Breastfeeding is the most valuable gift a mother can offer to her baby while breastfeeding is also one of the most special moments when a mother becomes closer to her baby. Unfortunately, these special moments sometimes may turn into a nightmare for mothers who have just given birth. Nipple cracks sometimes reach to such extent that the mother may not be able to breastfeed her baby even if she desires it very much.
The most general reason of nipple cracks is usually the breastfeeding techniques. If the baby does not suck the brown ring part of the breast around the nipple named areola during breastfeeding and sucks milk from the nipple only, the nipple is eventually damaged and firstly the painful nipple is observed. If this painful breast condition is not corrected, nipple fractures and clefts develop. Another reason is the wetting and drying of the nipples during the Lactation period arising from the continuous moisture and temperature caused by the breast sucking of the baby. In such a case, cracks occur in the nipples and lead to eczema with obvious painful clefts.
The main issue with the cracking of the nipple is the penetration of the germs from these cracks and subsequently inflammation of the breast. Moreover, nipple cracks make breastfeeding painful, which causes the mother to not give suffficient milk and ultimately accumulate milk in the breasts.
What to do when nipple cracks occur?
The most important issue is to avoid the formation of nipple cracks. Nipples should be prepared for breastfeeding from the 8th month of pregnancy in order to prevent breast cracks and clefts. "Therefore, cream to be applied on nipples after the bath will prevent the mother to have pain after childbirth and make it easy for the mother to give milk for the period necessary for development of the baby.” Lanolin and coconut oil help the mothers at this point. Lanolin helps the nipple to remain wet while coconut oil has antiseptic properties which protect against nipple inflammation.
Here are a few tips for preventing nipple cracks, if any, and treating them:
- When breastfeeding your baby, take the right breastfeeding position, ensure that the baby not just sucks the nipple, but all of the dark area surrounding the nipple, called areola. Apply the nipple cream containing lanolin and coconut in every breastfeed with an eye to keep the nipple moist and disinfected.
- Apply a few drops of milk squeezed from the nipple to the nipple after the nipple is dried by hand, and wait until it dries .
- Nipple pads should be replaced frequently and air contact should be ensured between breast feedings so as to prevent milk leakage from wetting the nipple.