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Dealing with Cracked Nipples when Breastfeeding

Aug 26, 2008
Breastfeeding, as you may have already heard, is the most recommended form of providing nourishment for the growing baby. Doctors and health care centers cannot stress enough how many great benefits are given to the mom and the baby when breastfeeding becomes established as a routine. If you are not yet familiar, here is a brief run through of the plus sides of breastfeeding.

The baby is said to gain weight faster because of mom's breast milk. Infants who are born with jaundice are able to recover faster when they are breast fed. Furthermore, the digestive systems of babies can break down breast milk more efficiently, so less constipation or diarrhea is experienced.

For the mom, breastfeeding is an effective method to help her regain her pre-pregnancy weight. Furthermore, some sources say that moms who breast feed have a form of natural birth control. More importantly, breastfeeding helps the mother bond with her baby more.

However, great as breastfeeding may be, there are some woes that many women experience with this task. One of the most common problems is cracked nipples. This is caused by drying of the skin around the nipple area, which can be irritating and painful. Here are some tips on dealing with cracked nipples when breastfeeding.

1. Use a lanolin-based nipple cream to moisturize the cracked area. Aveeno and Lansinoh are some brands that are highly recommended, and these are readily available in drug stores and supermarkets. You don't have to rub off the cream before feeding, as it is safe for the baby.

2. You can also rub your own breast milk on the sore or cracked area as the Vitamin E contained in it can moisturize and heal your skin.

3. If your breast pads get soaked, change them right away. Nursing pads made out of cotton are the best to use. Also, use a comfortable bra to relieve any irritation from the cracked nipples. If the cracked nipples have not healed completely, you may use a breast shell inside your bra, this prevents any skin contact with the fabric of your nursing bra.

4. Take warm showers before or after nursing, to help the blood circulate better and to soothe any pain in your nipple area. Some people use warm compress on their breasts for relief.

If symptoms still persist, you may want to contact your doctor to find more effective solutions for cracked nipples.
About the Author
Heather recommends using breast pumps if you are going to be breastfeeding and working. A Medela breast pump is one of the best.
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