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Breast feeding with Nipple Piercing

Breast feeding with Nipple Piercing: 7 Easy Tips & Tricks

Introduction

Many women choose to get nipple piercings for aesthetic reasons. However, this can cause issues later if they decide to breastfeed a baby. Breastfeeding with nipple piercings is possible, but it takes preparation and care.

The nipple piercing healing timeline is typically around 6 months before it is fully healed. This means if you get pregnant earlier, you will still have a healing wound while breastfeeding. Even with fully healed piercings, nursing can be uncomfortable or challenging.

However, you do not necessarily have to remove nipple piercings in order to successfully breastfeed. There are tips and ideas that can make breast-feeding with nipple piercing easier on both mother and baby. This allows mothers to keep nipple jewelry intact while also providing the health benefits of nursing to the infant.

This article outlines 7 straightforward tips to facilitate positive nursing experiences for those with nipple piercings. Suggestions will cover potential problems as well as concrete solutions. The goal is to demonstrate that women with nipple piercings can indeed reach their breastfeeding goals.

In the end, the most critical steps involve getting the right guidance from professionals, paired with vigilance in watching for signs of complications. With the proper knowledge and care, nursing can be safe, comfortable, and successful despite nipple piercings. Mothers do not have to feel forced to choose between aesthetics and providing mother’s milk.

Potential Issues with Breastfeeding and Nipple Piercings

Women who want to breastfeed after getting nipple piercings should be aware of some potential issues that can arise. However, being informed about the common problems can help new mothers prepare and prevent complications. This knowledge empowers women to make the best choices for their situation. Here we review the top concerns with breast feeding with nipple piercings.

Infection Risk

As with any wound, a piercing carries the risk of transmitting infection. Breastfeeding creates an opportunity for germs around the nipple or in the baby’s mouth to enter the open piercing. Nipple piercings take approximately six months to completely heal. An unhealed or infected piercing can then lead to recurrent issues with pain or illness while nursing.

Milk Flow Obstruction

Nipple jewelry, particularly barbells, can physically obstruct the flow of milk during feeding. Pressure from the jewelry causes enlargement of the glands near the tissue injury. This results in swollen tissue blocking the milk duct openings. Some women experience decreased milk production from prolonged jewelry pressure.

Nipple Damage

Consistent friction from nursing coupled with nipple jewelry leads to tissue inflammation, cracks, or wounds. Exposure while the piercing heals also raises infection transmission risks. This cycle quickly escalates pain and the chance of complications during breastfeeding.

Baby Choking Concerns

Depending on the size and style of the jewelry, pieces may come loose during active nursing sessions. If an infant swallows or chokes on jewelry, immediate medical attention is vital. Veterans warn against wearing nipple jewelry with small, detachable ends for this reason.

Discomfort Nursing

Even healed piercings often remain mildly painful or sensitive. Add typical nursing discomfort like chafed skin or sore nipples, and many mothers struggle to push through feedings. Lactation consultants actually attribute unresolved nursing pain as one of the top reasons women discontinue breastfeeding.

Seeking Solutions

Rather than just highlighting problems mothers may face with breast feeding nipple piercings, discussing action steps breeds confidence. Just a few careful adjustments can alleviate or prevent most typical issues that arise. With some guidance, breastfeeding and body art can beautifully coexist.

7 Easy Tips for Breast feeding with Nipple Piercing

Women who thoughtfully prepare to breastfeed with nipple piercings often find great success. With care and the right support, most common issues never materialize. Here are 7 straightforward ideas to set up smooth nursing even with body jewelry intact.

Assess Your Piercings’ Placement and Jewelry

Deciding whether or not your nipple piercings will work for breastfeeding starts with assessing a few key factors. The goal is to choose jewelry that won’t interfere with your baby’s ability to latch or your milk’s ability to flow freely.

First, look at the actual piercing location on your nipples. You want placement that is far enough away from the tip and milk duct openings. Ideal placement is along the ridge of the areola or on the vertical edges of the nipple. If placed too close to the center, swelling during pregnancy could cause issues.

The gauge, or thickness, of the piercing jewelry also matters. Barbells are best for allowing milk to flow without obstruction. Choose the smallest gauge that comfortably fits your anatomy without pinching. Ball ends on barbells should be screwed on securely. Avoid captive bead rings or hoops that could pose hazards.

Jewelry material is also key when breast-feeding with nipple piercings. Stick with medical-grade stainless steel, titanium, or 14+ karate gold. Avoid sterling silver or cheap metals with nickel that could irritate skin and lead to infection. Hard plastic jewelry is another safe option if metal bothers you.

If possible, get your piercer’s input on an appropriate jewelry size and style that accounts for swelling and milk production changes after pregnancy and childbirth. They can assess if nipple jewelry needs to be temporarily upsized or replaced for your comfort. Do not hesitate to ask questions; a reputable professional will understand your concerns about breastfeeding and nipple piercings..

Be diligent about assessing nipple jewelry style, size, and placement before and during breastfeeding. Do not forget that it can be adjusted or removed at any point if it causes discomfort for you or your baby. Stay in contact with your piercer and lactation consultant when making any major changes related to your nipple piercings.

Practice Proper Piercing Aftercare While Breastfeeding

When you are a new breastfeeding mama with nipple piercings, aftercare is crucial for keeping painful infections at bay. The first rule? Meticulous cleaning routines are a must.

Begin by gently washing pierced nipples with a saline wound wash or sea salt solution. Simply mix warm water with non-iodized salt until dissolved. Gently press the mixture into piercings using a cotton pad or swabs. Rinse after 5 minutes. Pat it dry carefully. Do this ritual 2-3 times per day, especially after breastfeeding your baby.

Stick to gentle, fragrance-free soaps when showering too. Avoid harsh body washes with dyes, perfumes, and antimicrobial ingredients, which can be overly drying during the postpartum period. Moisture is key for nursing nipples. Apply a thin layer of nipple cream after gentle cleansing and air drying.

While a certain level of clear or pale yellow discharge is normal, keep an eye out for signs of infection like blood, excessive crusting, or green or gray pus. Redness, hotness, and swelling can also indicate problems. Left untreated, mastitis or abscesses could develop. Reach out to your piercer or doctor at the first symptom for specialized care.

It takes diligence to properly care for nipple piercings while your body goes through immense postpartum changes. But staying on top of aftercare will help you avoid complications down the road.

Be extra gentle during the first 2 weeks postpartum, when your nipples are extra sensitive to engorgement and hormones. Consider using disposable nursing pads inside your bra to protect piercing sites from irritation and capture let-down leaks. Change them every few hours to prevent moisture buildup. Give your nipples ample air drying time as well.

Most importantly, resist messing with your piercings too much. Limit handling and turning jewelry pieces with unwashed hands. Think about replacing balls or decorative parts with basic plastic barbell ends instead, which harbor fewer bacteria. And absolutely, do not remove nipple jewelry until piercings have fully healed, unless instructed by your piercer or doctor. Doing so could seal in infection. Patience pays off.

With some thoughtful effort, properly caring for new nipple piercings during the transition to breastfeeding can absolutely be done. Be diligent, and do not hesitate to ask your support network or medical providers questions about optimal breast feeding with nipple piercing aftercare.

Use Nursing Pads to Absorb Leaks and Irritation

Nursing pads are a breastfeeding must-have, especially for new moms with nipple piercings. Wearing pads inside your bra will help absorb leaks and minimize irritation of sensitive nipple tissue.

Look for disposable or washable nursing pads made of ultra-soft, breathable materials like cotton, bamboo rayon, or microfiber. The pad should have multiple layers to effectively absorb drips without allowing moisture to sit against your skin. Thinner pads won’t cut it during engorgement or let-down spurts!

Avoid nursing pads with plastic or vinyl backing, as they trap moisture. This can increase infection risks from piercings, plus the humid environment promotes yeast and bacteria overgrowth. It is not ideal when nipples are already irritated postpartum.

Adhesive pads are also not recommended for daily use or underneath tight bras. The glue residue builds up over time, causing pulling and skin irritation during removal. With fresh nipple piercings, this discomfort is amplified. Non-stick varieties are gentler.

When first transitioning into breastfeeding after getting your nipples pierced, use pads to cushion sensitive areas underneath your bra at all times, even between feedings. Unexpected leaks do happen! Having constant light padding reduces friction from clothing and protects piercing sites as you heal.

Replace pads immediately after breastfeeding sessions to remove trapped moisture from piercings. Gently cleanse the skin and make sure the nipples are fully air dried before putting on fresh nursing pads. Limiting wet contact time minimizes infection risks associated with breastfeeding and nipple piercing.

If you experience occasional discomfort after feedings, try gently smoothing a chilled pad onto sore areas for relief. Some moms stash nursing pads in the fridge just for cooling, soothing purposes! The pads conform to skin better than ice cubes.

Do not be shy about trying different pad textures, sizes, or shapes until you find your perfect match. Discuss options with your lactation consultant or piercer if irritation persists despite proper aftercare. No one should have to just “put up with” excessive pain while feeding their precious baby!

Try Different Nursing Positions to Prevent Discomfort

Finding comfortable breastfeeding positions can take some experimentation for moms with nipple piercings. The goal is to choose positions that do not put pressure on the piercing site or cause tugging that could lead to irritation.

Start by trying the classic cradle hold. Be sure to support your baby’s head and back while their mouth latches below the nipple jewelry. Pay attention to any discomfort – if the position causes pulling or rubbing on the piercing, try something different. The football hold is another good option to consider.

Some moms have success with the laid back or biological nurturing position. Lie back and place your baby’s tummy down on top of you. Keep your nipple jewelry from being pressed into your breast, and let your baby naturally root around to latch. Gravity helps your milk flow while you both relax. This feels intimate for mom and baby.

If you find all positions uncomfortable, try using a nipple shield over the pierced breast. The silicone shield protects the piercing from constant rubbing. However, be patient, as it takes practice for babies to effectively transfer milk through the shield. Consider sizing up in flange size if you do not see full areola in the shield once latched.

The most important thing is paying attention to discomfort levels while breastfeeding with nipple piercings. Try different positions and nursing aids, like shields, to see what works best. Reach out to a lactation consultant or piercing professional if you have concerns about pain, positioning, or milk transfer with “Breastfeeding and Nipple Piercings.” Be patient with yourself and keep the end goal in mind: feeding your baby as comfortably as possible, despite the challenges that may come with nipple jewelry.

Allow Time for Adjustment Postpartum

The postpartum period comes with major physical and emotional changes for every new mom. If you choose to breastfeed with pre-existing nipple piercings, be extra patient with yourself as your body transitions. Some discomfort is very common in the early weeks.

Between swiftly changing hormone levels and recovering from childbirth, your breasts go through quite the rollercoaster! Soreness and engorgement are par for the course as your milk comes in. Fluctuating supply during regulation can temporarily make nipple jewelry feel more irritating.

Some abnormal discharge around piercing sites is also common as dormant channels reopen with increased blood flow. Unless excessive or foul-smelling, this is not typically cause for concern. Gently cleanse and monitor for signs of infection. Reach out to your health providers with questions.

Many moms report comfort improving around the 2-6 week mark after initially dealing with the learning curve of breast feeding with nipple piercings. During this period, be diligent about at-home aftercare while working with specialists to find manageable feeding positions.

The bonus? As engorgement resolves and a breastfeeding rhythm develops, irritation and discomfort often ease up! Nipple jewelry may feel less bothersome over time. Some moms even retain nipple sensitivity benefits.

Remember, you know your body best. If discomfort becomes unbearable or feeding challenges persist, discuss next steps with your care team. Whether that means changing jewelry style or temporarily removing piercings, do what allows you to successfully nurture your baby.

Use Soothing Methods Before and After Feedings

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience, but it may also cause discomfort, especially for mothers with nipple piercings. Using some soothing methods before and after feedings can help relieve pain and swelling.

One of the best ways to soothe sore nipples is with cold therapy. Mothers can gently apply chilled breast pads or cold compresses to the breasts after feedings. The cold helps constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Ice packs wrapped in a towel or frozen gel packs designed for breasts work well. This is especially useful for mothers experiencing breast feeding with nipple piercing discomfort.

Saltwater soaks can also bring relief. Add a quarter teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and soak pads or compresses for 5-10 minutes before breastfeeding. The salt has natural healing properties that soothe tender skin. For mothers with nipple piercings, the saltwater may help prevent infection if piercings get irritated during feedings.

In addition to cold and saltwater treatments, gentle breast massage or hand expression before feedings can help soften tissues and ease engorgement issues that cause pain with breast feeding with nipple piercing. Lightly rolling the fingers from skin to nipple helps milk flow without trauma.

It is best to avoid any ointments or creams on irritated nipples as these can further irritate or clog pores. Stick to simple remedies like cool compresses that soothe without adding extra layers to healing skin. With consistent soothing care before and after feedings, most nipple pain or piercing irritation should lessen over the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Seek medical advice for any signs of infection like pus or fever. With patience and gentle self-care, most mothers can have positive experiences with breastfeeding, even with nipple piercings.

Be Patient and Ask for Help When Needed

Breastfeeding, especially with nipple piercings, has a learning curve. Be patient with yourself and your baby as you both adjust to breastfeeding with nipple piercing. Seek guidance from experienced moms, lactation consultants, or your pediatrician if you face challenges. There is always help available to make those early feeds more comfortable.

Some moms encounter issues like soreness, engorgement, or latch problems at first. Your pediatrician can check the baby’s latch and weight gain to rule out any medical factors making breast-feeding with nipple piercing painful. A lactation consultant provides hands-on assistance with positioning and latch techniques customized for pierced nipples. With practice, many discomforts improve in just a few days or weeks as tissues adjust.

Support groups, either locally or online, are also valuable resources. Connecting with other moms going through similar experiences with breast feeding with nipple piercing can help you feel less alone. They may share handy tips and reassurances to boost your confidence. Social media makes finding such communities easier than ever.

Make sure your piercer is available for advice specific to healing pierced nipples during breastfeeding, too. They may recommend temporarily changing to flexible plastic or bioplast jewelry for comfort while feeding. Communicating with all of your healthcare team helps ensure the safest approach.

With patience and the right guidance, most mothers can have very positive experiences with breast feeding with nipple piercing, despite early obstacles. Do not hesitate to reach out if you face ongoing challenges; small issues are easier to address when supported by caring professionals. Your comfort and baby’s needs are the priority.

In Conclusion

Breastfeeding represents a special bonding period between mother and new baby. During this precious time, minor obstacles like nipple piercings need not derail nursing success. As outlined above, with proper preparation, care, and support, breast feeding with nipple piercings can thrive.

The most vital preparation includes swapping metal jewelry for flexible plastic retainers to minimize irritation. Mothers should also arrange access to quality breast pumps and meet with lactation professionals beforehand. Tracking typical nipple piercing pain scale sensations helps recognize if infection risk elevates pain levels beyond normal healing.

During active breastfeeding, remain vigilant about the jewelry position and watch for signs of complications in either the mother or infant. Be ready to remove all jewelry at any point where discomfort or infection seem to appear. With early intervention, most common issues resolve quickly without disrupting nursing relationships.

In the end, no mother should feel pressured to choose between her aesthetic preferences and providing nurturing milk for her baby. With the right support and knowledge, both goals align in harmony. Breastfeeding stands the test of time as natural and beautiful – piercings need not complicate the process. Women equipped with the proper tips can troubleshoot minor snags along the journey with success and confidence.

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