Causes of Nipple Pain

Health advice, Postnatal

To learn about the different types of nipple pain, read the previous entry Nipple Pain.

There are many causes of nipple pain, and the following entry will try to explain causes and characteristics for both the mother and baby.

Potential causes due to the mother

Photo - mamelon plat
Flat nipple
  • Anatomy of breasts and nipples. Flat, inverted or very large nipples, very heavy breasts and nipples difficult to see when breastfeeding.
  • Practical errors, positioning the baby poorly meaning they don’t take the end of the nipple.
  • A suboptimal taking of the nipple.

Potential causes due to the baby

  • Photo - frein de langue court qui nuit à l'allaitement
    Short frenulum

    The anatomy or morphology of the baby (face, chin, mouth, jaws) following birth. Here we can think of a short frenulum (the band of tissue under the tongue) which interferes with them sticking out their tongue. Their tongue can’t go further than their lower lip, and this limits their ability to prolong the lip to grasp the nipple adequately. The baby will take the end of the nipple and pinch it, which will injure the mother.

  • Photo - palais en dôme chez le bébé qui nuit à l'allaitement
    Domed Palate

    Domed palate (8 form). Often mothers will say, “It feels like they’re pinching me.” To identify a domed palate, the health professional will wash their hands and with their pinkie finger, nail on the tongue, place their finger in the baby’s mouth towards the palate. They should feel a tight and deep cleft on the palate. Their finger should enter it and remain stuck, a bit like the nipple when the baby is feeding.

    You can’t change the baby’s palate. This is when the feeding position becomes important. The position where they sit on your leg or the football position both work well.

  • Mechanical causes in the baby following birth can lead to nipple pain and injury for the mother. For example, if forceps were used to delivery. Sometimes the baby will have difficult opening their mouth wide, as their sensitive jawbones were traumatised at birth. There are babies who have torticollis at birth, and as they’re always on one side, they have difficult feeding on one side.
  • Possibility of plagiocephaly can lead to facial asymmetries, and consequently the mouth is less symmetrical. If this is the case, it makes feeding even more difficult.
  • Finally, babies may have retrognathia (posterior positioning of the chin). Again, you can’t change their chin but the positioning them on your leg to feed them is excellent for this situation.
    Photo - bébé avec une rétrognatie
    Baby with a retrognathia (posterior positioning of the chin)

To continue reading this entry, go to the next part—Practical Tips to Help Nipple Injuries and Pain.

Discover our videos

Subscribe to a monthly or quarterly package now to access full videos.

The Calming Dance

The Calming Dance

Your baby is inconsolable, and you’ve tried everything. Have you tried the calming dance? With simple movements, this dance can
Becoming a Parent and Anxiety

Becoming a Parent and Anxiety

In this video, I am accompanied by Dr. Gabriel Mélançon, a psychologist, and Karen Chabot, a sexologist completing a doctorate
Breastfeeding : Living the first moments

Breastfeeding : Living the first moments

Did you just give birth and the baby is searching for your breast? Along with Vicky Lefebvre, a breastfeeding consultant,
Pregnancy Monitoring

Pregnancy Monitoring

Did your pregnancy test come back positive? Congratulations! Now, what are the stages and exams that will lead you down

Discover other articles

I am worried my baby isn’t getting enough iron!

I am worried my baby isn’t getting enough iron!

After 6 months, a baby’s iron needs increase due to their fast growth during this period of life.
What is a midwife’s role?

What is a midwife’s role?

Marie, I was wondering if it’s safe to be monitored by a midwife for my second baby. Is monitoring the same as with a doctor?
How to Soothe Pain During a VBAC

How to Soothe Pain During a VBAC

To read the previous part, go to VBAC Success Rates. Like during a first vaginal birth, every method for soothing pain can be used during
Fertility treatments scare me!

Fertility treatments scare me!

Marie, my name is Amélie, and I am 30. I would like to have a baby with my husband. We have tried for a year,

Causes of Nipple Pain

Par Marie Fortier Temps de lecture: 2 min
0