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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
After giving birth, many women have the problem of cracked nipples. This is especially true for mothers who have given birth for the first time. After all, milk never came out of the nipples before, but now it has appeared. And if the chest area is wet, then an infection will appear in such conditions. So you constantly need to monitor the dryness of the bra. But such a pathology may appear for other reasons.
Why do nipple cracks appear?
Nipple cracks are a very annoying problem. Moreover, because of this, the process of feeding a child brings pain and becomes almost impossible. Therefore, women often express their breast milk and bottle feed their babies.
Consider the factors that lead to this pathology:
- The most common cause of cracks in the nipple area is improper latching of the breast by the infant during feeding. And this happens due to the fact that the woman has chosen the wrong position for feeding the baby. You need to maintain correct posture without leaning too much towards the baby. At the same time, you can feed him both standing and sitting.
- If the grip is correct, then the cause of the cracks is a fungal or staphylococcal infection.
- The problem also arises if a woman in labor does not properly care for her breasts. It is forbidden to wash the nipples too often with soap, grease the cracks with brilliant green, which dries the skin even more.
- The pathology also occurs in mothers who use a breast pump incorrectly. Due to the high intensity of milk suction, the nipples stretch, leading to the appearance of cracks on their surface. Therefore, before using the device, you should read the instructions for use.
It should also be borne in mind that there can be several reasons for cracks at once. The problem may be due to all of the above factors. But with prolonged feeding, cracks do not appear. So the baby can be allowed to breastfeed as much as necessary, it just needs to be done correctly.
Elimination of causes
If the cause of cracks in the nipple area is an infection, then you need to seek help from a doctor. After all, medicines must be suitable for a nursing mother. It is impossible to drink various drugs without a doctor's prescription, as this can lead to the appearance of allergies in the baby.
If cracks occur due to improper hygiene, you need to change it. You should not wash your nipples before each feed, as detergents dry out your breast skin. It is enough to cleanse it 1-2 times a day while taking a shower. If a woman has thrush, then the milk must be washed off after each feeding. Otherwise, the infection will become more pronounced. Breast pads need to be changed regularly to keep the surface from getting too wet.
You can not take the breast from the child, he must release it himself when he is full. If you urgently need to pull it out of the baby's mouth, you need to carefully place the nipple, after which the grip will weaken. In some cases, newborns suck too hard on the breast. They should not be allowed to do this and put their breasts only in a well-opened mouth. If the appearance of cracks is associated with the use of a breast pump, then you need to express milk yourself until the breast heals.
How to get rid of pain?
To get rid of cracks in the nipple area, it is necessary to eliminate all the reasons that led to their appearance. Due to this, the wounds will heal very quickly. If the cracks are shallow, then after the grip is corrected, the feeding will be completely painless. Sometimes the pain reaction occurs only at the beginning of feeding, and then it gradually goes away. Cracks often go away on their own, without the use of additional tools.
However, a special nipple ointment is used to heal deep wounds:
- For this purpose, Bepanten, Solcoseryl, as well as other creams, which include Lanolin, are used. It is a natural ingredient, so the ointment can be applied before breastfeeding and not washed off during feeding. Such drugs are harmless to the health of the mother and baby, and do not cause allergic reactions. Bepanten nipple ointment is applied to clean breasts. Therefore, before using the product, a woman is advised to take a bath or shower. It is better to wash your breasts with laundry soap, which does not dry your skin.
- Zinc ointment for nipple cracks is also often used to treat cracked nipples. It is inexpensive - about 30 rubles. But it should not be applied before feeding. Moreover, it is recommended to wash it with laundry soap before letting the baby suckle. Also, many mothers note that wounds heal thanks to a combination of lanolin ointments and hydrogel pads. However, such a tool is expensive.
- Also, with deep cracks for quick healing, doctors recommend using Solcoseryl ointment. After applying it to the damaged surface, it "glues" the edges, so the wound heals quickly. In addition, you can use natural ingredients based on calendula or essential oils. They are also harmless to the baby, but it is better to wash them off. Moreover, for this purpose, not water and soap are taken, but mother's milk. So the skin will not dry out.
- Purean nipple ointment. The cream is completely safe for mother and baby. You can start using it before the wounds appear, for prevention purposes. It is applied both before and after feeding. Moreover, the drug can be used even after the nursing period - it perfectly moisturizes the lips. The tool has another name - Medel's nipple ointment.
However, an ointment for cracking nipples will not work if the baby does not properly latch on to the breast during feeding. If the grip is corrected and the gels do not help, special silicone nipple covers can be used. However, they are only used for wound healing.
In the future, it is better to refuse them, because under their influence the breast is stimulated and begins to burn. With prolonged use, the woman's milk gradually decreases, and the baby refuses to take the breast into his mouth without a silicone pad.
Correct grip of the chest
Ointment for cracked nipples will not be effective if the woman does not take the correct posture when feeding.
A woman should pay attention to whether the baby sucks correctly:
- The baby's mouth should be wide open, moreover, in addition to the nipples, it also captures the areola.
- The bottom of the areola is in the baby's mouth, not the top.
- The lips are turned out, the tongue is visible.
- The chin is in contact with the chest.
- After sucking, the nipple is round, not sloping.
If the grip is correct, the mother will never feel pain. Even if they are, they will be very weak. You can't endure the pain, you need to urgently correct the situation.
How to alleviate a woman's condition?
If a woman has cracks in the nipple area, then she needs to adhere to a number of recommendations in order to reduce pain syndrome:
- First, you need to breastfeed with the breast that hurts less. After all, a hungry baby sucks much more intensely, which further exacerbates the situation.
- It is best to feed your baby as often as possible so that he is not hungry. So he will suck at the breast more calmly, due to which it is not so injured.
- Do not allow the nipples to rub against clothing. You can go bare-chested at home. And for a visit, it is recommended to buy special materials that are placed in the bra to reduce contact between the breast and tissue.
- If there is a crack on one breast and not on the other, then you can only feed a healthy one. The second one should rest for a while, and milk from it can be expressed with your hands.
Special pads are also used if the pain is very severe. However, after the woman takes them off and the baby begins to suck on the nipple, the breast is injured again, since the grip is not corrected. It is impossible to start the process of formation of cracks, otherwise too large wounds may develop into inflammation over time.