Breastfeeding: how to prevent crevices?

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This is a common occurrence when breastfeeding: your baby is happy to breastfeed (to your delight!), But the tips of the breasts are starting to suffer. Cracks then appear. What to do to avoid this inconvenience?

No special care is really necessary to prevent the formation of crevices. If you wish, you can optionally massage the tips of your breasts. It is also best to wash your chest in clean water, without soap. This is because during the breastfeeding period, the Montgomery glands produce a lubricating and disinfecting substance, allowing the nipples and areolas to remain clean and supple. Soap, disinfectants, lotions, and other products can destroy this protective layer and dry out the skin. Likewise, the use of a rough towel to dry yourself, washcloths and brushes to wash yourself is not recommended.

How to avoid crevices?

Positioning your baby the right way to breastfeed is the best way to prevent crevices. It is important that the child does not suck only the tip of the breast, but also takes the nipple in his mouth. He must avoid having to turn his head to catch the breast, this position accentuating the irregularity of the pressure on the tips of the breasts. Limiting the feeding time is unnecessary: ​​the arrival of milk can take several minutes. If you stop breastfeeding after a short time, there is a good chance that your baby has had almost nothing to drink. Obviously, especially during the first few days of life, your baby can breastfeed for several hours at a time, so you need to feel that he has eaten enough and stop feeding yourself, otherwise it will harm your breasts.

Breastfeed on demand

It is best to breastfeed your baby when he lets you know he is hungry. If you wait too long (there are regimens that recommend a break of up to 4 hours between feedings!) The baby is already very hungry. He’ll be less patient while you set him up and will suckle much more eagerly. In addition, the breasts may have swollen a lot in the meantime, preventing the baby from being able to grab the nipple. If so, your best bet would be to express some milk before you start.

For the first few days after birth, it is normal for the tips of your breasts to be very tender, especially if this is your first child. In order to avoid irritation, it is essential to keep the nipples dry between two feedings. To do this, change the compresses very regularly, and preferably use cotton or non-plastic disposable compresses.

What to do if you have crevices?

Check the baby’s position again. After breastfeeding, rub a drop of your breast milk on your nipple and let it air dry. You can also use some purified lanolin. The air has, like the sun, a soothing effect on the sore breasts. Remember to dry your breasts well between two feedings and possibly change your position when breastfeeding. If, despite all these tips, you still suffer from cracks, consult a lactation expert who can analyze your situation and guide you. She will be able to detect if there are, for example, sucking problems in the baby, which can be caused if he is breast-fed and bottle-fed.

What about artificial nipples?

Artificial nipples are generally recommended if you have flat or inverted nipples, that is, they don’t protrude much from the areola (the dark area around them) or if they widen towards the interior in their center. This can make breastfeeding very difficult and cause crevices.

If you use it, be aware that the baby will be less nourished, which can result in decreased milk production and a negative effect on the baby’s growth. Moms with good milk production may then face problems with congestion or breast infection. In addition, it is difficult to teach a baby accustomed to the artificial nipple to suck normally. So don’t hesitate to ask a lactation expert before making the decision to use artificial nipples.

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