Friday, December 17, 2010


Breastfeeding is one of the easiest and best ways to provide nutrition to your infant. It nurtures your child and gives the required anti-bodies to fight various diseases. During this period most mothers face a common problem, that of sore painful cracked nipples A condition which is characterized by painful nipples where the skin is cracked.

Causes of Cracked nipples :

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Painful cracked nipples. There are likely to be other possible causes also but in majority of cases the causes are these.

* Improper breastfeeding technique - e.g. inadequate attachment of baby to nipple
* Overuse of one breast when breastfeeding
* Improper drying of nipples following breastfeeding
* Prolonged contact of nipple with soggy breast pads
* Eczema of nipple
* Candidiasis of the nipple
* Trauma with exercise
* Pagets Disease of nipple.

Sore nipples can cause discomfort and pain Usually mild soreness heals itself within few days.

Prevention and Home Remedies for Sore Nipples

Application of cool compress to your nipples, before nursing can help in alleviating sore nipple problem. Let the child suckle the nipple which is less sore as the first suckle is the most active. Keep switching sides with each feeding, thus avoiding pressure from the baby's mouth on the same part of the breast.

Do not discontinue nursing; they heal by frequent nursing with the passage of time. Exposure of nipples and breasts to air prevents growth of thrush. Avoid wearing bra for long hours of the day instead wear nursing bras with flaps. Expose your breasts and nipples to sunlight for minimum 30 seconds and gradually increase it to three minutes.

To prevent cracks, tears and chapping of nipples apply Olive oil, or Sweet almond oil, or Lanolin or Comfrey ointment. Use this throughout the latter part of the pregnancy and beginning weeks of nursing. Do not use soap, cologne, deodorant and powder on your nipples or breasts. Avoid washing nipples with soap as it leads to chaps or cracks.

Application of Comfrey ointment softens and strengthens the nipples. It is useful for sensitive nipples. Use of Yarrow leaf poultices - or Yarrow infused oil provides instant relief from cracked, sore and chapped nipples. For relief rub the nipples with resin of Balsam fir. Phytolacca Decandra is very useful in cases of breast infection, mastitis and cracked nipples.

Calendula cream or ointment is useful in treating cracked nipples, abscess or any other breast injury Apply it right after nursing and clean it before next feeding. By cutting an Aloe Vera leaf, apply fresh gel to heal sore and cracked nipples. One should check for local senstivities and allergies before applying any of the above or better consult the doctor.

Homoeopathic Treatment : Following medicines may be of great help in the case of cracked, sore and fissured Nipples.

Nitricum acidum-Cracks: intensely sensitive nipples. -Sticking pains, like a splinter.
-Nipples discoloured.
-ACID. NIT. is chilly: hates fuss: craves salt and fat.
-Nipples inflamed and very tender.
-Can hardly bear the the pain of nursing.
-CHAM. is intolerant of pain: "cannot bear it!" Very irritable. (STAPHISAGRIA).
Croton tiglium
-Nipples very sore to touch.
-Excruciating pain runs round to scapula.
-Radiating pain runs round intercostal nerves.
Lycopodium clavatum
-Sore, fissures, covered with scurf.
-Bleeding from ducts: child draws blood from nipples, and seems to be vomiting blood (SILICEA).
-Itching, mealy covering of nipples.
Phytolacca decandra
-Nipples sore and fissured.
-Intense suffering on putting child to breast.
-Pain starts from nipple and radiates all over body.
-Breast feels like a brick, lumpy and nodular.
Pulsatilla pratensis
-Weeps as often as she has to nurse.
-Pain extends to chest, neck, down back.
-Changes from place to place.
Sepia officinalis
-Deep sore cracks across crown of nipple.
-In the the SEPIA patient.
-Pains when the the milk begins to flow.
-Nursing almost impossible.
-Emotional upset with partial suppression.
-Ill-humored and oversensitive.
-Broods on old injuries, or her past deeds.
-Least word seems wrong and hurts very much.
-After nursing, nipple smarts and burns: chaps badly.
-Breast looks unwashed.
-(In a SULPHUT patient:feels the heat: sinking at 11 a.m. : puts feet out of bed: loves fat: hungry: gets hot at night and uncovers.)

Castor equi: The clinical experience of Hering and his fellow-provers has shown this to be highly useful remedy in cracked and ulcerated nipples

Ratanhia: Cracks in nipples with few of striking mental symptoms these are :Sensitive, easily overturned with stress. Closed person with apprehension and fear. Anxiety about members of the family. Ailments from cares.

Sarsaparilla: Sore nipples with dry hard deep cracks on it.Dry itching and crusty Rhagades.

Causticum,Cundurango, Graphites, Merc cor, Sepia, Silicea,Paeonia, Hydrastis, fluor acid are also found to be very effective.

Please do suggest what more you want to add to this topic. So that the agony of mother can be reduced and both the mother and the child be benfitted.