Soreness of nipples and cracked nipples are common problem faced by majority of breastfeeding mothers, especially new moms. Even though slight pain or pulling sensation to some extent is natural, severe pain and in extreme cases cuts and bruises during breastfeeding is surely an indication that something is wrong.
The most common causes of sore nipples are:
- Improper latching:This is the most common cause of all. The baby not taking the nipple deeply enough into his mouth.
- Thrush:An yeast infection on the skin of the nipple, which can also be inside the baby’s mouth;
- Bacterial infection:On the nipple or in the milk ducts;
What are some of the tips and solutions???
- Make sure that the baby is latched properly: For breastfeeding to be comfortable, the baby needs to have the entire nipple, the complete upper part of the areola, and part of lower areola in his mouth, so that the nipple is near the back of his mouth where the palate is soft. This good latch is more likely to happen if the baby latches on with his head tipped back so that his chin is pressed into the mother’s breast and his nose is away from the breast. Of course, every baby and every breast is a little different, so you may need to adjust the positioning to find out what works best for both of you.
- Use antibacterial or antifungal creams in case of infections.
- You can also take breastfeeding safe over-the-counter painkillers if the pain is unbearable.
- Another option is to apply an ice pack just before you feed the baby to temporarily numb the nipple as you latch the baby on.
- Crush a handful of basil leaves to make paste. Apply this paste on the affected area. Wash it off nicely before the feeding session.
- Fresh Alovera gel can also act as a soother for your sore nipples if applied on the affected area.
- Apple cidar vinegar can be applied over the nipples and areola to prevent fungal thrush and bacterial infection.
- Saline soaks will also help you to reduce soreness of nipple.
- Mahatiktaka gritha or tiktaka gritha can be applied over the nipple and areola in case of soreness and cracked nipples. These medicines can be administered internally as well, to soothe the cracked nipples as well as soreness.