Cracked nipples seem to be a common problem among nursing mothers. It can make breastfeeding, painful and uncomfortable. It is most often caused by wrong breastfeeding position, poor latching, inadequate drying of nipples after feeding, or too much use of one breast to feed the baby. Certain other conditions like inverted nipples, dry skin, eczema, nipple candidiasis, and incorrect use of breast pump can also contribute to the occurrence of cracked nipples. You can also get this problem if your baby has candidiasis infection in the mouth, a condition commonly known as oral thrush.

It is advisable to continue with breastfeeding even if you have excruciating sharp pain associated with cracked nipples. Many home remedies for cracked nipples have been found to be effective to cure this condition. A number of researches and studies have shown that breastfeeding is very vital for the health of both mother and baby. Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients and vitamins the baby needs for growth and development. It has been noted that the babies who are breastfed are less prone to develop many medical conditions, including asthma, allergies, diabetes, obesity, gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory and urinary tract infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SID) and behavioral problems.

The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers include reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. You can try home remedies for cracked nipples to help you alleviate your pain and to enable you to go on with breastfeeding.

Most probably, your cracked nipples can be relieved by adopting the right breastfeeding positioning. While feeding the baby, it is important to make sure that nearly all of your areola and your entire nipple is in his or her mouth. You should also ensure that you are holding the baby in a comfortable position. You should also switch sides each feeding.

Use only water to clean your nipples. It is also important to expose your nipples to air for a while everyday. After each nursing, apply some breast milk to your nipples and allow it air dry. Coconut oil is a widely used home remedy for cracked nipples. Aloe vera is an effective natural cure for this condition. Rub fresh aloe vera gel on your nipple to ease the pain and to heal the cracks. Poultice made from yarrow leaf is also a good home remedy for cracked nipples. You can also apply yarrow infused oil to get immediate relief from pain and to help healing process.

Placing of ice on the nipples can be beneficial to reduce the pain. Other home remedies for cracked nipples include applying Calendula cream or ointment on the nipples after each feeding. Do not forget to wash it off before the next feeding time. There are also certain home remedies for cracked nipples, which can prevent nipples from cracking. Application of a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice during pregnancy is useful to avoid this condition. Pregnant women are also recommended to massage their breasts with sweet almond oil or shea butter in order to prepare the nipples for breastfeeding.

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