Breasts are sensitive, and perhaps nipples are more sensitive! Every mom-to-be has gone through this experience because nipple soreness is an inevitable part of pregnancy. And very often when mothers start breastfeeding their babies, they may encounter cracked nipple with bleeding problems too. But all women out there, do not take this cracked nipple problems casually! Because according to expert’s nipple crack is a symptom too chronic to ignore. In this article, we will enlighten you with the details of the cracked nipple, causes, symptoms and much more. Stay tuned and let us have a look–
CAUSES OF CRACKED NIPPLE–
Though, cracked nipples are regarded as one of the signs of pregnancy; there are several reasons behind the occurrence of cracked nipples. Those are as follows–
- Cracked nipples are usually caused because you baby is not in a correct position during breastfeeding and maybe latching on inappropriately.
- Cracked nipples may also occur in the case of having dry skin or eczema as a result of using a particular soap or lotion.
- You may also develop a cracked nipple if your baby has a thrush; especially after the breastfeeding.
- Apart from these reasons, cracked nipples can be the result of having inverted nipples or due to some hormonal changes. Bacterial infection can be the other cause of cracked nipples.
SYMPTOMS OF CRACKED NIPPLES–
Cracked nipples are often accompanied by sore nipples. And for women, nipple soreness is quite a regular issue. So, when should we seriously consider the problem of cracked nipples? Or when should we call the doctor? Let us discuss the symptoms.
- Nipple discharge– clear, milky, dark or even bloody fluid discharge.
- Sore nipples.
- Itchy nipples.
- Change in appearance viz. If the nipple seems darker in appearance.
- Scaliness or rashes.
SOME IMPORTANT FAQS –
Lots of mums have a common query– does cracked nipple affect the baby’s health? The answer is no. Only cracked nipples are not harmful for baby’s health. But if the nipples are bleeding, it would be better not to breastfeed your baby.
Secondly, how to breastfeed a baby during nipple crack. Ouch! I know it hurts too much. But there are subtle ways to accomplish that easily. One, incline slightly towards the baby and let your baby self-latch. Two, wait till the baby is full, don’t try to get your nipples out forcefully.
And the main question comes, what is the perfect position of breastfeeding during the nipple soreness? Whether you are breastfeeding sitting up or not, tuck your baby close to you and place your hand behind her shoulder, not the head. Point your nipple straight down to her nose. In this way, the baby will be comfortable in latching, and you will have a pain-free breastfeeding process.
HOW TO HEAL CRACKED NIPPLES–
Here, we will dictate some healing method for cracked nipples–
- Clean your nipples gently. Rinse your breast after breastfeeding to avoid infections. Do not use lotions, alcohol or perfumes on the nipple.
- In the case of having an open wound, consult your doctor and use antibacterial ointment accordingly.
- Use medical-grade modified lanolin for breastfeeding.
- Try using hydrogel dressing pad for comfort.
- Take painkillers as prescribed by your medical consultant.
TIPS TO AVOID NIPPLE CRACKING–
For pregnant women, cracked nipples are an inevitable incident, and you can’t blame yourself for this. Yes, you can avoid nipple cracking, but surely you cannot prevent it. However, here are few tips to avoid nipple cracking–
- Let your baby self-latch. It may take time, but it results in the efficient and most importantly pain-free latch.
- Adjust without unlatching. It will prevent you from cracked nipples.
- Use nipple shields. Nipple shields are extremely helpful if you want to avoid nipple soreness.
- Give your nipples some air. After breastfeeding do not cover it immediately with clothes. Let your nipple have some air. It will prevent nipple cracking.
SOME IMPORTANT DO’S AND DON’TS
Cracked nipples are not desirable and can be painful as hell! Prevention is better than cure, but if you have failed at preventing it, you must pay attention at curing. So, here are some important do’s and don’ts. Take note!
1. Wear loose fit clothes.
2. Use nipple shields.
3. Use your milk to heal your cracked nipples.
4. Pay attention at baby latching.
5. Try to save nipples from unnecessary frictions.
1. Do not wear tight clothes and undergarments.
2. Do not hurry while breastfeeding.
3. Do not rub or touch nipples.
Nipple soreness and cracked nipples are very common occurrence for every new mum and pregnant women. So, no need to panic if you are currently dealing with the same nipple problems. But if it bleeds too much or is painful, I would suggest consulting a doctor for your betterment.