Breast milk contains vitamins, nutrients & it is fully packed with disease fighting substances that protect your babies from illness. Your nipples are the interface for feeding. Hence knowledge of your nipples condition plays a vital role in feeding your babies which has great impact on baby’s health condition.
One of the difficulties usually faced by feeding mothers is having sore nipples. The causes of sore nipples are changes in function of hormones and shapeless breasts during pregnancy.
This is the most common problem for few mothers which lead them to discontinuation of breast feeding mostly in early weeks of nursing. This is a short term problem and can be corrected. Mothers usually experience tenderness in some cases such as bleeding and cracked nipples. This is discomfort when baby latches on.
Nipples are sensitive part of the body. They are not meant for load or stress carrying. Hence should be carefully protected. Otherwise these aching nipples lead to many problems. These problems include irritation on the nipple area, swelling, discharge, cracking and many more.
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Soreness usually ends up when milk flow starts. Milk flow itself is a good moisturizer. Hence after nursing the nipples they should be wiped gently.
New born are god gifted. The tiny mouth has well enough suction capacity. This nature of babies gives lot of comfort to feeding mothers. Usually soreness should lessen within 7-10 days & nursing should be pain free. If pain still persists even after baby is 2 weeks old expert consultation is preferred.
Effective Home Remedies to Reduce Soreness of Nipples
These handy home remedies will make great use to reduce the problems of sore nipples:
1. Breast Milk: The initial liquid produced by the mother after delivery is not only important for baby but also for the lubrication of the nipples. Mother expressing breast milk in conjunction with correct position & latching of baby is the first best choice to treat sore nipples. Ensure that while feeding the complete nipple and some upper portion of the breast goes completely inside baby’s mouth till he gets the correct hold. This technique is called latch on and one of the powerful solutions for sore and cracked nipples.
2. Placing a moist warm tea bag on the nipples for few minutes will temporarily relieve the discomfort.
3. Apply fresh Aloe Vera leaf gel for minimum 10 minutes and wash with cold or lukewarm water. Remember to clean before feeding or it may cause your baby a bitter taste which is not desirous.
4. Basil Leaves: Take a few basil or tulasi leaves and grind into a thick paste. Apply this paste on the nipples for few minutes till it becomes dry. Wash thoroughly with lukewarm water and allow it to dry. Tulasi has anti microbial ability and also useful for healing cracks and soreness.
5. Ice: Place the ice cubes in a smooth cloth and tie properly to form a bag. Press gently on the nipples with this bag from time to time. This stiffens the nipples.
6. Olive oil/Almond oil: Massage gently with warm olive oil or almond oil atleast twice a day for few minutes. This reduces the soreness.
7. Supporting morally a new feeding mother on how to feed especially to those who possess slight discomfort will also help in reducing soreness.
8. Using silicon soft nipple over the original may be helpful in some cases. But make sure to sterilize every time before feeding.
9. Feeding mother may be confused with pain due soreness. Consulting lactation expert may actually help her out.
10. Air dry the nipples after feeding & refrain from washing with water as it may cause dryness.
11. If any kind of thick or yellow discharge is observed means that is a sign of infection. Consult expert immediately.
12. It is best to introduce soft mushy nipple into baby’s mouth rather than a harsh rubber nipple or pacifiers until he becomes master in his techniques.
13. Try to begin nursing from least soreness side.
14. Maintain minimum 30 minutes gap between cycles of feeding to get relief.
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