The breastfeeding mother probably has an unpleasant experience of the cracked or sore nipple. It is just because of a bad latch and improper positioning of the baby mouth at the breast.
When you feed in the correct position, then the nipples will be at the back of the mouth and away from the pressure of gums and tongue. Always use one finger to break the suction after feeding that helps to prevent sore nipple.
How to Prevent Sore Nipples
In the first week of breastfeeding, the mother can experience soreness. First, learn or take training from the doctor, nurses, family, or friends for proper feeding and position. Make sure the latching technique you follow is correct and accurate.
Make sure that the position of the baby close to your body and the mouth and face of the baby facing your nipple for proper latching.
When you feel pain over breast during feeding, gently remove the baby from the chest with one finger and allow latch again on both sides. It helps to prevent sore nipples.
How to Treat It
If you still have soreness, apply some fresh breast milk to the nipple at the end of feeding to soothe the nipple. Breast milk has more antibacterial properties that significantly reduce the chance of infection and soreness.
When you avoid preventing the sore nipple, you may feel more painful, engorged, swollen, and crack on the nipple. A temporary measure to avoid hurt is to apply an ice bag or frozen peas for ease discomfort.
If the baby, tend to suck with sore nipple creates more pain on the nipple and also affects the baby skin & mouth. (as it is so sensitive)
If you still feel sore learn to latch in the proper position or better consult your doctor and take appropriate treatment to prevent sore/crack.
Most Common Cause of Sore Nipples
Traumatized nipples are also described as sore, oozing, crack, bleeding, and throbbing. The most common cause of sore nipple occurs due to poor latch positioning and suction trauma.
Many reasons are there for incorrect positioning. In the first week of feeding, mother-baby is not practiced correctly for proper positioning in mother feeding leads to sore nipples.
A bit of practice required to position the nipple to the baby mouth properly. When the mother fails to keep on the correct position, the baby may pinch off the nipple cause severe sore and pain to the nipple.
If the baby has a shallow latch, the mother has to feed frequently as the child aren’t get a proper enough milk during shallow latch breastfeeding.
Apart from positioning, the baby also has some anatomical issues like tongue-tie, smallmouth, short frenulum, nipple confusion, sucking problem, improper position of the tongue, etc.
It is essential to determine the leading cause of the severe or crack problem. Proper guidance helps to get rectified from breastfeeding and latch techniques that, in turn, prevent sore nipple.
Does prevention need to do for Sore Nipples?
Prevention is better than cure. There are several methods and techniques are available to prevent sore nipples.
Apply Freshly Breast Milk
After every feeding breaks the suction with the help of one finger and applies fresh breast milk to heal the sore or cracked nipples.
When you pump slightly on your breast, you get fresh milk that contains antibacterial effects that prevent the sore nipples. Make sure to wash the hands and nipple before and after feeding.
After applying a few drops to the nipple allow it to dry before covering up. If you have thrush, avoid this method.
Change Nursing Pads Frequently
Change the nursing pad once they become damp. Apply some warm water leave the nipple moisturizer that helps to heal the crack problems. Avoid using plastic nursing pads that obstruct the airflow.
Sore Nipples Remedies and Treatment
Some of the best remedies and treatment for sore nipples are given below:
Apply a warm damp compress after breastfeeding to soothe the sore. Dip the cloth in warm water, wring out excess liquid, place the heated towel over nipple for few minutes and allow it to dry.
This method doesn’t have any antibacterial benefits, but it is an instant home remedy to avoid crack of nipples.
Salt Water Rinse
Take a small bowl, with 8 ounces of warm water add a ½ teaspoon of salt and allow the nipple to soak in the small bowl of the salt saline solution after breastfeeding for about one minute to prevent sore, crack nipples.
Allow it to dry before covering. Make sure to use freshwater and salt every day to reduce bacterial contamination. Don’t forget to wash your nipple before feeding.
Use of Wet Tea Bags
The use of a wet tea bag is the most popular treatment around the world. Apply wet tea bag over nipple reduce the The use of a wet tea bag is the most popular treatment around the world. Apply damp tea bag over nipple reduce the cause of crack or sore nipple. It is quite inexpensive.
The tannic acid from the tea has an astringent effect on the nipple that moist the warm with plain water. It is the best natural remedy for sore nipple treatment.
Use of ointments and Creams
Several lotions are applied to avoid sore nipples. As per the doctor’s advice, take proper medicine or ointment to prevent sore nipples.
Some creams are available in the market that prevents air circulation and dry out the skin. Better avoid infested products for your safe that may cause harm to your baby. Wash the nipples before and after of every feeding
For the breastfeeding mother, a specific lanolin ointment is available to promote moist wound healing that is prescribed for all nursing women.
Apply lanolin directly to the nipple after breastfeeding to prevent sore nipple. It is not necessary to wash or remove ointment before nursing the baby.
Hope this article helps you to understand the cause, prevention, remedies & treatment for sore nipples.