10 Things No One Tells You About Breast-feeding


Your Nipples May Bleed

Coming in as a big ol' entry in the "yikes" category, you may find your nipples taking a real beating starting out. There can be chapping and cracking and, yes, bleeding. It's from all that sucking -- every two to three hours for 20 to 40 minutes, for a newborn.

Again, not something to sweat too much beforehand. It's common, and it typically passes. With practice and a good latch, your nipples will be just fine, and there are lots of creams, ointments and patches you can try to get them back to health. Here, too, a lactation consultant or your doctor can help, since sore and bleeding nipples might be caused by poor technique or physical problems within the breast.

If you find your nipples can't take it, you can always switch to a bottle. Feeding should be a time of closeness and bonding, not dread.

Next: Have they told you your nipples might change color?