Nipple laser therapy: How it works.
How breastfeeding pain feels
Sore nipples are intensely painful. If you have never experienced it, it is difficult to imagine: Breastfeeding pain feels as though the baby is dragging the milk from the breast with fish hooks.
Sensitive nipples in the first few days after the birth is normal and is usually caused by incorrect attachment. After all, you and your baby have to learn and practise breastfeeding. It is best if you talk to a lactation consultation as soon as possible.
Analysing causes and what to do
It is important that you can analyse the causes of the pain and eliminate them. Is the baby correctly attached? Have you tried breastfeeding in different positions? Has the midwife examined your baby’s mouth (lips, lingual frenulum or other anatomical features), is the baby having difficulty sucking or is a yeast infection present?
The following can be helpful:
- Put the baby to the less painful breast first.
- Giving frequent short feeds is easier on you than taking long breaks.
- Breastfeed in different positions.
- Nipple cream, e.g. Ardo Care Lanolin or the vegan alternative Ardo Care Balm.
- Take a break from breastfeeding and start expressing, e.g., with the Ardo Alyssa Double, using a barely noticeable initial vacuum and a low initial cycle that can be very carefully adjusted to your needs.
- Low-level laser therapy
The effect of laser therapy for breastfeeding pain
Increasing numbers of midwives in Switzerland offer low-level laser therapy for women who are experiencing pain when breastfeeding. This is a high-energy laser beam with a regulatory effect that activates the metabolism of the cells, inhibits inflammation, lowers the risk of infection, encourages blood flow, accelerates wound healing and relieves pain. No heat is generated during the treatment and therefore there is no tissue destruction – this means that the therapy is completely free of side effects and is painless.
Along with sore, cracked and very painful nipples, the laser can also be used to treat the perineum or a caesarean section scar or a baby with nappy rash or a healing umbilical cord.
A fast and sustained result
The pain usually recedes after the first treatment with LLLT and wound healing starts. And once the treated area has healed fully, there is usually no relapse.
The treatment takes just a few minutes and is applied four times at most. The costs are between CHF 25 and 30 per session and application and are paid either by the woman herself or, depending on the health insurance provider, by supplementary health insurance.
Low-level laser therapy is a useful all-rounder for the time after your baby’s birth – find out more from your midwife.