Your breast may get engorged with milk in the first few days after birth. The breast may become hard, swollen and painful. Try to put the baby frequently to the breast for short periods of time or express the milk from the breast by hand or pump. This may be fed to the baby using a cup and spoon. Warm compresses applied to the breast and warm showers may help. Your doctor may also prescribe a medicine to reduce the pain.
Nipples may get sore or cracked if:
The baby is not well attached to the breast during feeding.
- Frequent washing or wiping the areola and nipple, especially with soap
- If the baby is forcibly pulled off from the breast while sucking
You can treat sore nipples by expressing the milk from the breast (and feeding it to the baby by cup and spoon), application of breast milk or coconut oil to the areola and nipple, and medications for pain. Once the nipples start to heal, put the baby to the breast for short periods of time, ensuring that the baby is well attached to the breast.
Some babies spit out a small quantity of milk during feeding, burping or while being handled. This milk may or may not be curdled. This normal behaviour, known as possetting, does not require any treatment.