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Eliminating Cracked Nipples When Breastfeeding

There is an opinion that, during the pregnancy period, one should get the breasts ready for breast-feeding by rubbing them with a terry towel or by placing rough cloth insets into the brasserie. In fact, all these things may be dangerous because nipple stimulation can cause uterine contraction.


Nature is preparing your breasts for breast-feeding on its own, but cracks may appear anyway. Breast-feeding specialists state that cracks in the nipple emerge due to the wrong method of applying a baby to the breast. Different women have different levels of nipple sensitivity. Some cannot bear even the slightest touching of this delicate body part, while others take even intensive rubbing quite normally. That is why, during the first days of breast-feeding, sensitive women can experience quite unpleasant feelings even if the baby is applied the right way. If there is nobody in the hospital to explain how to apply a baby the right way, problems will emerge: you will have cracked nipples, and bleeding is even possible.


What should be done?


First of all, it is important to have a talk with either a breast-feeding consultant or an experienced obstetrician-gynecologist. He or she will explain how to apply the baby to the breast the correct way, and he or she will teach the right expression of breast milk.


Do not let your baby slip on your nipple; during feeding the largest part of areola should be in his or her mouth. If you do not hear your baby swallow or do not feel your baby hanging on your nipple, take the breast carefully form him or her (put your little finger into the baby’s mouth – he or she will unclench his or her jaws), and then give it to your child the right way.
Do not wash your breast before or after feeding, especially with soap – there are important bacteria on the nipple and on the areola which inhabit your baby’s intestine with useful micro flora. Besides, washing can be the reason for cracks emerging.


Let your breast breath – your nipples should be exposed to fresh air as often as possible. It is not, however, necessary to walk around topless the whole day.


If feeding hurts, you may try to coarsen the skin on the nipples. Take a tablespoon of oak bark and add a glass of boiled water. Let it sit for fifteen minutes to cool. You may put your nipple into the infusion, or apply it to the breast with the help of a wad of cotton. It will help even if the cracks have already appeared. You may also use creams and ointments.


You should not stop feeding even if it is rather painful. Use covers; they will help, but remember that it is a temporary measure.


Special creams, fresh air, and the right technique are the best ways to get rid of cracks. Their healing requires 3-5 days, and afterwards you will feed your baby with pleasure.

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