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RaMa Mama Doula Share: Breastfeeding & Chapped Nipples...

Being a new mother doesn't stop at childbirth. As soon as you are done laboring, breastfeeding is the next new endeavor you are asked to master. Many newer mommies have problems with chapped nipples, and by the second child, they have found techniques that have worked really well for them in the past to use again. So what are they saying worked?

First of all, why is this happening? The number one reason is incorrect latching. When a baby is properly latched on, the nipple is in the back of the mouth where it wouldn't become irritated. This is the primary reason why there are lactation consultants at the hospital. It is important to start with good habits that work, and to get tips and pointers from the professionals who have seen it all. Tongue Tie'd babies don't always latch on right, and babies that get both the nipple and a bottle can develop nipple confusion that affects the way they feed. This is the first thing to check and correct before moving forward.

Breast milk is one of the most powerful liquids on the planet. It holds not only vital nutrients, but medicine too. Breast milk has been said to contain natural antibodies that fight infections, and skin softeners that help nipples to heal and feel healthy. Whether it is during a feeding, before, or after doesn't matter. Just try putting it onto the areas that are chapped first, as it is simple and accessible, and it works.

Moms can ice their nipples by putting ice cubes inside of a soft towel and placing it on the areas of concern before breastfeeding. Ice helps to calm inflammation, reduce pain, and provide some relief to those who are suffering. Alternatively, when breastfeeding is over at the end of a session, a warm compress can be very comforting for a few minutes.

Rinsing the breasts with warm saltwater can help speed up the healing process. Just like the ocean and our body fluids, saltwater is a natural healer. The key is to allow the breasts to completely dry, as this can be another way that they become uncomfortable.

Finally, there are tons of natural balms for the nipples on the market. We have seen our Black Cumin Oil help a lot of moms who feel drawn to use essential oils. Joining support groups online helps to get these conversations going. Mothers want to support other mothers with what works, so ask around to see what this year's best balm might be. Conversely, let moms know when you have found a solution that helps. Genuine experiences can provide the most wisdom and help to someone in need.

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