Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins and fats - everything your baby needs to grow and thrive. The benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition as breast milk is packed with disease-fighting antibodies that protect your baby from illness. Breastfeeding lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhoea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor. Breastfeeding also has numerous benefits for mothers such as reducing your risk of breast cancer, uterus cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis. It burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster and it releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
Unfortunately, painful and damaged nipples associated with breastfeeding is a common problem and in many instances leads to mothers seeking other alternatives. Painful nipples pose threats to mothers, infants and societies. The most common consequences of damaged nipples include infants’ deprivation of breast milk benefits and it may lead to stress and disappointment in mothers.
Studies indicate that problems occurring in the first days following birth may lead to the discontinuation of breastfeeding. It is estimated that 80 to 90% of breastfeeding women experience some nipple soreness, with 26% progressing to cracking and extreme nipple pain. Traumatized nipples can easily become infected with bacteria or yeast resulting in further complications such as thrush, mastitis and breast abscesses, the presence of which can delay healing, even when positioning and latch-on are corrected. Unfortunately, many women delay seeking treatment until substantial damage has already occurred. It is thus essential that effective wound healing, in addition to the teaching of proper techniques, must occur before successful and painless breastfeeding can be achieved.
Click Here for more information about Healing Sore & Cracked Nipples. It is also helpful to identify the cause of the nipple damage in order to determine the correct method of treatment.
Click Here for more about the Causes of Sore & Cracked Nipples during Breastfeeding.
Did you breastfeed your babies, or are you planning on breastfeeding? Please share your breastfeeding stories and concerns with me in the comments below.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to leave a comment below. For more tips and advice on maternity skin care check out the Expert Advice section of the Natralogic website.
All the best
Lauren Lamont - Natralogic Founder
MSc Chemistry, Dip.Cos.Sci (SA)