Is your baby just born and are you breastfeeding? The first period can be quite intense. Your baby is looking for food. Colostrum. And starts milk production with suckling. Sometimes this can lead to cracked nipples. Often a result of incorrect application. In this blog, you can read tips and tools that you can use to prevent and heal cracked nipples.
Investigate the cause
It is important to investigate the cause. You can do this with a lactation consultant. They can give you the best advice. Because otherwise you can keep using nipple fissure tools. It is important that your child learns to latch on properly. You do this together. Help your child if necessary, and stay focused with your child until you are sure that everything is going well. When you are not paying attention or are distracted, things often go wrong.
Tools you can use to heal cracked nipples
Multi mam compresses
These compresses have a cooling effect and quickly give a healing result for open wounds. So works very quickly. Make sure that the gel does not stick, otherwise you will still have wounds. I do recommend cleaning after use before feeding. You put them on after feeding. 10 minutes to an hour. Then wipe off with a hydrophilic washcloth. You can also use it in combination with a greasy ointment. Such as lanolin or shea butter.
With splits and cracks, it is important that you keep things greased. For example, you can lubricate with lanolin ointment. Pure lanolin is fat. Re-apply after each feeding. Does your baby sleep longer? Then you can rub it in again. Often you don’t need to remove the lanolin from your nipple.
Make your own ointment with coconut oil, breast milk and beeswax
You can also make your own ointment. Mother’s milk is actually the best ointment. Coconut oil is fat and beeswax has an antibacterial effect. You can read the recipe here:
- 45 ml of breast milk
- 45 ml coconut oil
- tablespoon of beeswax
- possibly vitamin E oil
Heat the coconut oil and beeswax. Mix the breast milk through this and add vitamin E oil if necessary. Then let it cool in the fridge. Before use, you warm it between your fingers and it becomes liquid through the warmth of your hands.
You can also put coconut oil loose on the nipple or a drop of breast milk and then air dry.
Shea butter for cracked nipples
Shea butter is butter obtained from the shea nut. Originating from Africa and made by women. Shea butter has a healing effect on the skin and is also edible.
Shea butter contains a large amount of vitamins, including vitamins A, E and fatty acids that nourish and moisturize your skin.
Silver caps for cracked nipples
Silver caps are silver caps that you can put on your nipple. Silver has an antibacterial effect and helps with cracked nipples and thrush, among other things. You can also give the collected milk to your child, directly from the cup, instead of in a bottle. This is often also more hygienic. Bottle teats can contain bacteria. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t use a bottle at all. So clean / sterilize properly.
You can eventually melt the silver caps into a mother’s milk jewelry. A reminder of an important period for your child.
Silver caps are used without ointments etc. The mother’s milk does the healing effect in the cap in combination with the silver. My own experience is that the ointments only irritate in combination with milk pads. The silver caps were really a godsend for me at gorges. It does not rub against the milk pads. Which I do place under it, because you also leak breast milk in the silver caps. But the combination of the silver and breast milk quickly relieved and healed my chapped skin. Feel free to read gorges.
I was about to stop breastfeeding. But mainly because of the silver caps, I was able to continue feeding and place the silver caps back on the nipple between feedings. I also kept them in at night. Sometimes difficult when your child is clustering. But then I often take them both off when I’m in bed and use a cloth.
For healing fissures, it didn’t work for me to let them dry up. My baby then opened the wounds again with drinking, and the nipple became dry and stiff. When the nipple remained soft and flexible, it was not painful in the healing process.
It is of course important to use a good fitting technique and to correct your child if it is not fitted properly. Think of smacking, sucking, etc. This can cause the fissures to get worse or come back again. It’s an investment. I know everything about it. But in the end it pays off.