This problem occurs to many breast feeding mothers in the initial days. In medical terminology it is called cracked nipple or sore nipple
- The main reasons for the development of cracks on the nipple are wrong position of the child while sucking the milk, wrong position of the child in mother’s lap, frequently sucking of the child for long duration from the same breast, fungus infection on the nipple or when child is unable to differentiate between the mother’s nipple and artificial nipple.
- Use of improper breast pump, too much use of soap to clean the breast, dry nipple or eczema, massaging the nipples in a wrong manner during the pregnancy are some of the reasons for the development of cracks on the nipples. Rarely it also happens that the new born baby’s tongue is attached to the palate and that can also develop cracks on mother’s nipple.
- If the child is sucking the nipple and suddenly for some reason mother pulls the baby away from the nipple and if this happens repeatedly then the cracks might develop.[if there are twins and one baby is feeding and the second one cries or there is a phone call or the doorbell rings and if she is alone in the house, then in all these conditions she should very slowly and carefully get the child away from the breast.
- When there are cracks on the nipple, feeding will be utmost painful for the mother. As soon as the child starts sucking, mother will feel too much pain in the nipple and the breast. When there is fungus infection in the nipple, they appear to look red, dry, and itchy and also at times blood comes out of the nipple. If blood comes out and also pain is there then immediately consult a doctor. At times after the birth of the child for 3-4 days along with the yellowish colostrum blood comes out. But if there is no pain then there is no need to get frightened. Because of the increase is the blood circulation around the nipples, after the birth of the child for 3-4 days blood might come out along with the milk which stops in within few days.
Precaution and cure
- Cleaning nipple with more soap and very often, the lubricants of the nipple are destroyed. Thus, clean the breast and nipple just once a day with warm water.
- The mother should try to learn from the doctor that how the child should be placed, while breast feeding and how the child should be kept in the mother’s lap.
- Get proper treatment from the doctor if there is fungal infection on the nipple or child’s tongue.
- The initial mother’s milk is called fore milk. The hind milk contains a lot of fatty acid and nutrients. This is very helpful in curing the cracks. If the latter milk that is the hind milk is taken out in a small bowl and then can be applied on the cracks.
- When it’s time to feed the child, give milk from the breast which is normal then give it from the breast that has cracked nipple. If the child is little bit full and satisfied, he or she will not suck with too much force.
- in the above stated conditions, the mother should try to take the baby away from the breast very slowly and gradually and with utmost patience. If it’s possible in the end, mother should keep her last finger in the child’s mouth. When she wants the child to leave the nipple, she should try and divert the child to the index finger. The child will start sucking the finger and the mother should remove the nipple. After taking the child away from the breast mother should also try and remove the index finger.
- If the child cries then try and give some EBM. If the child has the habit of sucking nipple, then it can be stopped by doing this.
- For few days give rest to the cracked nipple. Try and see that it gets air. Don’t make the child suck from that side, but instead of that give EBM taken out from that side with spoon and bowl.
- On the cracks of the nipple, apply ghee, coconut oil or egg oil. Before feeding the baby, if some ice pack is rubbed on the breast, then less pain will be there.
- When cracks or sores are developed on the nipple, then mother should keep patience. Should not panic. Keep feeding the baby. Don’t think of leaving the breast feeding forever because this problem wouldn’t last long.
Breast feeding is God’s beautiful creation through which mother and child fulfil each other’s need.
Breast feeding is highly important for the life’s systematic development.
Mother feeding the baby with bottle can be considered impatient and incompetent.
Through Breast feeding a child gets incomparable blessings of God and mother.