Cracked nipples is one of the inconveniences that a nursing mother can run into. But what causes cracked nipples? How can these nipple lesions be prevented? What is the best way to treat cracked nipples? Is there any natural solution? Let's see.
What are cracked nipples?
The nipple with lesions or injuries to the nipple or areola is called a cracked nipple. These lacerations are very painful and can compromise the continuity of lactation.
Breastfeeding should not, under any circumstances, hurt. Nor should we make an effort to get used to pain, even a little discomfort. In this case, the cracked nipple, despite not being so strange, should not be taken as something normal. If you have this type of injury, you should look for the cause in order to solve the problem. Remember that breastfeeding is a moment of well-being for both the baby and the mother . Numerous hormones, such as prolactin and oxytocin, are secreted during feeding and breastfeeding is synonymous with well-being and not with pain.
What are the causes of cracked nipples?
No, breastfeeding is not the cause of the cracked nipple . Again, cracked nipples, while common, are not a normal consequence of breastfeeding. However, an inappropriate position, poor grip or the presence of a sublingual frenulum may cause lesions in the mother's nipples.
In feedings with a bad position, it is common for the baby to grasp only the nipple and squeeze it with the gums, between the tongue and the hard palate, or pull on it. This ends up causing the formation of wounds or sores after a few shots.
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On the other hand, the sublingual frenulum , which is nothing more than the short frenulum making the tongue attached to the floor of the mouth , does not allow the necessary movements to be made so that the baby can feed effectively and without compromising the well-being of Mother. Even so, before intervening on the baby's frenulum, it is necessary to make sure that this is the cause of the lesions, since not all babies with sublingual frenulum present complications when it comes to extracting the necessary milk. It would be appropriate to check if the baby feeds with the mouth wide open with the lips inverted, the nose and chin touching the breast, close to the mother and the baby's ear-shoulder-hip are aligned.
There are three main causes that cause cracked nipples:
- Inadequate position.
- Bad grip.
- Presence of sublingual frenulum.
You have to make sure that:
- The baby feeds with his mouth wide open.
- His nose touches the chest.
- His chin touches the chest.
- He is completely attached to the mother.
- Your ear, shoulder, and hip are in line.
How to prevent cracked nipples?
Cracked nipples usually appear in the first few days of breastfeeding. If you are a nursing mother and you have passed the learning age, congratulations, it is very unlikely that your nipples will be injured while breastfeeding. However, if you have not yet breastfed and being a nursing mother is the decision you have made, there are resources that you can consider to avoid cracked nipples.
- Go to a lactation expert (super tip: it is the most important step and should be the first)
- Recognize a good grip.
- Avoid the use of pacifiers and teats.
- Do not wash the breasts after each feeding.
- Use proper discs.
Although breastfeeding is instinctive, the basic pillars of it have been documented so that you do not have to experiment with trial and error with something as necessary as feeding your baby and the integrity of your nipples. Going to a lactation expert is of great help to prepare you in this new terrain. She will help you recognize a good latch and encourage it so that your baby's feedings are the safest and most satisfying for both of you. Avoiding pacifiers or teats is also essential. The suction exerted on these products is not the same as that exerted on the nipple; your baby can get spoiled and end up damaging your nipples. Of course, the daily shower is mandatory to maintain good hygiene, but that will be enough to wash your nipples. Washing them too much will only make them irritated . Non -specific creams will only stop the glands that moisturize the nipple and we don't want that. Finally, inappropriate discs can irritate the nipples. Better use some cloth, soft and reusable.
How to cure cracked nipples?
Healing cracked nipples is easier than it seems. If you have already managed to solve the causes that have caused your cracks, all you have to do is pamper your body a little more than usual to leave your nipples in the optimal state for the following feedings. Your body is wise and will recover quickly. Remember: no pain! Try our routine in 3 steps
- After each feeding, apply a nipple bath with salts from the dead sea
- Apply a nipple balm (if it is natural better)
- air dry
Nipple baths with enriched salts will help the healing of the cracks. A teaspoon of salts in a glass of warm water will suffice to apply to the nipple. You can also do it with the help of an irrigator. And then? Air dry.
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Once dry, the ideal would be to apply a nourishing balm with soothing and regenerating properties. Our favourite, with almond, olive, jojoba and avocado oils; calendula extract, centella asiatica and chamomile. Without lanolin and without perfumes. A gem, because you can not only apply it after the healing routine, but whenever you want, even before taking it. Plus, he's vegan.