Nipple damage (open wounds, bleeding/scabbing, etc.) is not a part of normal breastfeeding. However, sometimes nipple damage does occur. While it is important to identify and treat the root cause of the damage, many women report that saline soaks help to heal nipple cracks or fissures sustained during breastfeeding.
In the following recipe, the salt content is low and shouldn’t be painful to use.
Instructions for saline soaks:
- Dissolve 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (sea salt or Epsom salt) in 1 cup of warm water.
- Soak nipples in container of saline solution for 3-5 minutes, 2-3 times per day for 2-3 days.
- TIP: Many women find that splitting the solution between two shot glasses (or similarly sized containers) allows them to “seal” their nipples in the glasses while sitting upright. To do this, bend over the glasses while they’re sitting on a table or counter so that the rim of the glass maintains contact with the breast. Hold the glasses in your hands to maintain this seal and sit upright. Of course, maintaining this seal is imperative, otherwise, the solution will spill. Alternatively, you may continue to lean over the two containers of saline solution on a counter or table.
- Rinse nipples with clear water after soaking.
- Pat dry or allow to air dry.
- Use a freshly-made solution for each session.
As mentioned above, saline soaks can help to heal nipple wounds, but nipple damage is not a normal part of breastfeeding. It is important to identify the root cause of the damage. If you’re local to the greater Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area, Melissa is available to help when breastfeeding hurts.