Sore and cracked nipples are mostly experienced by breast feeding mothers though others can also suffer from nipple irritation. This makes wearing clothes very uncomfortable and for breastfeeding mothers it is even painful. The most important reason for sore and cracked nipples among breast feeding mothers is the wrong positioning of baby.
It is important to have the correct latch-on technique. Make sure that most of the areola of your breast is into baby’s mouth and not just the nipple. Hold your baby with some support underside so as to feel comfortable. Use your other hand to cup your breast with thumb on top and fingers underneath. Now pull the baby in tight and stoke the cheek with your nipple. The baby would open his/her mouth and then you should put most of your areola in his/her mouth. This allows baby to grab the areola and then the mother should press her breast to release the milk.
Other tips for sore and cracked nipples:
Â· Always keep your breasts clean and dry. Don’t wash your breasts with soap as it would dry the nipples more. Use only plain water for cleaning. Allow your breasts to breathe by exposing them to fresh air on and off. You can also dry them with hair dryer after each breastfeeding session as moist nipples would stick to clothes causing further irritation.
Â· After breastfeeding apply cool gel pads on dry nipples. You can also apply some of your own breast milk on the nipples as the antibodies present in breast milk would fight infection and keep the nipples healthy.
Â· Support your breasts with breastfeeding pads. But avoid pads with plastic liners; instead go for cotton pads and cotton bras with non elastic straps. You can also place breast shields in your bra to prevent nipples from coming in contact with clothes.
Â· You can apply honey or lanolin mixed with olive oil over your nipples to get the relief. It will act as a moisturizer and provide healing. It will also prevent recurrence of cracking in future.
Â· You can apply ice on your sore nipples or soak them in a tub of warm water. You should rest a lot and relax while breastfeeding.
Â· If your baby has white plaques in his/her mouth than he/she might have a yeast infection. Then you might have candida on your nipples making them red and very sore. In this case after the feeding you may apply Nystatin suspension on nipples to get relief.