Breastfeed is best food for the newborns as it strengthens the baby's immunity, assists in proper brain development and growth of the baby. There are many problems such as breast engorgement (that causes collection of milk and blood in the same area of breast) and nipple infections, which can be seen in nursing women. The condition, can worsen if the mother suffers from dry nipples.
There are many different types of infections, which can be found on the nipples such as fungal infection (caused by Candida albicans) and bacterial infection. An infection can be caused due to a minor breast injury as an injury becomes a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria or fungus. Fungal infection can cause burning sensation or itchiness in nipples.
Soreness is a common problem in breastfeeding mothers and it is also caused due to improper positioning of the newborn while breastfeeding or due to lack of proper milk flow. Nipples can get sore if the baby's sucking hurts the skin to cause an injury. Mother should not stop nursing the baby when the nipples are cracked as sometimes, it heals itself as the baby takes the feed.
1. Apply cool compress to the sore nipples and if one of the breast is sore, shift the baby to other. Avoid pressure on the baby while giving her feed.
2. Excess or low, flow of milk should be controlled by the mother to enable the baby to get appropriate amount of milk to allow her to swallow the milk easily. If the baby gets too much milk flow, she may get easily annoyed or if the flow is low, the baby may suck more to cause a sore. Nursing women may suffer from soreness caused by lack of milk flow. Mother's should take a diet rich in protein or drink appropriate amount of milk to get adequate milk flow.
3. Sometimes, milk flow causes leakage as the mother's are highly sensitive to stimuli and the milk leaks when they are out on shopping or some work. Milk leakage can cause infections. One can use extra or reusable breast pads to control milk leakage.
4. Apply olive oil, almond oil or milk of other breast on the nipples to prevent cracking. Vitamin E creams can be used. Do not wash that area with soap or harsh chemicals, if it is cracked.
5. Aloe Vera leaf gel can be applied to prevent dryness.
6. Wear only cotton shirts or bras, and expose the busts to sun to prevent infection.
7. You can apply honey and glycerin to cracked nipples to prevent it from drying.
8. Massage the sore parts with oil to allow blood circulation.
9. To prevent infection, nipples can be washed with lukewarm boiled water or use warm compress. Tea bags can be used to reduce pain, and salt water compress is also effective.
10. Basil leaves extract can be applied to the sore parts to prevent soreness.