Sore Nipple: Causes and Natural Remedies
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Sore Nipple: Causes and Natural Remedies

Sore nipples are generally caused by one of the following: The baby is not being positioned properly on the nipple. The nursing schedule is irregular or not frequent enough. The baby is permitted to incorrectly suck on the nipple. The breast becomes engorged (overly filled) with milk.
                sore nipple

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Sore nipples are generally caused by one of the following:

  • The baby is not being positioned properly on the nipple.
  • The nursing schedule is irregular or not frequent enough.
  • The baby is permitted to incorrectly suck on the nipple.
  • The breast becomes engorged (overly filled) with milk.

As a result of one or more of these, infection may have set in. The infection is usually the fungus Candida albicans.

Natural Remedies

                     Having sore nipples when breast feeding

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  • Position the baby so that his jaws are over the least tender parts of the nipple. Do not pull away when the infant is about to begin feeding. Relax and let him feed.
  • Nurse on the breast that has the least soreness.
  • If both nipples are sore, hand-express (with your hand or a breast pump) the milk until the "let-down" occurs (the milk is flowing well). Then put the baby to the breast so he can easily get it.
  • Frequently feed the baby so he will not be hungry and bite down roughly on the nipple.
  • Position him properly. His mouth should cover over as much of the areola (dark area of the nipple) as possible. He should not make slurping noises when feeding. Frequently change nursing positions to rotate the pressure of his mouth on the nipple. Always correctly break the suction, instead of just pulling him off the nipple.
  • Keep the nipples dry between feedings. Expose them to sunlight and air.
  • Do not wash the nipples with soap, alcohol, or petroleum-based products. Put a little of the milk on the nipples and let them air-dry.
  • If the nipples are cracked, as well as sore, apply fresh aloe vera gel or a paste form of calendula, marshmallow, or slippery elm to them. This will soothe them.
  • In order to avoid engorgement, massage your breasts from base to tip. Begin doing this in the final weeks of pregnancy; and continue doing it through to the time the baby begins nursing, and beyond.
  • If a nipple becomes sore, put a little milk on it. Then let it air dry. The nipples should be checked daily; and, if they are sore or cracked, treatment should begin immediately. Do not wait.
  • Use the light of a bulb that is close enough to feel warm but not burn or use the sunlight for sore nipples.
  • Place some cold grocery store tea (containing tannic acid) on a folded tissue and lay it on the area for 20 minutes; then dry and expose it to air for another 20 minutes. Rinse it before the next nursing. The tannic acid will promote healing.
  • Poultices of comfrey root or leaf may be used for sore nipples.

     

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Comments (2)

good article

Very well presented and good info here, Levy.

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