lanolin ointment such as Lansinoh can help soothe your sore nipples and is totally safe for nursing babies, according to Parents. And be sure to rinse cracked or bleeding nipples after nursing to prevent infections, as Baby Center suggested.
It's also important to keep nursing to prevent engorgement and support continued milk production. You may be in pain now, but as you continue to breastfeed your nipples will toughen up and be able to withstand your nursing sessions.