Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to care for cracked nipples ?

Is there any treatment or relief for cracked or bleeding nipples?

If your nipples bleed or crack, here's what you need to do: 
  • Take a look at the pictures in our how to breastfeed article and read our advice on how to make sure that your baby is latched on well. Talk to your doctor, or ask her to put you in touch with a breastfeeding specialist if you need extra help.
  • You may find certain feeding positions to be more comfortable than others. Some nursing mums find it easier to lie down sideways and feed their baby.
  • Many mums find rubbing a little modified lanolin ointment or cream on their nipples helps them recover. This treatment, called moist wound healing, eases pain and allows wounds to heal faster without forming a scab. You won't need to wash the ointment off before feeds. Your local chemist should be able to help or you could ask your doctor to prescribe an appropriate ointment. You can also rub some of the fat-rich hindmilk onto your breasts after a feed.
  • Don't put soap, lotions, or perfumes on your nipples. Washing or bathing with plain water is all it takes to keep your breasts and nipples clean.
  • Take a painkiller. If the pain is severe, you can take a mild painkiller about 30 minutes before feeding. Check the most appropriate type with your doctor.
  • If you choose to use something to help you like a nipple shield, only do so with the advice of a breastfeeding counsellor or your doctor. If you can, try to use them only as an emergency fix.

If a crack or wound shows no sign of healing, check with your doctor. 

Will my cracked or bleeding nipples affect my baby?

Babies generally ignore cracked or otherwise injured nipples. A little blood in your milk won't hurt them, and, as long as you can bear it, you can carry on breastfeeding. The important thing is to get your baby feeding efficiently so your nipples have a chance to heal. 

Sorting out the problem will help your baby, too. If your nipples are suffering because your baby is not latched on well, he probably isn't getting the best from your milk. Feeds may dragon without your baby sucking efficiently. He may not take in enough of the calorie-rich hindmilk that comes at the end of a feed. He'll need that rich milk to gain weight.

Can I still breastfeed even with cracked and bleeding nipples?

If you've got cracked nipples, feeding your baby can be unbearably painful. If it's impossible to feed, you can carefully express your milk and give it to your baby by bottle, cup or palladaiin the meantime. Find out how to safely store expressed breastmilk

You may be in a lot of pain from your cracked nipples, especially if your baby bites when breastfeeding. But try to remember it won't last forever. Following the tips in this article and getting help from your doctor will put you on the road to recovery. Then you and your baby will be able to enjoy breastfeeding once again. 

There is a good quality OTC Mother care cream now available in India, you can buy it here
Finally you can find some additional home remedies for cracked nipple here

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