Lactating women face numerous challenges in their journey to provide their newborns with nature’s best food. The struggle is real, but definitely worth it. Breastfeeding itself doesn’t hurt, but women oftentimes encounter cracked nipples. This may cause some pain and discomfort, but it can be taken care of and things will go back to normal again.
Nipple cracking occurs due to chafing or because of a skin condition. The skin in the areola may start to tear apart and may also bleed. The tears may start to peel and the affected area maybe sore to touch or painful.
Causes of Cracked Nipples
- If the position of holding baby while breastfeeding is not proper, it may lead to nipple cracking issue.
- Poor latch may also be a reason for sore nipples. Babies with tongue-tie may not be able to latch well when nursing.
- Cracking of nipples may also be due to friction associated with clothes. Some material type of undergarments may cause irritation on the skin and it may lead to dryness and peeling.
- Nipples may become scaly and bleed in case of a skin infection such as eczema or psoriasis. A skin allergy may also cause skin to split and ooze as a result of infection spreading.
- If you are affected by a condition known as mastitis, you may have scaly, dry and painful nipples. Mastitis is a breast infection which causes swelling, fever, redness and pain.
Ways to Resolve
- If this issue persists, you may consult your doctor or a lactation specialist for advice on which position is best for feeding baby and knowing whether the baby is able to latch properly.
- Try to avoid uncomfortable clothes such as tight garments and synthetic materials when you are breastfeeding.
- Allow some air time for your nipples to heal.
- Breast milk is full of natural antibiotic properties. You can apply some on the affected area.
- Begin to feed your baby with the side you are affected.
- Try warm compress on the affected area.