Sore and cracked nipples during breastfeeding are a common occurrence. Most mothers suffer from it silently and many opt to give the bottle to the baby to recover from the soreness. This at times could lead to nipple confusion in babies when the mother resumes breastfeeding. So, it is necessary that a mother tries some remedies to heal the nipples faster and get going with smooth breastfeeding. Many mothers don’t like to use medicated creams on the nipples fearing it might harm the baby during feeding, so here are some natural remedies that promote faster healing.
Breast milk: This is the easiest way to deal with cracked and sore nipples. Just press your breast and hand express a little bit of your milk and apply it in the affected areas. Allow it to dry. Breast milk has a lot of antibodies and helps to heal the nipples soon. For best result apply it between two feeds so your nipples have enough time to recover.
Cream of milk: This is the malai of the regular milk which works in the same way as breast milk. Apply the malai over the affected areas and leave it to dry. Before you offer a feed to your child wash your nipples with lukewarm water.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera has numerous healing properties. Cut open a leaf and squeeze out a little amount of gel. Apply the gel generously over the cracked and sore nipples and allow it to dry. Before feeding your baby wash off your nipples with warm water and pat dry. Apply this gel for three to four times till your nipples heal.
Oil massage: Olive oil or even aromatic oils like tea tree oils help to restore moisture and heal dry and cracked nipples. However, be very sure that you wash your nipples thoroughly before offering a feed to your child as you should not ingest these oils during feeding. It can cause digestive problems or even diarrhoea.
Warm tea bags: The chamomile tea bags come very handy while treating sore nipples. Dip two tea bags in warm water. Squeeze the water out and put the bags over the cracked areas and rest. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which help to heal the skin faster.
Basil leaves: better known as tulsi leaves they come to rescue for various skin problems and help a lactating mother recover from sore nipples too. Crush some leaves in a bowl and make a paste of tulsi leaves. Apply the paste to the cracked area and allow it to heal. Apply this paste at least three to four times in a day. Wash off before offering your baby a feed.
Ice: Wrap few ice cubes in a thin cloth and massage over the cracked areas. It soothes the nipples and helps to heal faster.