Cracked nipples during breastfeeding can prove to be very painful and stressful.  But you must remember that cracked nipples are a common side effect of breastfeeding and are experienced by almost all the nursing females.  Due to the sucking of the baby on the nipples of a mother, in some cases, the nipples tend to get cracked and may even bleed some times. But it is important to remember that cracked or bleeding nipples must be treated as soon as possible and should be healed effectively.

Tips for Treating Cracked Nipples

How to treat cracked nipples?

If you too are suffering from a condition of cracked nipples, then there are a few things that you can do to heal yourself.

While breastfeeding:

  • Check your baby’s latch-in order to prevent or treat cracked nipples, you must check the baby’s latch and make sure that it is off center. Its position should be on the areola below the nipple in the mouth of the baby.  Your nipple must be on the far end of the mouth of the baby.
  • Try a different breastfeeding position-you must be aware of different nursing positions and try out one which makes it easy for the baby to latch on.
  • Nurse on the less cracked side-if only one of your nipples is cracked, then for a few days; you must try and nurse on the other nipple so as to give the cracked nipple time to heal.
  • Use a cold pack-another way to ensure less pain and quick healing of your cracked nipple during the time of nursing is to apply a cold pack on it for a brief period of time. This will briefly dull the painful sensation and will hurt less when the baby is nursing.

After breastfeeding:

  • Clean your nipples softly-if you have a cracked or a bleeding nipple, then you must make sure that you rinse the breast softly after every nursing session and use water so as to reduce the risk of infection.  You can also try using an anti-bacterial once a day to rinse your cracked nipple effectively.
  • Use an ointment- another way to ensure quick recovery from a cracked nipple is to use an antibacterial ointment. You must always consult a doctor before going for an over the counter ointment and this treatment must only be done when there is an open wound.
  • Take painkillers- if the pain of the cracked or bleeding nipple is unbearable, then in that case you can opt for a painkiller about half an hour before the nursing session. This will not only reduce the pain but also lessen the swelling.
  • Try hydrogel dressing- another way to treat a cracked nipple after breastfeeding is to try using hydrogel pad dressing which is very soothing and helps in quick healing.  Make sure you change the pads quickly.

Remember that even females with cracked or bleeding nipples can continue to breastfeed their baby but only after using corrective measures mentioned above. Do not stop nursing unless breastfeeding becomes very painful.

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