Nipple soreness is one of the most common problems during breastfeeding. Moreover, as they are related to pain, numerous studies indicate that this is one of the main reasons for mothers to stop breastfeeding. When a breastfeeding mother has nipple lesions, it is important to know the aetiology of the lesions and the most appropriate treatment.
The assessment of the feeding, the latch and the oral structures of the infant are essential in order to know the cause of the injuries. Persistent wounds or wounds that have evolved over several days may also be over-infected or have an infectious aetiology, and therefore the assessment of local or, if necessary, systemic antibiotic treatment may be necessary.
It should also be borne in mind that there are numerous products on the market that are marketed to treat nipple cracks. Most of them lack evidence of effectiveness, have a high cost and some have even been proven that far from providing an effective solution, they increase the healing time of the wounds, so their recommendation should be practically null.
Knowing the aetiology of sores makes it possible to tackle the root cause and therefore improve treatment and reduce recurrences. It is essential to be able to provide mothers with quality information and to offer comfort measures until the lesions disappear. It is also essential to provide a range of options so that the breastfeeding mother herself can choose the option that is most comfortable for her.
Below is an infographic describing the four stages in which nipple damages and injuries can be observed in women who are breastfeeding their babies: