A few factors cause the sensation of tingly breasts during nursing. These are:
1. The Let-Down Reflex
During breastfeeding, mothers sometimes feel a tingling sensation that quickly goes away. This sensation can sometimes be painful, and it is the sensation that occurs when the milk is let down. The love hormone, Oxytocin, helps to push out the milk. Not all women have the same experience with the let-down reflex. Some feel it as twinges that occur deep in the breasts or as the tingling that occurs before or after you feed your baby. Other mothers do not feel this at all.
There are times when the milk ducts in the breasts can get clogged, resulting in improper drainage of breastmilk and sometimes causing the nipple skin to break. Clogged milk ducts can lead to infections in the breast that leave it tender and red and may even cause you to become feverish. This infection is called mastitis.
3. Excessive Milk Production
Some mothers will find that they produce too much milk; it can even cause your baby to spit or cough a little during feeding. This happens in mothers who have a more forceful let-down reflex, which can cause the tingling sensation in the breast during breastfeeding. Most mothers find that their bodies will adjust to the amount that their babies drink. For others, they may need to take a few steps to help settle or relieve the condition with the help of the doctor or midwife.
4. Engorgement of Breasts
Mature milk begins to fill your breasts during the first few days after birth, causing the tissues to swell. This is perfectly normal. When babies are allowed to feed when they want, breastfeeding can often pass without too much discomfort. But if your baby is not fed when they want, the breasts become too full, resulting in engorgement.
Thrush is a fungal infection that can develop due to the sweet, warm and moist environment created while your baby suckles at your breast. This can cause both your nipples to become infected and can be painful. Seek medical help if you feel the tingling sensation could be related.
Is Tingling in Breasts Normal While Breastfeeding?
If you have ever asked yourself: is tingling in the breast dangerous? You can rest assured that it is perfectly normal for breastfeeding mothers to experience a tingling sensation in the breasts during this time. Often, this tingling sensation is caused by the let-down of milk, but there could be other reasons that may require you to visit a doctor for treatment.
How to Deal With Tingling of Breast at Home?
There are some simple ways to deal with the tingling in your breasts right from the comfort of your own home.
1. Keep a Consistent Feeding Schedule
New-born babies need to be fed every three hours, meaning they need to be fed at least 8 to 12 times a day. Sometimes, all a mother needs to do is stick to a consistent and regular feeding schedule to be able to manage the tingling sensation without any problems. By sticking very strictly to a schedule, you will eventually find that your milk let-down reflex will start to align with feeding times. This is important for ensuring that you experience as little discomfort from it as possible.
2. Warm Compress or Warm Shower
Warmth has a soothing effect on engorged or infected breasts; medical experts highly recommend warm showers or a warm compress as an easy way to get relief from home. Soak a towel in warm water and gently place it over the affected parts and hold it for five minutes.
3. Breast Massage
Massaging your breasts helps to encourage the milk to flow freely through the milk ducts, so it is very likely to be able to give you relief from any tingling in the breasts. Massaging straight from the top of your breast to your nipple is an excellent way to help. Make sure to use gentle and slow movements on your breasts.
4. Change in Diet
A person’s diet plays a direct role in the body’s condition. Different people have different reactions to food, so changing your diet a little may be something that you need to do to manage the tingling sensation at home. Some women have found that they experience less tenderness in the breast during breastfeeding when they reduce their intake of caffeine and salt.
When to See a Doctor for Breast Tingling Problems
The tingling sensation during breastfeeding is caused due to the milk let-down reflex, making it easy to manage at home. However, there are other times when the tingling could result from something more serious. You should visit a doctor if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- The shape of the nipple changes.
- There is a burning sensation in the breast or nipple
- The breasts begin to dimple or form a lump
- A rash resembling eczema develops around the areola or on it.
- Nipples are reddening
- Painful sensation in the breast
- A discharge that oozes from the nipple
As we have seen, the tingling sensation in the breast during breastfeeding is a normal occurrence. However, it is wise to stick to a consistent schedule while breastfeeding and pay attention to the condition of your breasts. If you notice any rash forming or feel like the tingling breasts during nursing are closer to pain or a burning sensation, please visit your doctor at the earliest.