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Cracked or sore nipples are a very common problem in breastfeeding moms. More common in first time moms and in the first few months after delivery. Symptoms may be severe pain in nipples or breast while feeding, bleeding from nipples, cracks, soreness or discomfort in nipples while feeding. The following measures can help in prevention and treatment of this issue…
Proper position and latching is important for a blissful and trouble free breastfeeding.
Incorrect breastfeeding position and latching can cause nipple issues. Give both nipple and areola by forming a teat into baby's mouth when it's wide open. Baby will suck at areola not only nipple.
Apply hind milk on both nipples and areola at end of each feeding session to help them moisturized and prevent cracks, pain.
Clean your breasts and nipples with warm water frequently and dry gently.
Maintain hygiene and wash your hands regularly.
Pus or abscess in breast is because of ascending infection from cracked nipples and not due to engorgement of breasts which is a common belief. So personal hygiene is must.
Do not massage your breasts vigorously.
Use nipple care ointments liberally for cracked nipples after feeding. Just wash them with water before feeding to avoid slippage of nipples from baby's mouth.
Use cold compresses for pain
If pain is too bad and breastfeeding becomes difficult from that side give expressed breast milk with katori spoon temporarily. Do not give by bottle.
Cracked or bleeding nipples take time to heal. With all these measures and precautions it will decrease and go away in sometime. Do not get discouraged. Talk to your doctor about it.
Meet your doctor in case of redness of breasts, fever and lumps in breast or rise in local temperature. Proper antibiotics and guidance at this stage can prevent development of pus in breast. The three most important things for a breast feeding mom are... Patience... Patience... And patience.. Stay blessed. Happy feeding!!! For pictorial information on proper breastfeeding position and latching wait for my next video.. Visit my website www.familygynaec.com For articles on breastfeeding and baby care and many more. Disclaimer - these are the views of a qualified doctor and author. These are general suggestions and do not replace actual check up by a doctor. Any resemblance to anybody is coincidental. Author information - Dr Harita N Kothia, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Mumbai