Natural Ways to Treat Sore Nipples When Breastfeeding
Motherhood is a beautiful time. Breastfeeding is a natural part of motherhood and it is a time for mother and baby to bond. Breastfeeding can be an enjoyable part of motherhood and if done carefully and with a lot of patience, it can be pain-free.
However, during these first few precious days and weeks of getting the hang of breastfeeding and helping your baby latch properly, your nipples can become sore, cracked, and tender.
As a new parent, you have concerns about your new baby. What is safe? What are the recommended ways to do things?
Why do my nipples hurt? What can I do to relieve this pain?
If your nipples become cracked or sore during or after breastfeeding, take the time to practice a little natural self-care to your nipples between feedings. There are many opinions and suggestions on sore nipples during breastfeeding and it is important to remember that following up with your healthcare provider is always a good idea.
Now, what are natural ways to treat sore nipples after breastfeeding?
Your sore and cracked nipples will heal faster if they are exposed to air. Now, don’t get me wrong. You do not need to walk around without a shirt on. (Unless you want to.)
However, making some easy adjustments will provide your nipples some breathing room and help them heal quicker when they are cracked or sore.
Start by wearing loose fitting tops, you will want to give your sore nipples every chance they have to be exposed to air. Try to avoid wearing a bra when your nipples are sore and cracked. This will expose your nipples to more airflow and promote faster healing.
A breast shell is an option too. If you find that you are a working mom that is breastfeeding at home and pumping at work, your nipples still may become sore.
Since you cannot walk around all day without a bra on and will need to protect your nipples from tight constricting clothing while they are healing, pick up a couple breast shells from your local store.
By inserting the breast shell into your bra, you can protect your sore nipples from rubbing against your bra and clothing all day.
Air will decrease the healing time and your nipples with thank you when you start to let them breathe.
Did you know that breast milk has healing properties?
Breast milk contains molecules that help reduce infection and inflammation. Since breast milk has healing molecules you will want to use your breast milk to decrease soreness and your healing time when your nipples are cracked and sore.
Express a small amount of breast milk from your nipple and gently rub it around your nipple. Do not wipe it off. Let the breast milk air dry. It may feel sticky or gummy. That is normal.
Let the breast milk air dry on your nipples.
Researchers have found that the healing properties in breast milk are at their highest during the first 30 days or so after birth. This may be an evolutionary reaction to help the mother’s nipples heal and help protect your baby from infections.
If you find that your nipples are sore and cracked after this 30-day time frame, no need to worry. The breast milk still has some healing properties present. Use your breast milk on your nipples to help speed up the healing process and relieve your sore nipples.
Coconut oil is favored by some mothers for cracked and sore nipples during breastfeeding. There are many studies that reflect coconut oil to be a natural anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and healing agent.
If you use coconut oil for cracked and sore nipples, you do not need to wipe it off before breastfeeding. Coconut oil is safe for baby.
Coconut oil provides moisture to your nipples while soothing the nipple pain and promoting healing. Remember, coconut oil will stain your clothing. Be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing to increase airflow and give the coconut oil a chance to heal your nipples.
There are many different types of coconut oil to choose from. When buying coconut oil to treat sore and cracked nipples, choose raw, organic coconut oil that is unrefined. When the coconut oil is purified, refined, or in a liquid state, it may not help as much the natural coconut oils.
Aloe vera has many uses and is a favorite among nursing mothers with sore and cracked nipples. Aloe vera has a healing, antiseptic effect on sensitive skin.
By gently rubbing aloe vera on your sore, cracked nipples you will sooth them and help them heal.
The aloe vera will help reduce dry nipples and repair your damaged skin. Aloe vera is effective and gentle for soft, delicate skin like nipples.
In addition to the healing properties of B12 in aloe vera, it also contains fatty acids to provide antiseptic, inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
These properties will aid in wound healing.
Aloe vera contains 75 active vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are good for your health. Using aloe vera on your sore and cracked nipples will help them heal faster and provide you some pain relief.
Aloe vera is non-toxic, however, you do not want your baby to eat the aloe vera. Apply the aloe vera directly after a feeding session and let it work on your sensitive skin to help heal your nipples. Use cool water and a soft cloth to gently wipe off the aloe vera before you nurse your baby again.
Fresh aloe vera is recommended for the maximum benefits of it’s healing properties. If you do not have any fresh aloe vera, using the store-bought aloe vera gel is an option. Look for a brand in the store that is at least 85% pure aloe vera. If you can find 100% aloe vera, use that.
The more natural state the aloe vera is in, the more effective it will be in healing your dry, cracked, and sore nipples after breastfeeding.
If you decide that breastfeeding is right for you and your baby then using these organic remedies to help heal cracked and sore nipples will make this wonderful new time a little less painful for you.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to feed your baby.
You want to ensure that your baby is getting the nutrients they need, reach out to your pediatrician if you feel that your baby is not eating enough or you feel that you are not able to provide enough breast milk for your baby.
There are many questions about breastfeeding and sore and cracked nipples on the internet. Remember, you do not want to substitute information you find on the internet for medical advice.
It never hurts to make a quick call to your gynecologist, family doctor, or pediatrician to have your questions answered.
Good luck mama! You’ve got this!
By: Dawn R.