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10 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Cracked And Bleeding Nipples

6 min read

Ouch! Your baby begins to breastfeed and it hurts! A very common lament of breastfeeding moms is sore and cracked nipples and many new moms think it is an inevitable part of nursing the baby. But breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt. It is a sign of a problem that needs correcting. It is important that you identify the problem and solve the underlying cause so that you can continue nursing your baby with pleasure.
cracked nipples

  • Is It Normal To Have Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples During Breastfeeding?
  • What Causes Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples During Breastfeeding?
  • Cracked, and Bleeding Nipples From Pumping
  • Nipple Creams To Heal Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples
  • Can Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples Affect The Baby?
  • Can You Breastfeed Your Baby With Cracked And Bleeding Nipples?
  • 10 Home Remedies To Treat Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples

Is It Normal To Have Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples During Breastfeeding?

As a new mom, it may take you anywhere from a few days to few weeks to get adapted to the strong suck of your newborn on your breasts. In the initial weeks, it is normal for your breasts to become more sensitive and your nipples may tingle, burn, feel tender and your breasts may even ache. But as you get used to breastfeeding your baby, this discomfort and sensitivity should go away.
Sometimes you may notice some bloody discharge in your breast milk or colostrum. But if this is not accompanied by any pain, then blood from nipples in the initial week of nursing is something that you should not stress about. It may be caused because of an increased flow of blood to the breasts, and the development of tissues that produce milk. This should resolve on its own in some days.
But sore, cracked and bleeding nipples are not a normal part of nursing your baby. If it continues, then it may be a sign of your baby not properly latching on at your breasts or some other underlying issue.

What Causes Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples During Breastfeeding?

Some of the common causes of cracked or bleeding nipples during breastfeeding are:

  • Trouble latching: If your baby is having problems latching on to your breast properly, then it can cause cracked and bleeding nipples. Also read: Tips For Latching A Baby For Breast Feeding
  • Aggressive sucking: Leaving your baby until he is over hungry before you nurse him can lead to the baby sucking aggressively at your breasts. This can cause nipple damage
  • Thrush: Thrush, a yeast infection in the baby’s mouth can pass on to the mother when you nurse him thus causing nipple damage. To know more on this read: Yeast Infection In Nursing Moms
  • Eczema: You can have cracked or bleeding nipples if you have extremely dry skin or eczema. The signs of eczema include itchy, painful, scaly and red patches on the skin. If you think you suffer from eczema then do consult a dermatologist
  • Flat or inverted nipples: If you have flat or inverted nipples, then breastfeeding can be difficult. This can also lead to cracked or broken nipples. For more on this read: Breastfeeding With Flat Or Inverted Nipples
  • Tongue tied baby: Another cause for cracked or bleeding nipples is if your baby is tongue tied. A tongue tied baby is  normally not able to lift his tongue. The baby will not be able to latch correctly at the breast. Instead, he will latch onto the nipple and chew it. This can cause a lot of nipple damage and pain

Cracked, and Bleeding Nipples From Pumping

A breast pump can also cause cracked and bleeding nipples. Wrongly using a breast pump like using excessive suction can injure the delicate breast tissues by breaking the breast capillaries and causing bleeding. So while expressing milk, just be careful on how you use the breast pump to prevent any damage to the nipples.

Nipple Creams To Heal Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples

If you have cracked and bleeding nipples, then check with your doctor and ask him to prescribe an appropriate ointment to heal the same. You can even get over the counter lanolin cream meant for breastfeeding moms for your cracked or bleeding nipples. You can rub this cream on your nipples. This will help to ease the pain and discomfort and also help in healing the wound sooner without forming a dry crust on the skin. There is no need to wash the ointment before feeding your baby.

Can Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples Affect The Baby?

No, cracked or bleeding nipples are generally ignored by babies. A little blood in your breast milk will not harm your baby. So as long as you can bear the pain, you can continue nursing your baby. Just get your baby feed efficiently so that the nipples get a chance to heal. It is also important that you understand the cause of cracked or bleeding nipples. If you are suffering from cracked nipples because your baby is not latching on properly, then sorting out this problem will not only help you but also benefit your baby. If your baby is not latched on properly, he will not be getting the best from breast milk and may continue sucking for hours together without being benefited. As a result, your baby will not gain weight

Can You Breastfeed Your Baby With Cracked And Bleeding Nipples?

If you have cracked or bleeding nipples, it may be excruciating to feed your baby. If it is impossible for you to bear the pain, then you can express your milk and bottle feed your baby.

10 Home Remedies To Treat Cracked Or Bleeding Nipples

1. Breast milk:

Do you know that your breast milk works wonders for treating cracked and sore nipples? It is the best antiseptic and moisturizer. All you need to do is express a little breast milk by hand and apply a few drops of this expressed breast milk on your nipples continuously for a few days. The best part is you don’t have to worry about your baby ingesting it

2. Coconut oil:

Another effective home remedy to treat cracked and sore nipples is using coconut oil. Apply some coconut oil on your nipples and massage gently. Within two days you will notice a difference

3. Clarified butter or Ghee:

An age old home remedy to treat sore and cracked nipples is using homemade ghee or clarified butter. It is a very effective way to treat cracked nipples and at the same time it is harmless if swallowed by your baby

4. Olive oil:

Massaging your breasts with olive oil before taking a bath is another effective way of treating cracked nipples

5. Milk cream or malai (मलाई ):

In order to treat the cracked nipples faster, just apply some fresh milk cream or malai around your nipples after you feed your baby. Leave it open till your baby’s next feed

6. Aloe Vera:

Another effective way to treat cracked and bleeding nipples is using aloe Vera gel. Aloe Vera is known for its healing and pain relieving properties. Apply some aloe Vera gel around the affected area and let it dry on its own. Clean the area with a washcloth dipped in warm water before feeding your baby

7. Basil leaves:

Basil leaves are known to have healing properties that cure many skin problems. It heals sore, cracked and bleeding nipples faster. Grind a handful of basil leaves into a smooth paste and apply it on the cracked nipples and let it dry. Apply this paste 3 to 5 times a week and do wash off this paste before feeding your baby
cracked or bleeding nipples

8. Tea tree oil:

Tea tree oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties so applying tea tree oil on cracked nipples help to heal them faster. Add 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil to a glass of lukewarm water. Dip a cotton ball in this liquid and dab it on the affected area. Allow it to air dry and rinse it with lukewarm water before feeding your baby

9. Chamomile:

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties in chamomile help to treat sore and cracked nipples. All you need it to steep 1 or 2 tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes. Take out the tea bags and squeeze out the excess water. Apply these moist tea bags on the sore and cracked nipples for a few minutes

10. Apple cider vinegar:

To keep your nipples clean and destroy any bacteria or yeast infection, make a mixture of 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water. Dip a cotton ball water in this mixture and apply this on the nipples after feeding your baby
We hope that the above home remedies will help you recover from cracked and bleeding nipples soon. It will once again make breastfeeding enjoyable for you and your baby. Happy motherhood.

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