Armpits Itch When Breastfeeding (Explained)

Why do my armpits itch when breastfeeding? Sounds like a question a woman or a nursing mother who is experiencing itchy armpits while breastfeeding would ask.

Sometimes it is difficult to scratch because you do not want to distract or disturb your baby or probably because you are out in public and don’t want to start scratching in the public.

Do not worry the answer to your question why do my armpits itch when breastfeeding will be provided in this article and answers to a wide range of questions will also be provided.

Breastfeeding: Everything You Need To Know

Breastfeeding, or nursing, is the terminology used in defining the act of feeding a child, particularly a baby with human breast milk.

Breast milk may be fed to a child directly from the breast, or pumped and fed to the infant much later especially when the mother is working and wants to do exclusive breastfeeding or other medical reasons.

The recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) is that breastfeeding should begin within the first hour of a baby’s life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants.

On exclusive breastfeeding, the take or stand of health organizations, including the WHO, is that a baby should be fed with breast milk exclusively for six months.

And it simply means that your baby is fed with no other food or drink than vitamin D and breast milk.

Foods can be introduced at the sixth month of the baby’s existence, though breastfeeding can still be continued till one year or two.

According to health experts, breastfeeding is beneficial to both the mother and child and some of these benefits are lacking in infant formula.

Research has proven that breastfeeding reduces the risk of respiratory tract infections, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and diarrhea for the baby, both in developing and developed countries.

Breastfeeding lowers the risks of asthma, food allergies, and diabetes. It also plays a huge role to improve cognitive development and decrease the risk of obesity as the baby grows.

Why Do My Armpits Itch When Breastfeeding?

The itching of the armpits is a result of milk production and also as a result of the work done by the milk glands located near the armpits.

As your baby suckles and milk is drawn out, there is a need for the mammary gland to replace the one drawn out by your baby and this comes as an itching sensation in the milk gland located near the armpits.

The itching sensation may be due to increased blood flow or a response to the hormonal release, of oxytocin precisely.

The oxytocin is usually released during breastfeeding and the sensations you feel are a result of the production of the hormone you don’t have to worry, the hormone is doing something awesome for you.

It does help replenish your milk so that there is enough milk for your next feeding sessions while you are still breastfeeding.

The sucking sensation produced by your baby’s mouth on your nipple is a requirement sometimes for the release of the hormone oxytocin.

There are milk pockets in the breast and they are linked to the armpits, so when the milk is drawn out by your baby during lactation or breastfeeding sure replenishing is meant to occur.

So while the body is trying to replenish the drawn-out milk, you experience this as itching.

It is not something so serious that you get all worked out, for your body is just trying to replenish milk so that your baby has enough milk for the next feeding session.

If you are pumping, the body is replenishing the drawn milk so that you can have enough milk for the next pumping session.

It is one of the postpartum signs moms do experience though not for every mom and this often happens during and shortly after breastfeeding.

Read Also: Breast Milk Coming Out Of Armpits (Explained)

How to Ease the Itching Sensation during Breastfeeding

The itching sensation during breastfeeding can often make one uncomfortable, usually, when this occurs you may not have a free hand to scratch it because you’re breastfeeding and it is not even hygienic to scratch while you’re breastfeeding.

Some practical tips to help you relieve or ease itchiness during breastfeeding include:

  1. Try wearing clothes that are loosely fit under your arms
  2. Wear a supportive and fitting bra
  3. Massage the area around the back of your breast and under your arms to help support the flow
  4. Try using massage oils that support milk production after breastfeeding

What Else Can Cause Itching Of Armpit During Breastfeeding?

Apart from the hormonal effects of the hormone oxytocin, itching in the armpit during lactation or breastfeeding could be a result of a bacterial infection called mastitis.

Do not get it twisted this does not come only with itching but there are other characteristics signs and symptoms that differentiate it from the normal itching associated with hormonal actions during breastfeeding.

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue that occurs most frequently during the time of breastfeeding.

It can be as a result of bacteria often from your baby’s mouth, entering the milk duct through a crack in the nipple.

Breast infections most commonly occur one to three months after the delivery of a baby, but they can occur in women who have not delivered recently and in women after menopause.

About 1-3% of breastfeeding mothers develop mastitis. Engorgement and breast not fully emptied can contribute to the problem and make the symptoms worse.

Hormonal changes in the body can cause the milk ducts to become clogged with dead skin cells and debris and may cause itching.

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Wind Up

I hope this article has provided in-depth knowledge to answer your question of why does my armpit itch when breastfeeding.

The itching of the armpits is a result of milk production and also as a result of the work done by the milk glands located near the armpits.

As your baby suckles and milk is drawn out, there is a need for the mammary gland to replace the one drawn out by your baby and this comes as an itching sensation in the milk gland located near the armpits.

The itching sensation may be due to increased blood flow or a response to the hormonal release, of oxytocin precisely.

The oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) is usually released during breastfeeding and the sensations you feel are as a result of the production of the hormone and fear not, the hormone is doing something awesome for you.

It is not something so serious that you get all worked out, for your body is just trying to replenish milk so that your baby has enough milk for the feeding session.

This is one of the postpartum signs in nursing moms though not every mom in a good number of moms and sometimes it happens during and shortly after breastfeeding.