Firstly, if you are suffering with sore, cracked nipples and they are not showing any signs of improvement, we highly recommend you seek support from a breastfeeding counsellor and/or a healthcare professional to resolve the cause of the issue. Despite what you might have heard, breastfeeding should not be painful.
What could be causing my nipples to become cracked and bleeding?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. If you are suffering with damage to your nipples, the first step would be to ensure you and your baby have a correct positioning and a correct latch. If the latch is correct, yet you are still suffering, then it may mean there is an underlying issue such as a tongue tie, which would need to be diagnosed and corrected by a breastfeeding counsellor/healthcare professional. If you are struggling, you may wish to call the National Breastfeeding Helpline for support.
How can I speed up the healing process of sore nipples?
- Rub breast milk onto the affected nipple after each feed, the moisture can speed up the healing process
- Invest in a good nipple balm, and apply after each feed. My personal favourite is Dr Lipps Nipple Balm, £12.00 from Amazon.
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Wiessinger, D., West, D. and Pitman, T. (2010). The womanly art of breastfeeding. New York: Ballantine Books.