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Once upon a time when my middle child was still an infant and I was nursing her exclusively, I noticed a persistent burning feeling whenever I wasn’t breastfeeding. It wasn’t the twinge that I usually feel in my nipples when my milk lets down; it was different. It was really painful. It felt like I was in the very early stages of breastfeeding. You remember those days filled with MotherLove Nipple Cream slathered on in between feedings to help heal your cracked nipples, don’t you? Then as soon as my daughter would latch on and start eating the pain would ease.
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What is a clogged nipple?
If you haven’t experienced a clogged nipple pore you should be very thankful. If you have then you know what I’m talking about. And if you’re reading this and wondering if that pain you’re experiencing is a clogged nipple pore then by all means, please read on! A clogged nipple pore looks like a white pimple on your nipple. It’s not to be confused with a blood blister that is usually caused by friction from poor latching or positioning. It’s also not thrush, although it does resemble it. Thrush will not feel better after your baby has eaten; thrush burns. A clogged nipple pore will feel ten times better after nursing your baby or pumping.
What causes a clogged nipple pore (aka milk blisters or blebs)?
How can you fix a clogged nipple pore?
To recap it all:
- Causes: Oversupply, nursing bra that is too tight against breasts, changes in baby’s feeding, and/or stress
- Symptoms: Reduction in supply, burning sensation when not breastfeeding baby, relief once baby has latched on and is feeding.
- Remedies: Hot compress applied to breast before feeding baby, allow baby to latch on properly and feed. Continue to do so until the head of the clogged pore can be seen. Sterilize needle or safety pin and gently lift the head. Allow baby to feed as usual.
Clogged nipple pores are a fairly common problem in breastfeeding and really should not be anything that you worry about. If you have more questions reach out to your doctor or lactation consultant.