When it comes to breastfeeding, you might have heard a lot of people talk about certain challenges that come with the practice. But did you know that there are a lot of challenges beyond the realm of imagination?
Although breastfeeding can bring so much joy to your baby and you, it comes with its fair share of difficulties as well. The first six weeks, for instance, it can be very demanding for new moms especially if they aren’t used to the process yet. And needless to say, things only get more complicated from here on out. Aside from the physical exhaustion, you might feel day in and day out, there are a lot of other challenges that come with breastfeeding as well. One example is nipple injury, like nipple soreness or chapping in as many call it. If you’re wondering what exactly nipple chapping is and why we care about it, keep reading to learn more…
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What is nipple chapping?
Nipple chapping is a type of dryness that occurs when the nipples get too little moisture. While it can happen to any woman, it is most common in those who are breastfeeding. The skin of your nipples gets very dry because they are constantly exposed to air. That being said, you should also remember that your baby is also sucking on it and that can also be contributing to the issue as well. If you notice any of the following symptoms of nipple chapping, you should know that you are most likely experiencing it. Once you’re aware, you can take steps to get rid of the issue.
These are the most common symptoms of nipple chapping and what you can do about them:
- Your nipples feel tender or sore after breastfeeding. When your baby latches on to your nipples, there is a lot of friction that occurs. This friction can cause your nipples to be sore or tender after breastfeeding.
- Your nipples become red and cracked. When your nipples are exposed to the air for a long period of time, they can get very dry and cracked. Depending on the severity, they can even crack open and bleed.
- Your nipples develop white spots or streaks. As the nipples become even drier, the skin gets flaky and white spots to appear on it.
Cause of Napping chapping
As mentioned above, nipple chapping can be caused by a variety of factors that result in your nipples getting too little moisture. But what is it exactly that causes this? While there are various factors that can contribute to it, some of the most common ones include:
- The type of breast pump you’re using. Breast pumps are essential when breastfeeding. They are the ones responsible for delivering breast milk to your baby. However, if the one you’re using is not good enough, you can still experience chapping.
- The type of shirt you wear. While breastfeeding is not obscene, that doesn’t mean that you should go around in a nipple-revealing gown. You should make sure that what you’re wearing is not too tight. It can actually be very damaging to your nipples.
Signs of Nipple Chapping
The above symptoms of nipple chapping are the most common ones. However, you should know that you might also experience some of the below signs as well. Your nipples become dry, cracked, and red. This is the most common sign of nipple chapping and what you should look out for. Your nipples develop white spots or streaks. When your nipples become even drier, the skin is flaky and white spots appear on them. Your nipples become painful during breastfeeding. Pain during breastfeeding can be a sign that something is wrong. It can also indicate that your nipples are getting too little moisture.
Avoiding Nipple Chapping
The good news is that nipple chapping can be prevented. The first and most important thing you need to do is make sure that your nipples are always moisturized. You can do this by applying lukewarm milk on them or by using a nipple cream.
Next, you have to make sure you are wearing the right shirt when you go out. When you’re breastfeeding, you have to make sure that you’re wearing a shirt that is not too tight. You should make sure that the bra that you’re wearing has enough room in it so that your nipples are not exposed to the air. You should also make sure that you do not wear a shirt that is too loose or too thin. If you’re using a breast pump, make sure that you clean it properly. You should also make sure that you run it for the recommended amount of time. You can also try to see if a different pump will work better for you. You can also try to see if a different position will help you get more milk from your breasts.
When you’re breastfeeding, there are a lot of challenges that you need to face. And one of them might be nipple chapping. Let’s talk more about it and see what exactly it is and how you can prevent it. If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should definitely get it checked out. And when it comes to nipple chapping, you can prevent it by making sure that your nipples are always moisturized. You can do this by lathering them with lukewarm milk or using a nipple cream. You can also try to wear the right shirt when you’re out and make sure that the pump you’re using is clean and running for the recommended amount of time.