Breastfeeding is a wonderful and intimate moment between mommy and her baby. A feeling of happiness that cannot be expressed in words. Only this moment can be disturbed by cracked nipples. And that is something we can express in words, because it is downright annoying and painful. Nipple fissures can develop due to various factors. In this blog, we take you through the cause of this misery and how you can best cure it and prevent it next time. Are you reading?
Breastfeeding is a magical moment. Or not?
Your breast milk has the perfect balance of nutrients and antibodies that protect your little one against diseases (Consumentenbond, 2019). That is why we understand very well that you want to breastfeed for that reason, but we also understand that the pain can disturb the moment. In the first days of breastfeeding you may experience an unpleasant and painful feeling. This is because the connective tissue and the milk ducts have to get used to and stretch. Over time, the unpleasant feeling will disappear and that makes us happy, because breastfeeding shouldn't hurt or feel uncomfortable (La Leche League, n.d.). However, this is a dream for many mothers and cracked nipples become a terrible reality.
What are nipple fissures?
Cracked nipples is a common problem that new mothers face or experience. The unpleasant feeling or pain is caused by small cracks, rough spots or wounds, so that you can experience a stinging or burning sensation. This feeling will get worse the more you breastfeed your child. However, cracked nipples may bleed during feeding; fortunately it is not harmful to your baby to take in a small amount of blood. Because of the pain and discomfort, we fully understand that you dread going to the next feeding time, which makes breastfeeding an exhausting process that you would rather stop (Boven, 2018). Fortunately, you can prevent cracked nipples and heal quickly (Pregnancy Portaal, 2020b), so you don't have to stop breastfeeding.
The cause of cracked nipples
After about two weeks, the nipples get used to breastfeeding. Yet every breast is different and it may be that the pain persists and cracked nipples develop. Cracked nipples are common in breastfeeding women or incorrectly expressing breast milk (La Leche League, n.d.). According to experts, it is important to latch your baby to your breast. So that the little one can actively drink instead of 'nipping' at the nipple. Sensitive and painful nipples can also form because your baby suffers from short tongue belts or thrush (Pregnancy Portaal, 2020b). Thrush is a baby ailment caused by an infection in the oral mucosa that is transmitted to the nipple (Pregnancy Portaal, 2020a). A tight or synthetic bra or moist nursing pads can also cause cracked nipples (Pregnancy Portaal, 2020b).
Bye fissures bye
Naturally, you want to dismiss the nipple fissures as soon as possible before the pain causes stress, which can affect your milk production (Pregnancy Portaal, 2020b). Say bye to cracked nipples with our tips and products. Despite the pain, try to relax and focus on your baby's proper latching. It may sound a bit strange, but feed your baby more often and for a shorter time. This makes your little one less hungry and he or she will probably suck less hard. Do not use soap or other products with perfume to clean your nipple, but lubricate your nipple with a little breast milk or a protective ointment and let it air dry.
Better to prevent than to cure
Okay mom, focus. Make sure you put your baby on your breast and don't let it slip. Your baby should put the entire nipple in the mouth with the lips facing out. It is important that your nipples are round and pink after feeding (Pregnancy Portal, 2020b). Put your synthetic clothes in the attic and replace them with cotton products. Cotton breathes and absorbs excess moisture, reducing the risk of inflammation or mold (Hilton, 2020). Do you use breast pads? Then make sure you replace them on time. Don't forget to smear, smear, smear with a protective ointment just like you do with sunscreen when the sun is out. Your body will thank you for this too (Pregnancy Portal, 2020b). Finally, from Nurture Goods, we advise you to use a breast pump with the correct breast shield size. Our NurtureGoods Smart 2.0 has an extra soft and comfortable fit, which reduces the risk of cracked nipples.
Mommy, it's nothing to be ashamed of
Sometimes nature has its own rules and so does your body. We hope that with our tips and products you can heal your nipple fissures as soon as possible and prevent them in the future. Let's make sure that breastfeeding is and remains a party. Enjoying this intimate moment is best done without cracked nipples, because they don't stay that small forever!
Next time you will read more about ...
In the next blog we will tell you how best to prepare and make a bottle. We also include you in our advice on the best content of the bottle for your little one.
Above, M. (2018, September 12). Nipple cracks when breastfeeding... ouch! Here's what you can do about it!
Consumers' Association. (2019, October 31). Breastfeeding: the facts. https://www.consumentenbond.nl/kindervoeding/borstvoeding-feiten-en-fabels#::text=Inmoedermelkzittenafweerstoffendie,aandoeningenzoalseczeemofastma.
Hilton, S. (2020, August 25). Nipple care for mothers. Medela. https://www.medela.nl/borstvoeding/jouw-borstvoedingsperiode/tepelverzorging
La Leche League. (s.d.). Breastfeeding Organization La Leche League | Borstvoeding geven. https://www.lalecheleague.nl/ouders/borstvoeding-geven
Pregnancy Portal. (2020a). Thrush in your baby. https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/baby/kwaaltjes-en-ziektes/spruw-bij-je-baby
Pregnancy Portal. (2020b). Preventing and Healing Nipple Cracks. https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/tepelkloven-voorkomen-en-genezen