Most women have experienced sore nipples at one point in their lives and it is one of the concerns for breastfeeding mothers. The following are some facts and home remedies for the condition.
Nipple soreness have various causes. According to Web MD, these include breastfeeding, pregnancy, sexual activity, sensitivity, itching, infection, skin conditions, allergies, environmental factors, inflammatory disorders, hormonal imbalances, and friction.
According to Health NZ, 96 percent of women in a group of 100 experienced sore nipples in the first week and majority of the said population characterized the pain as moderate to intense. As per My VMC, sore nipples are experienced by 80 percent of breastfeeding women after childbirth and 90 percent of them will have breast pain in the first week post-delivery. According to the publication, about one in four infants will develop oral thrush, as it is commonly linked with breast and nipple thrush in mothers who breastfeed.
Signs and Symptoms
Sore nipples present a number of symptoms. As per Health Line, the person may feel pain and itchiness in the nipples. In some cases, the nipples may have a discharge, which includes white, watery fluid, or pus. Presence of these signs should prompt the person see her physician. Moreover, the person may also experience some changes in the nipple or areola shape. Some changes may cover dimpling or puckering of the skin. Women who also have hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual period may experience an accompanying discomfort. These should be also discussed with the physician.
While treatment options are available for nipple problems, the following home remedies can be done to resolve the condition.
One of the efficient home remedies for sore nipples is breast milk. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, the person can use her own breast milk to heal sore, bleeding, blistered, or cracked nipples. As per the publication, the milk has antibacterial and healing properties that aid in sore nipple management. To perform, the person applies a few drops of breast milk on the affected nipple before breastfeeding. Next, she applies some milk again after breastfeeding. The, the nipple is allowed to air dry thoroughly. The same procedure is done for the other nipple, few times a day until the soreness resolves.
Another remedy for sore nipple is warm compress. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, heat application can ease the discomfort and promote healing. As per the publication, a washcloth is dipped in warm water. The, it is ringed out and is placed on the breasts for few minutes, at least ten minutes before breastfeeding. The procedure is done multiple times a day until the soreness resolves..
A compound ointment, which can be prepared at home, is another remedy for sore nipples. As per breastfeeding expert Jack Newman, as cited by Fit Pregnancy, an all-purpose nipple ointment can be used; however, it needs a doctor’s prescription because the product cannot be bought commercially. In this regard, the pharmacy should compound it with these ingredients – 15 grams Miconazole powder, 15 grams Betamethasone 0.1 percent ointment (not cream), and Mupirocin two percent ointment (not cream).
Another way to relieve soreness of the nipple is to expose it to the air. According to Today’s Parent, this method lets the nipple to become dry and heal. As per the publication, the person may also use breast shells, which are donut shaped plastic items with a dome top. She puts her nipple in the middle of the donut hole while the dome top prevents it from contact with the garment, such as bra.
Sore nipples may not be as alarming as tuberculosis, stroke, and cancer, but it puts certain amount of discomfort to a person. Thus, medical consult should be done for proper assessment, planning, and interventions to relieve the soreness.