Why nipples are cracked during breastfeeding and how to take care of them

Cracks in the nipple during breastfeeding

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If you are nursing your baby and you have appeared annoying, uncomfortable and painful cracks in the nipple, you should know that it is an absolutely normal problem, but that they can be easily avoided if you know why they arise.

In fact, although breastfeeding is a wonderful stage of full union between the mother and her baby (and also essential if we take into account the main recommendations of the World Health Organization, which advises the maintenance of breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of life), it is not without problems. One of them is the appearance of cracks in the nipples .

What are the causes of cracks in the nipple

There are several causes that can influence the appearance of annoying cracks in the nipple. However, The most common cause has to do with sucking the baby, which is not entirely adequate . And, whatever the cause, is motivated by the rubbing both the tongue and the baby's gums with the nipple .

In turn, may arise as a result of improper placement of the mouth of the child at the time of feeding, the position of the baby when sucking, if the nipple is suddenly removed from the mouth, or even if the child he falls asleep with the nipple in his mouth.

Or, also, may be due to the presence of the known as muguet (fungi in the baby's mouth), which end in the end to favor the appearance of cracks in the nipple.

Do not miss: Puerperal mastitis, symptoms, causes and treatment

What to do if cracks have appeared in the nipple

If cracks in the nipple have already appeared it is essential to have a bare chest whenever possible, which will help to avoid and calm the pain, and thereby promote healing. For this reason, the use of the bra should be reduced as much as you can.

On the other hand, as we mentioned in the article Irritated nipples when breastfeeding and how to relieve them with breast milk , An excellent natural solution is to take a little breast milk and, every time you finish breastfeeding, pass a few drops around the nipple.

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Do you know why it is so beneficial? Because breast milk has antibacterial properties, which will help reduce the risk of infection, and also It will become the best protection to avoid cracks .

Correct position when breastfeeding the baby

Correct position of the baby during breastfeeding

And how can we prevent them?

Since in order for the crack to form in the nipple it is necessary for the baby to suck several times, the key is to correct the position of the little one when suckling from the first moment when pain is felt .

And how to correct the suction form? Very simple: it is necessary, for it to be done correctly, for the baby to have his mouth open and his lips to the outside, covering a large part of the areola with his mouth. The biggest mistake, in fact, is that the baby sucks only the nipple.

One way to make sure the baby is sucking correctly is to see if, when the baby sucks, his cheeks swell , and when you swallow you do not hear sucking noises. If this is the case and you do not feel any discomfort, you will have the assurance that you are doing it correctly.

It is necessary that the body of the child is directed towards the body of the mother , to avoid that the mother has to bend to give him to suckle. That is, belly against belly.

Images | Istockphoto

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