Breast Itching While Breastfeeding

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on October 19, 2012

Breast itching while breast feeding is a common problem experienced by most mothers. The breasts enlarge considerably at this time, and the tender breast skin stretches out. This stretching of the skin causes an itching sensation. To prevent such discomfort, apply a moisturizing lotion to the skin and soothe away the dryness. Stretch marks sometimes develop on the breasts due to  the skin stretching. The amount of itchiness you experience during this stage depends on the growth of the breasts in preparation for breastfeeding.

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Itchy breasts during breastfeeding could be because of thrush, which could have infected your baby. Check to see whether your little one has white patches and velvety lesions inside the mouth. If he does, then this could be the cause of your itchy breasts.  Itchy breasts cause reddened and cracked nipples and deep shooting pain in breasts. Sometimes this is accompanied by itching in the vaginal area, with a thick discharge. Visit your doctor, in case the unceasing discomfort is intolerable or interrupting your everyday work. The doctor will prescribe certain ointments for external application as well as for consumption.

A very itching breast during nursing could be because of an infection. ‘Mastitis' is one such infection, which is rather common in breastfeeding mothers. Nipples sometimes crack while nursing the baby and this allows viruses and bacteria to enter and cause infections. Along with swelling around the breasts, women with itching breasts could also have fever and feel extremely tired. . Inform the doctor about the problem and he may prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

First time mothers are more prone to the problem of itchy breasts while breastfeeding, than those who have nursed children earlier. Pregnancy brings about certain hormonal changes to your breasts–developing milk cells and milk ducts. To better prepare yourself for breastfeeding, you can read books and resourceful websites. Get yourself specially designed pregnancy bras that come with a convenient flap and provide good support. Breast pillows can also be used to better support your nursing baby. Use breast pads to wipe away droplets of milk around the breast area. Breastfeeding actually helps reduce body fat gained during pregnancy and helps shrink the uterus. Once your infant is about 6 months, it is advisable to take him off breastfeeding.

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