Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cracked or sore nipples?

To say that the first few weeks as a new mom has been challenging is an understatement. It brings with it a lot of unknowns, situations you have never been subjected to before and more and more questions for which you have no answers. Ignorance is definitely not bliss when it comes to your kid. Every time our son cried, we thought he was angry. That was the most easiest thing to presume and I would feed him.

In situations such as this, it is quite possible that breastfeeding may possibly make your nipples feel a little sore at the beginning of a feed during the first few days. This can also happen if your baby is not latched on properly or if you are feeding him after a long interval. Due to hunger, kids become restless and hurry for the feed. This would cause your nipples to crack or bleed and the pain is very intense - a needlelike pain. Here is what was prescribed to me and what I suggest:

  1. Get medical attention as soon as possible. Even before your delivery talk to your doctor about any care you need to take.

  2. Do not use syringes to extract milk on cracked nipples.

  3. Do not use soaps or lotions on the cracked area.

  4. Massage it with warm water using a clean cloth.

  5. Medication : Most importantly this is what helped. A Lanolin based ointment like Nipcare (in India) can be applied before and after the feed to the breasts. You can do this even before delivery. This will help the pores open up. It is safe to feed the baby with the ointment applied.