Healing Damaged Nipples
Breastfeeding should never hurt. Breastfeeding should never hurt, but that doesn’t mean it actually never does. How can you heal damaged, cracked and bleeding nipples?
Fix That Latch!
First, you’ll need to take corrective measures to stop the damage from reoccurring. This almost always means encouraging your baby to latch more deeply. In a shallow latch, your nipple can become compressed in the hard palate of your baby’s mouth, causing friction during the feed. This friction is what causes fissures, or cracks, in the tissue of your nipples.
In contrast, when your baby is deeply latched, your nipple reaches the soft palate of your baby’s mouth and comes into zero contact with any structure except your baby’s tongue.
If you need help making this happen, reach out to us to schedule a private consultation in your home with one of our lactation specialists.
Heal Those Nips!
What’s the best way to heal damaged nipples? There are a few methods we recommend.
Breastmilk and Air Dry
This one has the benefit of being free and immediately available! After your baby’s feed, express a bit of milk out of your breasts. Then let that milk sit on your nipples and air dry. Breastmilk is prebiotic, probiotic and antibiotic, and as we know, an all-around magical fluid. It will work wonders on your sore tissue.
Honey is the oldest wound-healing agent known to mankind (it’s almost as cool as breastmilk.) It has amazing properties like being antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and so much more. We recommend Medihoney wound and burn dressing for severely damaged nipples. Medihoney is 100% honey, contains no additives and is filtered and sterilized to remove any bacteria and spores. Here’s a link to how Medihoney recommends you use it with breastfeeding.
In addition to promoting healing, you may need to soothe the aching soreness. Hydrogels and these cool silver cups can help do that, too. Hydrogels are available almost anywhere that breastfeeding supplies are sold (like Target) from companies like Medela and Lansinoh. We recommend them over using other ointments (like lanolin) because research has shown that not only are they more effective at relieving pain, but also have a significantly decreased incidence of infection.