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Dealing with cracked nipples

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How to Deal with Cracked Nipples as a result of Breastfeeding.
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Volunteer translation: Emily Queune

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In this video you will learn how to prevent and care for cracked nipples.

At the beginning, the nipple might hurt during breast-feeding, but there is no visible sign that anything is wrong.

Then, if nothing is done to prevent the situation from worsening, small red lines will appear on the surface of the nipple, cracks might form as well, which may even bleed.

Here is how you can prevent cracked nipples:

Make sure your baby is well-positioned: they should be facing the breast so as not to pull on or pinch the nipple. A large part of the lower areola should be covered by the baby's mouth.

The areola is the darker coloured part of the breast.

The baby's lips should be turned outwards.

The baby's tongue should be underneath the breast and not at the tip of the nipple.

DO NOT pull on the nipple to free the baby's nose.

Bring the baby closer by holding their bottom against you. The baby's nose will be freed naturally.

Do not wash and dry your nipples too much. You could remove the protective layer of fat that naturally covers the skin.

Cleaning them once a day with a neutral soap is sufficient.

Wear a correctly fitted bra to avoid friction.

To remove your baby from the breast, slide a finger between their gums to break the suction.

At the end of each feed, express a few drops of milk and spread them over the nipple.

Let it dry before covering your breasts.

The milk hydrates, protects and heals the skin.

Your milk is more effective than any cream.

Now, you will learn how to treat the cracked nipples:

Change positions! By moving the baby's mouth you can rest the cracked area.

Make a 'milk ointment plaster'.

In order to do this, express some milk and soak a sterile compress that is larger than the areola,.

Cover with cling film, then cover everything with your bra.

Change the gauze compress with each feed, until the crack has healed.

You should know that even if you bleed slightly, this should not prevent you from breast feeding. It is okay if your baby swallows a little bit of blood.

- If the cracks really are too painful you can temporarily use a nipple shield. You could as well express your milk by hand, or with a pump, before giving it to your baby.


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