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148. Your Most Googled Lactation Topics On Positioning And Sore Nipples

Be honest. Have you googled one of these before?: What are the best positions for breastfeeding with sore nipples? Can I use a breast pump if my nipples are sore? Can sore nipple decrease milk supply? How long will nipples be sore from breastfeeding? Is nipple pain normal when breastfeeding? Listen in for my answers!


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Read the full transcript here:

Welcome to the breezy babies podcast. This is episode 148. Your most Googled lactation topics on positioning and sore nipples. Could you use more confidence as a parent? Welcome to the happy place for boobs and babies. You're in good hands. Breezy babies is where we ease your transition into parenthood because it's a bumpy road. Am I right? I'm your host Bri the IBCLC. And if you'd like to make life as a parent more breezy, you're in the right place. I'm here to deliver small bite sized tips and tricks so you can crush your parenting and lactation goals. I'm honored to be on this journey with you.
Let's go. Hey there, friend. It's so good to be back with you for another podcast
episode today is going to be a little bit of a different episode. A little unscripted, I am just going to be answering common lactation questions that I get all the time. And I also know that these are some of the most Googled lactation topics on both positioning and sore nipples. So chances are you have done a late night Google search with one of these questions before. And listen, I'm all about Google. Google can be great. I google questions myself all day long. But sometimes when you are having lactation troubles, breastfeeding problems, nursing problems, pumping problems, latching positioning problems, or nipple problems, and you do a Google search in the middle of the night. It's not always the most helpful thing. Even on the most innocent of topics, I have clients, for example, that they are so concerned about their milk supply, they're convinced that their baby is not getting enough to eat at the breast, I go to their house and I do a way feed way. So I wait their way their baby before a feed, they feed them. And then we weigh them after a feed. And sometime during that consultation, they say something like, well, I looked online, and I read that a baby is supposed to nurse for at least 10 to 15 minutes on each side. And they have to feed on both breasts for every feed. And let me just say that is not true for everyone, especially my clients that have oversupply, they could never feed their baby for 15 minutes on both breasts. In fact, some babies, even young babies, I've seen them get a full feed at the breast in five minutes or less. I've seen it time and time again, it's not really common. That's definitely more with oversupply fast flowing milk. But if you are a parent who reads that online, and then your baby is only feeding for five minutes, that would give you a lot of anxiety and convince you that your baby is not getting enough to eat. So I love meeting with those families and showing them hey, look at the scale, your baby actually just took in two ounces or whatever it is in those five minutes. And look, your baby is also following his growth curve. And your baby is also having great wet and poopy diapers and acting, you know, happy and content after feeds. So, you know, hopefully we can continue to dispel some of these commonly Googled questions, and I can offer you a little bit of some expert advice. Before I do that I want to read a review to you. This one's not a podcast review, but instead of Google review that was left by a client. Her name is Allison Palmer, and she said I can't recommend Bri enough. She is so knowledgeable and has taught me so much in just one appointment. She was so kind and made the appointment very easy going. I wish I knew about her for my first baby. If there's one thing I would recommend most for first time moms it is to see a lactation specialist and Bri is the best. Isn't that so nice? I'm telling you, Google reviews are just the easiest, freest way to tell a company that you like what they're doing, and you support them and you want to help other people find them and their business. So thank you, Allison, so much for leaving that Google review. Okay, again, I'm telling you this podcast is going to be a little unscripted. I'm just going to talk like I normally do to a lot of my clients as I'm answering these questions. Today, I'm going to answer these let's see five questions. I'm going to answer what are the best positions for breastfeeding with sore nipples? I'm going to answer can I use a breast pump if my nipples are sore? Can sore nipples decreased milk supply? How long will nipples be sore from breastfeeding? And last is nipple pain normal when breastfeeding? After I answer those five questions, I'm going to transition into my top three tips. Because you know, I do that on every podcast episode so that you have some quick, actionable steps that you can take and put into action right away. And I even have more questions than this that I think I'll cover on a part two episode. Because there's just a lot of questions that are commonly Googled. But today, we're going to focus on those five that I read off. Okay, let's dive in. So again, that first question was, what are the best positions for breastfeeding with sore nipples? The easy answer to this question is, the best breastfeeding position is the one that gets the deepest latch. And there is no one answer for that's, that's a blanket statement for everyone. Now, the positions that I see most commonly for sure is the cradle, the cradle is very well loved, even the cross cradle, I see a lot with my clients, and also the football hold. Now are those the best positions. I mean, they're they can work well. They're not always my first go to I also love options of upright positions where babies like sitting in front and straddling mom's legs while she is feeding. And I also really love sideline positions. Now, again, it's not like you can do every single feed in sideline that gets a little tricky during the daytime hours. But it works really great for nighttime hours, for example. So there's no one position that I'm like, Oh, I am married to this one. Everyone should do this one, this one works for everyone. Because in the end, it really matters. What my client is most comfortable doing. If during the consultation, I noticed that my client just really loves the cradle, then, you know, if we can make the cradle work, then we'll roll with it. If not, I will suggest, hey, what if we try the cross cradle. And the only difference, by the way is that you just switch your hands. So if your baby is feeding on the right side, and you're cradling them in your right arm, instead you use your left arm to support baby and gently hold around the base of their skull. And then you use your right arm to form your breast so that you can get a deeper latch. Now I have some clients who can get a deep Latch with a cradle hold even with a newborn. Again, it's not my go to position the cradle hold is not my favorite for young babies. I think it works well for older babies. But sometimes it can be really tricky to get a deep Latch with the cradle holds. But again, if we can get a deep latch, and number one, Mama's not feeling any pain. And number two, baby is transferring milk than I am happy. And that is a great breastfeeding position. Often during my consultation, I just offer other suggestions like hey, when you're feeling ready, this is how you do an upright position. And that might serve you well because you have fast flowing milk. And so your baby would be able to control the flow a little bit easier with this position. So this is how you do it. But when you're feeling ready, pull it out of your tool belt. You don't have to do it right now. Do it when you're feeling comfortable and confident. But there is I mean, honestly, the sky's the limit when it comes to breastfeeding positions. Yes, we have the cradle that cross cradle but football upright sideline. Yes, those are all positions, but really, you can do any literally any position that feels right for you and your baby. As long as you're not having pain and your baby is transferring milk well. Okay, that's really all that matters. Alright, let's move to the next question. Can I use a breast pump if my nipples are sore? Yes, you can use a breast pump that is totally an option. And a lot of times with my clients sometimes we do like especially my clients that are having a lot of pain, a lot of breakdown. Sometimes we kind of do a little bit of a reset where we take a break from latching just for up to like 48 hours and they pump during that time to protect their milk supply and give their nipples some time to heal up. Before we go back to latching baby against just so that we're starting in a better spot, then a spot of bleeding, breakdown blisters, the three B's as I like to call them. So yes, you can use a breast pump if your nipples are sore again, I would highly suggest working with an ibclc to see why are your nipples sore because that soreness especially if it's toe curling pain is not normal. There is a reason why why it's not feeling right. And most of the time, it's due to your baby not having a deep enough latch. So yes, you can use a breast pump as an option. But make sure you have the right flange size, that's going to be really important. Otherwise, you might just give yourself more sore nipples if you're using your breast pump when your nipples are sore. So how do you find the right flange size? Well, I do have a free nipple ruler on my website, breezy, you can go and download that download that for free at any time. It's not the fanciest nipple ruler, I take a nicer one to my consultations. You know, but it does the job. It is a paper nape nipple ruler,
so you do have to print it off and cut out the circles and and it it at least can get you in the right ballpark. Because listen, the flange sizes that are sent standard with breast pumps. They are trash, I'm telling you guys almost no buddy is the size 2425. And especially a 28. I have never measured a client that big. I'm sure someone exists out there who has that flame size truly. But why that is sent standard is beyond me, there's a lot of pumps who are starting to send like a 21 and a 24 as the standard sizes, which is better. It's a step in the right direction. But even 21 millimeters I find is on the really high end. Most of my clients that I size for are 13 of 15 of 17 and 19. Those are really common sizes, but definitely not a 25. So if you are you using your breast pump, I definitely suggest getting the right size. And if you measure yourself and you're like wow, I have a 25. But I'm actually a 15 year, there's so many options. Even on Amazon alone, there are so many options where you can get the hard flange that will fit and be compatible with your breast pump. Even if it's not the exact same brand. And it's the generic brand. It's okay, it'll work and fit. Some people prefer the hard flanges and others can just get the insert and pop it into their 25 millimeter and it will size then them down to the appropriate size. Now which one is right for you? I don't know, it's kind of like finding the right shoe size and the right fit. Everyone has different anatomy. So whether you like the hard flange or the insert better, if you're kind of in between sizes, and you're not sure like Oh, am I a 13 or a 15 I just suggest buying both and trying it out. Because you just you have to try it out. Just like with a pair of shoes, you try them on you, you take a walk around the block, or the shoe aisle. That's what you have to do with flanges as well. So there you go. You can pump make sure you have out franchise and one other thought on that make sure you're not bumping up your suction all the way to the top. This is not a game like oh, the higher your section, the more points you get. No, you can do damage. If your section is too high, you should have a nice steady pull, but it should not be painful when you're pumping. Okay, let's move on to the next question. Can sore nipples decrease milk supply? Yes, they absolutely can. Because you remove milk and feed your baby so often that when you're feeling pain, you tend to put off feedings longer. Right, which makes sense, I get it you're a human if you know that it's time to feed your baby and you either need to latch or pump and you know it's gonna be painful. You're gonna put it off as long as possible. And then your body is getting less stimulation, you're removing less milk so of course your milk supply is going to decrease. And her bodies they hold on to emotions, right? If we know that there's pain involved, our body's like, we don't want to part of that and it can just completely shut off. So yes, sore nipples can absolutely decrease milk supply. So if you're having sore nipples, please, please please work with an ibclc and figure out why that soreness is happening. Me and my team we meet with people all over the world and even within the United States, we work with clients from all over the United States and we meet with them virtually or in person if they are local to northern Utah. And a lot of our clients are covered with free consultations which means that they don't pay us anything. I always have the link to check for free consults in the show notes or at breezy If you have an insurance like Cigna or Blue Cross Blue Shield, there's also certain logos that you can learn look for on your insurance card. You can see if you qualify Alright, let's move on to the next one, how long will will nipples be sore from breastfeeding? They will be sore as long as the problem, the underlying cause is still present k. So if you have a shell Latch with every feed and you're working really hard to heal up your nipples, you're using the fancy nipple cream, or even the silver silver cups that I really love to heal up your nipples and they're not getting better. Well, it's because you still have a shallow Latch with every feet, you're feeding so often that that pain will not go away, if you have a shell watch. Or maybe there's an infection going on or something, there's some reason why you're having sore nipples. It could even be from your baby's oral anatomy. Maybe they have a tongue tie or a lip tie, I don't know. But whatever it is, you have to get to the root cause before the sore nipples can go away. And let me just explain for a second here that there's a very big difference between, oh, this is a new sensation, I just had a baby, I'm not really used to some other humans sucking on my nipples every few hours. There's a big difference between that new sensation and that kind of like a little bit of soreness that is very different from toe curling pain came. Because yes, after you deliver your baby, you do have a big shift in hormones that happens. So your nipples are a little bit more sore. Well, they're a little bit more sensitive than normal, which can be interpreted as soreness. But that is not the same as toe curling pain, toe curling pain, never normal with nursing. Absolutely get help from an ibclc. I kind of already answered the next question is nipple pain normal when breastfeeding? No, no, no, no, no pain, right is not normal with breastfeeding. And I will say that till the day I die, I have people all the time say I just don't believe you. Every time I nursed my babies, it just was painful. And so I just tell everyone, before they nurse just get ready for the pain. And there's just no way around that. But no, we're not normalizing pain, we're not normalizing nipple pain. That should not be a normal part of our lactation journeys. So I just I can't get on board with that. Okay, let me transition now to my top three tips. Number one, is the position that feels best is the best. Okay, I kind of already explained this before as I was going through the questions, but you don't have to feel married to one position. If someone tells you Oh, my baby always use this position and they fed really well. Well, that's great that that worked for them. But that might not be the best for you. You may prefer to hold your baby a different way, based on the anatomy of your body, even like breast size can make a big difference on what breastfeeding positions are going to fill. Right.
So whatever the position is, that feels right, that is the best one, and it can change over time. Maybe you really love the football hold when your baby is little but now your baby's grown and they're long and they don't quite tuck in next to you in the football position. Well, then you can try different position pull different one out of your tool belt. Tip number two is toe curling pain is never normal with breastfeeding. You know, I had to throw that into my top three tips because I just Oh, I could just shout that from the rooftops, something that everyone should know who is lactating or planning to lactate toe curling pain is never normal with breastfeeding. Okay, tip number three is get help. Please do not go down this road by yourself. I'm telling you every time I talk to someone and I tell them what I do for work, they always say Oh, I so could have used your help when I had babies. And they proceeded to tell a story about how their babies screamed and want to latch and no one could help or their nipples were so sore and bleeding and bruised. And listen, I could have used my help with my first two. I had no idea just what was going on. And I thought the pain and discomfort that I was feeling was normal and I just pushed through. Basically what I'm saying is there really isn't anyone who would not benefit from breastfeeding help even if things are going pretty smooth overall. You might have a question about your breast pump or how to work it or how to store breast milk or while you have this weird looking white.on the end of your nipple or how to position your baby at night so you can get more rest or how to latch while baby wearing or how to maintain your supply while starting Solid. Honestly, I could go on much longer, but I think you get the picture. This is why I love when my clients are approved for free consults through their insurance because everybody needs breastfeeding help. Even if they don't want to breastfeed, they could use help on how to stop lactation after birth. It's just a need and every time a new insurance is added to my approved list, I seriously do a happy dance. My dream is that everyone will be covered one day no matter what insurance you have. We're not there quite yet but are getting closer, you know, every day. So every time someone comes to me asking for help, I do have them run their insurance through my link just to check it's worth checking. Lactation network is our biller. And if you want to check for free consults, do that breezy And again, you can also download a free nipple ruler there as well. So again, my top three tips for your most Googled lactation topics, positioning and sore nipples was number one, the position that feels the best is the best number to toe curling pain is never normal with breastfeeding. And tip number three is get some help. I hope this was helpful for you. Thank you again for listening in. I will be back next week with a fresh new topic for you. Of course I'm gonna leave you with you're strong, you're smart, you're beautiful, you're a good friend to all by. If you would like more help check us out at breezy Is the happy place for boobs and babies, where you can take an online workshop on topics from breastfeeding to baby gas. Learn baby massage, get a pumping plan before returning to work and even get one on one lactation help from our IBCLCs we meet with families both in home and also all over the world via secure video and guess what? These lactation consultations might even be covered by your insurance. Click the link in the show notes or visit breezy to see if you qualify. Also connect with us at breezy babies on Instagram and YouTube.


Introduction to this episode.

It’s not always the most helpful thing to do.

What are the best positions for breastfeeding sore nipples?

Can I use a breast pump if my nipples are sore?

Getting the right flange size.

Can sore nipples decrease milk supply?

How long will nipples be sore from breastfeeding?

Toe curling pain is never normal with breastfeeding.


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