BFF 7: Nipple Relief

Okay, so this is the one article in this BFF series which makes me cringe at the memories it triggers!  Clogged ducts, sore breasts, sore nipples, cracked nipples, bleeding nipples… yep, I went through them all.  I wouldn’t wish these on anyone, but if you’re going through any of those I mentioned,  you might want to give some of these relief options a try.

One thing I learned the hard way was that there was always a few seconds of pain (about a minute) at baby’s first latch. This happens every time, even when I had already become comfortable breastfeeding and when I was sure baby had a good latch.  I tell you, if you’d ever try to talk to me in those sixty seconds, I’d either snap back at you or just fire daggers at you with my eyes.

 (Don’t. Talk. To. Me. I. Need. To. Concentrate!)

But anyway, here are some painful “bumps” I experienced in my breastfeeding journeys, and some remedies that worked for me:

  1. For clogged milk ducts

Warm compress. I read also somewhere that warm compress can help soften the clog and encourage better milk flow.  But really, you just have to get that duct unclogged again, and yes, you guessed it: baby just has to keep on nursing.  It’s even recommended that you let baby start nursing on that side, because baby sucks the strongest at the start of the breastfeeding session, when he’s the hungriest. So just brace yourself, mommy. You really need baby’s help on this one. More information about clogged milk ducts here.

  1. For sore nipples

Naku, this happened to me a lot, especially when we were still “learning” the Art of the Latch. When this happened, I’d try to air them out since it was painful when fabric touched them. Also, here are some products that gave me some relief:

My staple from First Years.
Another variant from First Years

If I had to wear clothes, I’d try to use a nipple shield (but I wasn’t really comfortable using this so it was rare that I did), to provide a layer between my skin and the clothing.

. Nipple shields picture from Kellymom
  1. For cracked or bleeding nipples

This only happened to me when I was a breastfeeding newbie with the Princess. As in I was crying talaga when baby was nursing! Thankfully it didn’t last too long. I tried having her nurse while I was wearing a nipple shield, but she didn’t like it, so that didn’t work. What helped was that I used a lanolin ointment from Medela, and the breast wipes from First Years. I tried to express milk from the “hurt” side through pumping since it was less painful, but it never seemed to be fully emptied so I was scared of getting clogged ducts naman. So, I also let baby nurse on the “well” side first, so her sucking would be less excited when she breastfed on the “hurt” side.  I’d also use cold compress for pain relief before and after nursing.

Oh, and another nipple relief remedy that was free was.. breastmilk! Just put a few drops on the hurt area.  Really, it does work wonders.

So those are my simple tried-and-tested remedies.  There’s more information on nursing problems and recommendations in Babycenter’s site here. Next on the BFF (Breastfeeding Finds, more about that here) series is BFF 8- Nursing Pillows!

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