Benjamin Franklin once said, “ An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is also true with breastfeeding. Proper latching (with the baby’s tongue down and nipple deep into the baby’s mouth where the hard and soft palate meet) can avoid trauma. Proper latching ensures that nursing should be comfortable and painless.
When nipple soreness lasts for more than a week it is usually an indication of trauma. The first thing to rule out is an improper latch or positioning of your baby. If the nipples are not red shiny, pussy and cracked, begin by:
Using a lanolin cream regularly (ex. Lansinoh brand), which can be left on
Avoid soaps and oils
Change breast pads regularly
Review our latching Youtubes and consider contacting one of the recommended lactation consultants
Use luke warm soaks of plain water to the nipples
We can call in a mixture of Mupirocin ointment 2% and Mycolog cream to apply between feedings
Soften nipples before feeding by manually expressing a little milk and rubbing it over the nipples
Reddened, shiny, itchy and burning breasts can be a sign of Thrush, especially if your baby has white spots in her mouth. Cracked, pussy, draining, tender nipples can be signs of a bacterial infection. We suggest a doctor’s visit and proper medications as well as following the steps above.
Remember that the majority of nipple injuries and infections can be avoided by proper latching and positioning of your baby. Make sure you are comfortable with your latch and that the nipples are not tender throughout feeding. This will help avoid most problems!