Managing Sore Nipples from Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a magical and natural joy of being a mother. It offers a special bond between mother and baby. However, the physical sucking action from your baby can lead to quite a bit of discomfort. Breastfeeding can cause sore, dry, cracked nipples that can even lead to bleeding. Once the nipples begin to crack, they are more susceptible to infection. Often there is a transfer of a fungus called Candida Albicans from baby to mother and vice versa resulting in a Thrush infection on the nipples and/or in the baby’s mouth.
Here is where our compounding pharmacy can help. We have our own MammaDerm Cream to help sooth and heal irritated nipples. Our compounded cream speeds the healing process of your nipples because of its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal compound. Best of all, it is baby safe!
Additional Tips for Breasfeeding Moms:
1. Reduce risk of Thrush: If you tend to regularly leak milk, use breast pads and change them often to prevent trapped moisture. Moist bras and nipples are a breeding ground for yeast.
2. Check the latch: Breastfeeding often takes time to learn. Many babies and mothers need to practice to get the right latch. A healthy nursing latch, deep on the breast, will get baby the most milk and prevent pain for you.
A baby might have trouble latching in any number of ways. A common problem is a latch that’s too shallow. Remember that it’s called breastfeeding, not nipple feeding. Your baby’s lips should be around most or all of your areola when nursing.
A shallow latch puts too much suction right on the nipples and becomes painful. A bad latch can even bruise nipples.
3. Adjust your hold: How you sit and hold your baby during breastfeeding can affect how comfortable it is for you and baby. There are a number of breastfeeding positions. You can find books and online resources to try all of them, or ask a lactation consultant for recommendation.
A healthy hold will keep your baby’s face parallel to your breast (horizontally or vertically), and will keep their tummy in contact with your body.
To have a good hold:
- Keep baby’s hips and face turned towards you while nursing.
- Try multiple positions and change positions to avoid getting sore.
- Try accessories like a nursing pillow or footstool if they help.
- Hold baby up close to your breast instead of crouching over them.
4. Reduce engorgement: Engorgement happens when the breasts get too full of milk. This occurs if you go too long between nursing, or if you’re still in the early stages and your supply is adjusting to baby’s needs.
Engorged breasts may hurt. They can also make it more difficult for your baby to latch onto the breast. You may need to release a little bit of milk before nursing if this happens.
Try one of these methods to release milk:
- Lean over a sink and use a warm, wet towel compress on one breast at a time.
- Use a breast pump to express a little bit of milk (you can store it if you want).
- Gently massage breasts while you’re in the shower and let milk drip out.
For more tips on breast feeding contact La Leche League of Canada
For questions about MammaDerm contact one of our compounding pharmacists.