SORE NIPPLES: Overcoming the Challenge!

Sore or cracked nipple challenges can be overcome!

Oh my goodness I can tell you all about this one, because I have actually experienced it personally. Cracked nipples are nothing to play with . They HURT!😪. I mean really hurt! Prevention is better than cure. I will share with you some valuable tips on how to overcome this challenge. Did you know that even if you have sore nipples you can still breastfeed? According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, in one study of
1323 mothers who stopped breastfeeding during the first month postpartum, 29.3% cited pain and 36.8% identified sore,
cracked, or bleeding nipples as an important reason for discontinuing breastfeeding.

Cracked, sore, or bleeding nipples are injuries that occur due to pressure on the breast tissue. There is a break in the continuity of the skin. This condition should not be taken for granted because it can cause an infection. Breastfeeding may produce some initial mild soreness, especially during the first week or two. Breastfeeding should never cause any prolonged pain, discomfort, or open cracks. The problem is always the positioning. Proper latch on is the most important factor in in preventing sore, cracked nipples. I will go over some natural remedies for sore nipples. Here we go:

1. Breastmilk for Sore Nipples

Breast milk can be a natural remedy for sore nipples!

Did you know that your breastmilk can be used to relieve sore nipples. I have given this therapy to many women. It worked for me and them. During your bath or shower, wash your breasts only with water, not soap which tends to dry and irritate the breasts. Here are some tips to help you get healed:

  • In humid climates the best treatments for sore nipples are sunlight, heat, and keeping the area dry
  • Do not wear plastic-lined nursing pads, which hold in moisture.
  • After breastfeeding clean your breasts with clear water and squeeze some of your breast milk on your sore areas
  • then expose your breasts air as much as possible.
  • Allow is to dry on your breast. This dried milk on the breast provided a protective coat. The breast milk has healing properties.
  • If you live in a dry climate you can use some lanolin ointment.
  • If there is a break in the skin hyrogel pads can provide healing relief.

During the Breastfeeding Session:

  • Breastfeed from the uninjured (or less injured) side first. Baby will tend to nurse more gently on the second side offered.
  • The initial latch-on tends to hurt the worst – a brief application of ice right before latching can help to numb the area.
  • Experiment with different breastfeeding positions to determine which is most comfortable.
  • If breastfeeding is too painful, it is very important to express milk from the injured side to reduce the risk of mastitis and to maintain supply. If pumping is too painful, try hand expression.

After nursing

Saline can be so soothing!

Salt water rinse

This special type of salt water, called normal saline, has the same salt concentration as tears and should not be painful to use.

To make your own normal saline solution:

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in one cup (8 oz) of warm water. Make a fresh supply each day to avoid bacterial contamination. You may also buy individual-use packets of sterile saline solution right here.

  • After breastfeeding, soak nipple(s) in a small bowl of warm saline solution for a minute or so–long enough for the saline to get onto all areas of the nipple. Alternately, put the saline solution into a squeeze bottle and squirt it on gently; use plenty of saline, making sure to get it on all areas of broken skin.
  • Avoid prolonged soaking (more than 5-10 minutes) that “super” hydrates the skin, as this can promote cracking and delay healing.
  • Pat dry very gently with a soft paper towel.
  • If baby dislikes the taste of the residual salt from the saline rinse, rinse directly before nursing by dipping nipple(s) into a bowl of plain water. Pat dry gently.

If these practical therapies do not help, you can contact your health care provider or lactation consultant for assistance in this area. I hope you enjoyed this session and learned a lot. Sore nipples is a breastfeeding challenge that can be overcome with these little steps.

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Published by Marilyn Smith

Hello. My name is Marilyn Smith. I am a Health Specialist with specialized skills in Clinical Practical Nursing, and Midwife of thirty six years. I am also a certified Lactation and Grief Specialist. I am well qualified to assist in meeting your breastfeeding needs. Breastfeeding is indeed the best for your baby. Congratulations on making such a wonderful decision. Consider this your home as we learn about the joys and pains of pregnancy & breastfeeding

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