Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure your child gets the best nutrients needed in the first few months of birth, up to the age of two. Breastmilk is safe, clean and contains antibodies to protect your baby from common childhood illnesses. According to World Health Organization (WHO), breastfed children are more intelligent and less likely to be overweight.
However, the first few times of breastfeeding may be hard for mummies. Problems like latching pain, breast engorgement, clogged ducts and low milk supply are among the most common breastfeeding issues.
The other common problem during breastfeeding period is cracked nipple. This may be one of the most painful experiences for breastfeeding mothers. A bad condition of cracked nipple may lead to bleeding.
Why does cracked nipple happen? It is usually caused by poor latching technique and positioning. According to Jane Morton, MD, a clinical professor of paediatrics emerita at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, United States of America, during the first week of breastfeeding, mothers may experience some bloody discharge as their baby learns to latch.
The simplest solution for this problem, as advised by our experienced Lactation Nurse, Mak Yam, is for mothers to squeeze out a bit of breastmilk and apply it on to the affected area. Let it airdry before putting on a bra and shirt. Repeat this method a few times a day until it heals. In addition, Morton also advises mothers to let their nipples airdry after every nursing session, to help speed up the healing process of cracked nipples.
Watch Mak Yam's tips on how to heal cracked nipple below;
1. Breastfeeding, https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_1
2. Breastfeeding Problems, http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/breastfeeding-problems/