The most sensitive regions of a woman's breasts are the nipples. They play important role in the foreplay and lovemaking, however they are provided by nature for the purpose of breastfeeding. They produce the milk shortly after the pregnancy in the mammary glands.
But the cracked nipple is a miserable situation and it makes your toes curl especially when the cold air hits them or when a hungry baby latches onto one of them. But the good part about this situation is that this problem can be easily prevented and treated by following the simple home remedies at home.
The most important point which should to be taken care of to avoid cracked nipples is the right latch-on position. This is the easiest and most overlooked solution to this problem. Make sure that most of the areola is inside the baby's mouth and not just nipple. A comfortable position for both mother and the baby should be chosen for the breastfeeding. Allow your baby to suckle more and make sure the breast is away from the baby's nose.
The baby needs to apply lots of energy to suckle the milk from the nipples. The baby will be sweating after the process of feeding. Now, when you are done with the feeding process, don't try to pull away from the baby. Slipping a finger or two between the baby's tongue and your nipple will work for it.
It is advisable from the doctors and the nutritionist all around the world to feed the baby as many times as possible. It gives the benefits to both mother and the baby. The mother should give small meals several times a day to the baby. In the beginning or early days of delivery, feed for smaller periods and many times a day. This gives a robust milk supply and less friction for the nipples. In the early days the feeding schedule can be every two hours for ten minutes and can be increased to every three hours for fifteen minutes in the later days, etc. As the baby starts growing the feeding time and interval between the meals can be slowly kept increasing.
Another benefit of feeding frequently is that it prevents the breasts from getting engorged. As the mother gets busy and the time interval between the feedings increase, it causes the breasts to enlarge along with nipples and this makes it difficult for the baby to latch properly and leads to cracked nipples. So to prevent this problem and to avoid them from getting big, the mother should feed the child on regular intervals.
Do not apply soap on you nipples as it has the drying effect on them. Colostrums is the liquid which is secreted out just after the child birth and should be fed as much as possible to the child which is very essential for the growth of the child. This liquid has the lubricating effects while the soap will dry them off.
The nursing mother should wear a nursing bra with open flaps before and after the delivery. This helps in getting the nipples tight for the baby and preventing them from cracking. The fabric rubs gently on them and makes them tough.
Putting an ice cube on cracked nipples before latch-on reduces the pain while feeding the baby.
The feeding mother should take enough rest to ensure good quantity of milk production and this prevents the nipples from cracking.
Rubbing lanolin on the nipples before feeding the baby can be helpful, if you are not allergic to wool.