title: How to deal with cracked nipples and blocked milk ducts after childbirth
date: 2009-05-09 06:23:00
After giving birth to a baby, what is the first thing a mother should do? The answer is - start breastfeeding. Now, breastfeeding has been recognized as the best way to feed a baby, as long as the mother is healthy, she should try to let the baby drink sweet breast milk. However, there can be many troubles during the process of breastfeeding, and the most common problems occur with the mother's breasts.
Trouble 1: Breast cleanliness
Before feeding the baby, the mother must clean her breasts. It is said that diseases enter through the mouth, and newborn babies need extra attention. The mother should use a towel specifically for cleaning the breasts. Before each feeding, dampen the towel with warm water and gently wipe the breasts, especially the areola and nipple area. The movements should be gentle, not too forceful, to avoid rubbing the skin on the nipples.
Reminder from the maternity nurse: It is best for mothers to prepare several small towels before giving birth to a baby, so that they won't be in a rush. Cleaning the breasts only requires plain water.
Trouble 2: Cracked nipples
As the saying goes, "using all the strength to suck milk," it can be seen how much effort the baby puts into sucking. For mothers who have just started breastfeeding, they may not have a lot of milk, and their nipples are delicate. Moreover, they may not have fully mastered the breastfeeding position, so it is easy for the baby to suck the nipples until they crack. What should be done in such a situation?
The mother should control the duration of each feeding, preferably not exceeding 20 minutes. Because there are bacteria in the baby's mouth, if the cracked nipples are soaked in the baby's mouth for a long time, the bacteria can cause breast infections.
After feeding, the mother can squeeze out a small amount of breast milk and apply it to the nipples and areola, allowing them to dry naturally. If possible, let the sunlight shine on them through a window. Breast milk has antibacterial properties and is beneficial for the healing of nipple skin.
If the mother is in too much pain, she can express the milk and feed the baby with a small spoon. However, do not use a bottle to avoid nipple confusion in the baby, which may lead to a dislike for breastfeeding.
Reminder from the maternity nurse: Before breastfeeding, the mother can express a little milk first, which will make the areola softer and more conducive to the baby's sucking. After breastfeeding, the mother can apply a 10% lanolin cream to promote wound healing.
Trouble 3: Blocked milk ducts
Compared to cracked nipples, blocked milk ducts bring more troubles to mothers. Once a blocked milk duct occurs, mothers can try several treatment methods recommended by maternity nurses.
Maternity nurse's tips:
A: Place a basin of hot water on the knees, then soak the breast with the lump in the water. Change the water when it cools down, and massage the breast while soaking to gradually squeeze out the accumulated milk.
B: Remove the internal organs of a live carp, but keep the scales. Cook it together with pig trotters and about 15g of Chinese herb called "tongcao". Drink it twice a day, continuously for 3-4 days, and the condition will improve.
C: Heat a wooden comb and comb the lumps in the breast repeatedly.
D: After a period of breastfeeding, if the mother feels a burst of milk congestion when the baby is sucking and there are lumps, it is best to let the baby or a stronger person like the father suck with more force during this time. Remember to seize those precious few seconds!