There are so many benefits to breastfeeding, but sore, chaffed, bruised, and cracked nipples aren’t among them. If you’re like many new moms, your nipples may be taking a beating, but don’t worry – we’re here to help with seven of our best nipple care basics to prevent and treat sore nipples, like:
- Lock that latch in! Healthline.com hit the nipple on the head when they said “Remember, they call it breastfeeding, not nipple feeding.” Your baby should be sucking on most of your areola, not just the nipple, and be sure to break the suction seal before pulling baby away from your breast.
- Stay dry! Damp nipples can lead to a yeast infection called thrush requiring a trip to your doctor’s office. Make sure your nipples are nice and dry before covering your breast with clothing by allowing them to air dry or gently patting them with a soft towel.
- Change those pads! If you experience leakage between feedings you probably use breast pads, which get damp with every leak. Changing your pads often will help keep your nipples dry and comfortable.
- Get extreme with the cream! There are tons of baby-safe nipple cream options out there. Choose one with a silky-smooth texture – rubbing a thick cream on your sore nipples could irritate them further. Apply the cream to a dry, clean nipple after each feeding, then allow a bit of time for the cream to soak in.
- Cool it down! Applying a cold compress to your nipple (placing a towel between the compress and your skin) can provide some relief to burning, swollen nipples. You also might try a cooling hydrogel cushion for 24/7 relief.
- Pick support that stretches! Your breast size will fluctuate during the day as your breasts fill and empty, so your bra needs to have enough give to adapt to your changing breast size without becoming too tight (compressing the nipple) or too loose (rubbing the nipple). Made of stretchy soft nylon and spandex, the Simple Wishes SuperMom All-in-One Bra fits the bill perfectly.
- Get help! Some pain and discomfort as you’re starting out is normal, but a fever, redness, and pus can be signs for mastitis, a condition causing inflamed breast tissue that may require antibiotics to treat.
More from Wifestyles Blogger Lauren Fondaw:
Wifestyles blogger Lauren has survived one of the most difficult experiences as a parent – losing a child. She honors her beloved son Logan by living life to the fullest every day, celebrating the holidays with her five-year-old son Liam and one-year-old daughter Lainey, sipping iced coffee, strolling through Target, working on a good DIY project, and more. We asked this super-strong, stay-at-home-mama about her breastfeeding experience and here’s what she told us:
Q: How long have you been breastfeeding?
A: I breastfed Liam for nine months (more on that below), Logan for 16 months, and Lainey for 13 months and counting.
Q: What was your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
A: Liam spent some time in the NICU and they started him on formula before my milk was in! His journey was a lot harder and I had to supplement along the way.
Q: How did you overcome that challenge?
A: I didn’t give up on breastfeeding. I just decided to supplement, too.
Q: Any funny breastfeeding stories to share?
A: I will never forget the first time I was bitten! We both cried, then laughed lol!
Q: What’s your best advice for new moms?
A: Do what you feel is best for you and your child! Don’t get discouraged and when you feel like giving up, try again. But at the end of the day, if breastfeeding isn’t making a happy mama and baby, formula is okay too! Fed is best!
Click here and follow #wifestyles to learn more about Lauren and her parenting adventure!