So recently, I had the lovely experience of nursing with cracked nipples. Definitely not a fun experience! Somehow, between Ellia's sometimes shallow latch and turning up my breast pump too high, I managed to crack a nipple. When you have a little baby nursing around the clock, the pain can be unreal. At least after around six years of nursing, I have some tips and tricks up my sleeve!
First and foremost, it is important to have baby's latch checked if you are in an extreme amount of pain when nursing. Cracked nipples are somewhat normal in the beginning. However, I knew something was up since my baby is 3 months old.
- Leave some colostrum/breastmilk on your nipples and let them air dry after baby is done nursing.
- Offer the less sore side first. You may find this helps you get through the feeding session.
- Use a hydrogel pad. These are heaven sent!
- If the pain persists after a few days, consult with a lactation consultant. Your baby’s latch may need to be checked.
- Keep breastfeeding. I know it hurts. The toe curling pain is just pure insanity. However, if you don’t nurse, your milk will go away. Hang in there...the first couple of weeks are the worst.