Cracks are unfortunately one of the most common breastfeeding pains and conditions . Damaged or even bleeding nipples, each feeding is painful, and you are already clenching your teeth thinking about the next feeding that awaits you... However, the cracks can be easily resolved thanks to a few tips that we will share with you here ; Do not hesitate to consult all of our articles dedicated to breastfeeding .
Identify the cause of cracks
Cracks frequently occur during the first days of breastfeeding, in the maternity ward, because your skin is not yet used to the sucking of a newborn. Often considered (wrongly!) by the medical team as a common ailment that must be dealt with by clenching one's teeth, they should not be taken lightly .
Cracks, when they persist, are an alarming sign that something is stuck somewhere : poor position, not allowing optimal latching of the breast, skeletal or muscular tension in the baby's jaw, or even sucking problems such as a brake too short or too tight. In this case, if the cracks are too painful and/or last too long, it is imperative that you consult a health professional trained in breastfeeding (very few are, even gynecologists and midwives!). Contact an IBCLC near you and don't hesitate to ask for recommendations around breastfeeding support groups near you.
Treating and preventing cracks: false good ideas
Cracks can easily discourage the start of breastfeeding . However, with appropriate care, they can resolve quickly, quickly becoming nothing more than a distant memory. There is no point in skipping feedings, feeding on one breast or giving a bottle while waiting for the cracks to relieve: this risks putting your breastfeeding at risk more than anything else! Also, it is not necessary to prepare your nipples at the end of pregnancy to tan the skin and avoid cracks.
Find a suitable position to relieve cracks
The most classic position that will be indicated to you from maternity is the Madonna position . However, it only takes a few centimeters to be incorrectly positioned for the baby to have to tilt his head too high or too low to catch the nipple, and as a result, pinches his jaws to compensate by sucking. And on the menu for you: crevasses!
Do not hesitate to vary the positions (and seek advice from health professionals trained in breastfeeding) in order to relieve yourself and see if a position better helps your baby to latch: BN (biological nurturing), ball of rugby, she-wolf, reclining, inverted Madonna…
Promote healing of cracks
To help your cracks heal, you can, between each feeding:
- Leave your chest in the open air , to avoid friction of fabric which can make things worse,
- Apply breast milk compresses , which is a real white gold in terms of healing thanks to its numerous properties,
- Apply lanolin , such as that of our partner Lansinoh,
- Apply sweet almond oil .
The essential accessory to prevent and treat cracks
Finally, don't hesitate to invest in breastfeeding shells , one of the best accessories for preventing and treating cracks related to breastfeeding. Made of mother-of-pearl, they are placed on the nipple between feedings. With a drop of milk at the bottom, they will protect your nipples and promote healing in a humid environment.
You now have all the weapons in hand to overcome these nasty crevasses! You can also consult our article on the essentials to get your breastfeeding off to a good start . And when things get better, don't hesitate to take a look at our e-shop to buy our eco-friendly & comfortable nursing clothes, for stylish breastfeeding !