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In today’s post, I will be sharing a few methods of healing and most importantly preventing cracked and sore nipples in breastfeeding mothers. This information is not only for breastfeeding mothers or married women in general, it is also meant for single men and women as well. Except of course you aspire to become a Priest or Reverend sister in the near future.
Usually when a woman starts to breastfeed, the process is initially painful as the nipple would crack and become sore as a result of the baby trying to learn how to latch on it. After a while when the baby gets a hang of it, the pain subsides and the mother is relieved.
As subtle as this initial breastfeeding process may sound, some women have had to endure VERY PAINFUL and extended duration of these times of breastfeeding and some are very unfortunate that the crack which was initially on only one spot of the nipple, would then multiply into several cracks and eventually lead to the nipple falling off.
I remember a friend of mine whose nipple was so cracked and sore that her nipples were actually bleeding. And the worst part was she had to continue breastfeeding her baby anyway. After all, the baby had to eat. And you know what they say about the importance of breast milk to a baby for the first six months.
My friend would scream out loud whenever her baby was latching on her nipple and sometimes (most times), she cried!
Sounds crazy yeah? Crazy but true if the crack isn’t well taken care of.
Fortunately, I wouldn’t want any one of my readers going around with two breasts and one nipple so I am going to share with you a few ways you can prevent nipple crack and soreness. The good thing is that these methods are also known to heal nipple crack and soreness as well so feel free to use them if you already find yourself entangled in the sweet pain brought about by breastfeeding.
Like I have said in all of my previous tips, my methods have been tested and tried so feel free to use and share with loved ones.
Firstly, before I begin listing, you must know the correct latch position for the baby.
Most times, nipple crack and soreness are caused because the baby isn’t latching on the nipple correctly. Usually, you find the baby tugging on only the nipple when in fact the baby ought to have the entire areola (darker spot on the breast) including the nipple in his or her mouth.
That way, when the baby sucks out milk, it goes straight into the throat and is relatively pain free for the mother.
Now for the remedies:
- Get small ice packs (ice placed in a plastic bag or towel) or a bag of frozen peas and place the ice pack on your nipple immediately after breastfeeding for thirty (30) minutes.
Usually, you are supposed to switch between breasts while breastfeeding. So when you switch the baby to one breast, put the ice pack on the breast the baby just finished suckling and repeat the same process after the baby is done with the other breast.
The effect of the ice on the nipple is that it toughens up the skin and heals whatever crack it may have. Just the same way wrestlers and boxers sit in an ice bath to heal their injuries, that’s the same way placing an ice pack on the nipple would heal and also prevent cracks and soreness of the nipple.
When I say honey, I certainly do not mean all those adulterated honey you find in jars in supermarkets these days. I mean fresh, pure, natural and unprocessed honey. For readers in Abuja, Bwari is the best place to get those. You will find Fulani women on the express selling them by the roadside.
Over the years, honey has been known to have healing properties. It heals burns, cuts and injuries in general and was used as a form of first aid back in the day.
Likewise for honey, you are to apply it generously on your nipple after breastfeeding but please remember to WIPE OFF CLEAN before breastfeeding your baby as honey has been known to cause botulism (neurological disorder) in babies below one year old.
This is why it is advised by medical practitioners to wait until your baby reaches the one year mark before introducing honey. So make sure you wipe or wash it off completely before breastfeeding.
3. My personal favorite, LANOLIN CREAM!
Majority of Nigerians do not know about lanolin. But trust me, it works like magic.
My friend whom I spoke about earlier with the bleeding nipple, heeded to my advice when she had her second baby and used lanolin cream. She never complained afterwards or encountered any form of pain or soreness whatsoever the second time around.
Lanolin has been proven to have no adverse effect on babies whatsoever which makes it so much more convenient to use than honey. I am a living testimony to that. I used Lanolin cream while breastfeeding my baby without wiping off and best believe that my daughter is healthy and sound and sings “Happy Birthday to you” at fourteen (14) months! 😀
Also, people that use Lanolin cream DO NOT have to apply it as often as those who use honey. Only apply when you feel dryness or itchiness on your nipple or if your nipple appears scaly. The moisturizing effect of Lanolin keeps the skin supple longer.
That’s it guys! The three (3) ways you can prevent and heal cracked and sore nipples. I sure hope you have learned something today and always remember to spread the word.
Do you know any other method of preventing cracked and sore nipples?
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