General Practice 2022

What to do when the nipple isá cracked

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What to do when the nipple isá cracked
What to do when the nipple isá cracked

Nipple cracks appear especially in the first few weeks of breastfeeding due to incorrect attachment of the baby to the breast. It can be suspected that the baby is attaching the breast incorrectly when the nipple of the breast is crumpled when it stops breastfeeding. If it is crumpled, it is very likely that the grip is incorrect and that the next day the cracks and bleeding will appear.

To cure cracked and bleeding nipples, continue breastfeeding, but always check that the baby is latching correctly. It is important to continue breastfeeding if cracking or bleeding occurs because breast milk itself is an excellent natural remedy to heal cracked nipples.

If the baby has thrush in the mouth, which is very common, the candida albicans fungus can pass to the mother's nipple, it can get thrush in the breast and in that case the nipple pain becomes even greater in shape of stinging or deep burning in the first minutes of breastfeeding, and remains until after the baby has finished breastfeeding.But this pain comes back or gets worse every time the baby breastfeeds, making it very uncomfortable for the woman. Find out if in addition to the crack you can have candidiasis in the breast and what to do to heal faster.

What to put on your nipples

To heal the cracked nipple faster, it is recommended that, whenever the baby finishes suckling, you apply a few drops of your own milk all over the nipple, letting it dry naturally. This step is very important because milk is very hydrating and has everything the skin needs to heal on its own.

Doing about 15 minutes of top less daily while breastfeeding is also a great way to protect your nipples and fight cracks, but the best time to get out in the sun is in the morning., before 10 am or after 4 pm, because you have to be without sunscreen.

In the bath, it is recommended to pass only water and soap on the breast and then dry with gentle movements, using a soft towel. Then you should put breastfeeding discs inside the bra because this helps keep the nipples more comfortable and dry, preventing infections.

In some cases, especially when the nipples are very cracked and bleeding, the doctor may also prescribe the use of a lanolin ointment that should be applied to the nipple after breastfeeding. This ointment can be purchased at any pharmacy and must be removed with a cotton ball soaked in water, before putting the baby to the breast.

See also some home remedies for cracked breasts.

What not to apply on the nipples

It is contraindicated to apply alcohol, merthiolate or any other disinfectant substance on the nipples during the breastfeeding phase, so as not to harm the baby. It is also not recommended to apply bepantol, glycerin or vaseline.

When there are changes such as sores on the nipples, what you should do is continue breastfeeding, taking care to check that the baby is sucking in the correct position and pass only breast milk or lanolin ointment on the nipple.

Can I continue breastfeeding?

Yes, it is recommended that the woman continues breastfeeding so that the milk does not accumulate causing even more pain. Milk and a small amount of blood can be ingested by the baby without any problem, but if you are bleeding a lot, you should inform your pediatrician.

When breastfeeding it is very important to ensure that you are breastfeeding correctly, as this is one of the main causes of cracked nipples. See our step-by-step breastfeeding guide to breastfeeding correctly.

How to prevent nipple cracks

To prevent nipple cracking during breastfeeding, it is recommended to follow some simple tips:

  • Apply a little milk to the nipple and areola, gently pressing each nipple until a little milk comes out after you finish breastfeeding;
  • Avoid the use of creams or ointments on the nipples, use only if there are cracks and under medical advice;
  • Use a nipple shield inside your bra and always wear a good nursing bra, as the wrong size can impair milk production and removal;
  • Take off your bra and expose your breasts to the sun for a few minutes to keep your nipples always dry, as humidity also favors the proliferation of fungi and bacteria.

The cracks are not caused by the time it takes the baby to breastfeed, but by the dryness of the skin and the baby's "bad latch" on the areola and therefore this situation should be quickly corrected. The doctor or nurse will be able to help facilitate the baby's latch and thus improve milk output and avoid the discomfort that cracks can cause.

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