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?
Nipple clefts are a common problem that new mothers face or will face. The unpleasant sensation or pain is caused by small cracks, rough spots or wounds, which can cause you to experience a stinging or burning sensation. This feeling gets worse the more often you put your child at the breast. However, the nipple fissures may bleed during feeding; fortunately, it is not harmful for your baby to ingest a small amount of blood. Because of the pain and discomfort, we completely understand that you look forward to the next feeding time, making breastfeeding an exhausting process you would rather stop (Above, 2018). Fortunately, you can prevent nipple fissures and heal them quickly (Pregnancy Portal, 2020b), which means you don't have to stop breastfeeding.
The cause of cracked nipples
After about two weeks, the nipples become accustomed to breastfeeding. Still, every breast is different and pain may persist and nipple fissures may start to develop. Nipple clefts are common among women who breastfeed or pump breast milk incorrectly (La Leche League, s.d.). According to experts, it is important to position your baby properly at your breast. So that the little one can actively drink instead of "gasping" at the nipple. Sensitive and sore nipples can also form because your baby suffers from short tongue or thrush (Pregnancy Portal, 2020b). Thrush is a baby ailment caused by an infection in the oral mucosa that is transmitted to the nipple (Pregnancy Portal, 2020a). A tight or synthetic bra or moist nursing pads can also cause nipple fissures (Pregnancy Portal, 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 properly and don't let it slip. Your baby should take the whole nipple in the mouth, with the lips facing outward. It is important that your nipples are round and pink after feeding (Pregnancy Portal, 2020b). Just 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 nursing pads? Then make sure you change them on time. Remember to lubricate, lubricate, lubricate with a protective ointment just like you should do with sunscreen when the sun is shining outside. Again, your body will thank you for this (Pregnancy Portal, 2020b). Finally, from Nurture Goods, we advise you to use a breast pump with the right size breast shield. Our NurtureGoods Smart 2.0 has an extra soft and comfortable fit that reduces the risk of nipple cracking.
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!
Consumer Association. (2019, Oct. 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). Nipple cleft prevention and healing. https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/tepelkloven-voorkomen-en-genezen