Breastfeeding is the joy of motherhood. It is the dream of almost all mothers. Apart from providing vital nutrients to the baby, breastfeeding is what bonds mum and baby. And we all know how strong this bond can be. Breastfeeding is supposed to be fun, but it can prove to be hell if you have chapped nipples.
If your boobs hurt during breastfeeding, then you may be having a cracked nipple. When this happens, they can be agonizingly painful and can make the whole process of motherhood a living hell. What do cracked nipples look like? Are they due to painful sores on the nipple or the areola. Most modern-day mothers just don’t know how to deal with breastfeeding soreness because of lack of information.
If you are experiencing this problem, then today is your lucky day because am going to show you some cracked nipples treatment.
Cracked nipples causes
Improper latch during breastfeeding is the main cause of chapped nipples but you can also get this problem even when you are not breastfeeding. If that is the case, then here are some of the causes
- Wearing the wrong bra especially if it is a small bra then you are likely to injure them
- Excessive dry skin can make the crack.
- Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and menstruation can lead to chapped nipples
- Skin infections, Mastitis, thrush and even Breast cancer can lead to soreness and chapping.
Treatment for chapping
Sore nipples are a relatively common problem for many lactating mums. The soreness can go away on its own within a very short period but if it is extremely painful that it becomes impossible to feed your baby, then use some of these remedies to alleviate the pain.
Home remedies for soreness and cracking
There are several ways you can try to make your breastfeeding enjoyable by reducing the pain of the chapped nipples.
Use breast milk
Sometimes the best treatment for a sore nipple is breast milk. Breast milk has got many benefits and one of them will come in handy here. The antibacterial and healing properties of breast milk can work miracles to stop further cracking and enhance healing process.
All you must do is to apply a few drops of breast milk on the affected nipple before and after breastfeeding. Allow the milk to dry every time you do this remedy. Repeat the procedure a few times daily until the soreness goes away.
Applying ice on it will do two things; it will numb the area and make breastfeeding bearable. Apart from that, it will also kill the bacteria causing the sores on your nipples and the breastfeeding pain.
Take a few ice cubes and wrap them in a thin towel. Place the towel on the affected area for three to four minutes. Do this immediately before breastfeeding. The ice will also make the swelling disappear.
Use a nipple shield
Not many people know what they are, but they exist. It is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipples during breastfeeding. They recommended are recommended to protect sore nipples during breastfeeding. But they are not very popular because they are inconvenient, messy and annoying. But they are soothing and provide a relief for the sore breasts during breastfeeding. You can purchase this shield online.
Extract breast milk through pumping
if the sores are so painful that you cannot breastfeed, then you can pump the milk and feed your baby using a feeder. It is important to extract milk from the chapped nipple to maintain a steady supply and prevent additional problems. Just remember that if you don’t get the process well the then you can develop cracked nipples from pumping
Air dry your nipples
Walking around topless is difficult for a breastfeeding mum especially if you stay with many people in the house but trust me it is one of the easiest ways to get rid of breastfeeding pain. The idea here is to get the boobs aerated and dry the sores in the process. You can grab a towel if you got any leakages.
Avoid the breast pads
For those sores on your nipples to disappear, they need to dry up. So, what is the logic behind using breast pads (which make your breasts wet) when you want your breasts dry? We have already said that a thumb place is a perfect environment for bacteria. We can’t stress further.
Change the baby’s position during latching
Poor positioning of the baby during latching is the main cause of cracking or chapping. Changing the baby’s position when breastfeeding is a simple but effective cracked nipples treatment. If your baby latches on and it hurts, then you know something is wrong and you have to adjust the position to make the baby comfortable and prevent further damage.
Apply warm compress
The heat from a warm compress can ease discomfort and aid in the healing of your nipple. Dip a washcloth in warm water, wring it out and then place it on your breast for a couple of minutes. This should be done 10 minutes prior to the breastfeeding.
Coconut oil can help
The moisturizing property of coconut oil will help keep your chapped nipples moisturized and reduce the dryness. These will prevent the problem from aggravating. We get this problem because of dryness taking care of the dryness is a good solution. You can also use Olive oil and sweet almond oil to massage your sore nipples. Remember to wash them before breastfeeding the baby.
Use basil leaves
Basil leaves are known to treat many skin problems including sore nipples. The leaves can really speed up the healing process. They are also known to soothe the pain caused by dryness and cracking.
You need to make a paste by grinding the Basil leaves. Apply the paste on your nipples then allow it to dry. Remember to rinse them off with a lot of water before breastfeeding.
Breast cream to use
There are several ointments specifically meant for treating chapped nipples. These creams have different properties and should be administered based on the possible cause of the crack. If you have an infection, you need an ointment with Antibiotics. Antifungal ointments are meant for yeast infection. A sore cracked nipple needs a cream with anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some creams you can try out.
Lansinoh Lanolin Cream
It is the most recommended relief for breastfeeding mothers experiencing nipple sores worldwide by lactation consultants. Lanolin cream has got moisturizing and softening properties and provides the safest remedy for soreness and cracks.
It is hypoallergenic because it contains no preservatives or additives. The cream is 100% normal which means it is safe for both mum and child.
It also contains olive oil which helps lubricate your body.
My Best Friend Nipple Cream
It is also known as All-Natural nipple cream for breastfeeding mums. It contains organic shea butter, Vegetable glycerin, and Aloe Vera. It is hypoallergenic, completely natural and has no side effect on both baby and mother. My best friend cream is not greasy and does not need to be removed prior to breastfeeding. It is known to provide immediate soothing relief from soreness. You can get it online.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention when your nipples become swollen, change in appearance to red or suddenly becomes inverted and pulls in instead of sticking out. The same should apply if they start oozing pus and the problem persists even after trying the above remedies. A chapped nipple can be an alarm to a big problem like Breast Cancer. A doctor is the only person with authority to show you how to heal them fast.
The nipples are one of the most sensitive parts of the human body and getting and sore in the region can be very painful and uncomfortable. If you are undergoing this problem, then I feel for you and hope that this article will help you get over the problem soon.