If you breastfeed your baby, you’ve probably experienced sore and cracked nipples. It’s something that plenty of nursing moms face.
This is usually a consequence of a bad latch or improper placement of the baby at the breast.
Trauma on the nipples is usually manifested by oozing and sore nipples that throb and are cracked.
Make sure you learn how to prevent this from happening and also, opt for some of the best home remedies to alleviate the discomfort and pain.
Consult a lactation expert who will help you determine the reason behind the cracked nipples and they will assess your breastfeeding skills and also check the baby’s pattern of sucking and strength.
Breastfeeding requires learning, both for the mom and the baby. You’ll need some practice before you place the nipple in the mouth of the baby in the right way and place the body of the baby against yours.
When a baby isn’t latched well, they may pinch off the nipple to prevent a forceful letdown reflex.
Five Natural Ways to Relieve Cracked Nipples
- Warm compresses
Warm and damp compresses after breastfeeding may soothe the cracked nipples.
Dip a clean cloth in warm water and squeeze out the surplus. Put the cloth gently over the nipple for several minutes and then pat the area dry.
- Apply fresh breast milk
Smooth some fresh breast milk onto the nipples to boost the antibacterial protection. Apply it after breastfeeding, but always wash your hands before.
Leave the milk to dry before you cover yourself. Don’t do this method if you have thrush because yeast grows fast in human milk and always rinse the nipples after feeding.
- Medical grade lanolin ointment
Lanolin ointment designed for breastfeeding moms helps encourage moist wound healing.
Apply a thin layer to the nipples after breastfeeding. The ointment doesn’t have to be removed before a baby is nursed.
- Rinse with salty water
Homemade saline solution can help keep the skin hydrated and encourage healing. Combine ½ tsp of salt and 8 ounces of warm water and soak the nipples in the saline solution for a minute after breastfeeding.
You can also keep the mixture in a squirt bottle and apply it to the nipples in this way. Afterward, pat the area dry.
Use new saline solution daily to prevent bacteria. If the baby doesn’t seem to like the solution, rinse the nipples before feeding.
- Change the nursing pads regularly
As soon as they become damp, switch the nursing pads with new ones.
Leaving the moisture can delay the healing process. Don’t use pads with plastic linings because they block the airflow.
Always use 100 percent cotton ones.
Which Remedies to Avoid for Cracked Nipples?
There are some home remedies that should be avoided because they can have a counter effect. Some of them are wet tea bags.
This is because the tannic acid from the tea can have an astringent effect on nipples and dry them out and complicate the cracking.