Breastfeeding | Why won't my nipples heal?

Episode 13 | Why won’t my cracked nipples heal?

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Show Summary:

This episode is brought to you today by the free Clean Sleeping Guide that I have on my website. You can access this baby at www.jenniferbutler.com.au/clean-sleeping Now guys, this guide is the first step I take parents through when I'm looking to help them improve their baby or toddlers sleep. You are literally getting free access to the first pillar of my Triple C Approach that I use to improve baby and toddler sleep. So head on over and download yourself a copy today, jenniferbutler.com/clean-sleeping. Okay, let's get into today's episode.

In today’s episode, I am talking about nipples! More specifically, why won’t your sore cracked nipples heal?

I think cracked nipples would be one of the key reasons why mum’s wean from breastfeeding, so understanding why they may not be healing may help to give you the knowledge to get past this hurdle and keep on breastfeeding! Listen on to find out more.


  • Poor attachment-The most common reason why your nipples won’t heal is that attachment still ain’t cutting it. Cracked nipples usually occur from damage due to poor attachment, in the beginning, so you could imagine that without adjusting this, it will continue to reopen wounds. It’s like falling over and grazing your knee, and instead of keeping it bandaged, you keep it open and continue to fall over and reopen the wound. To prevent damage, your nipple needs to be reaching the soft palate of your babe’s mouth, which means a deep attachment. If you don’t think your attachment is on point, get in touch with an IBCLC to get attachment right!


  • Lip or tongue tie- sometimes it is what is going on in your babe’s mouth that is preventing ideal attachment. Lip and tongue ties is a topic that is divided within the health professional community. As a midwife, IBCLC and mum, I can assure you that if there is a lip or tongue tie preventing mobility of the tongue or lip, this is often associated with poor attachment and damaged nipples. If you are concerned your baby or even toddler has a lip or tongue tie, I strongly recommend you get it checked out by a professional who specialises in the identification of ties, usually a dentist with a background in revision, 


  • Pumping technique- using an incorrect sized flange for your breast pump may be preventing your nipples from healing. We are all built differently ladies, and this goes for our nipple size too! Your nipple and part of your areola should fit in the flange when you pump, not just the nipple! Pumping on too high of suction can also cause damage or reopen wounds.


  • Thrush- sometimes you can have an underlying medical condition preventing your nipples from healing! Thrush is a common condition experienced by breastfeeding women and makes nipple healing more difficult. Signs of nipple thrush include shooting pain, intense breast pain, itchy or dry nipples or shiny pink nipples. Your baby may also have signs of oral thrush, although not always. If you are concerned you may have nipple thrush, speak to an IBCLC or health professional


  • Bacterial infection- like thrush, a bacterial infection can be a cause for why your nipples aren’t healing. If you have a bacterial infection in your nipples, along with slow healing nipples, you may experience flu flight symptoms, breasts feeling hot to touch, fever and more. Again, it is suggested you speak to a health professional or IBCLC if you’re worried this is you!


I hope that has helped you with some ideas as to why your nipples won’t heal. Breastfeeding can be very challenging, especially when you have damaged nippled adding to the mix. See you next week!

Thank you so much for joining me in today's episode, guys. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you did, please head on over to your podcasts streaming app, whether that's Apple or Spotify, and leave me a review. I want this podcast to get to as many ears as possible so that other mums, who might be having the same questions as you can, find a little bit of information to help their parenting journey along. And you know what? While you're over there leaving a review, please feel free to subscribe so you don't miss a single one of my episodes and don't forget to hit me up on my socials, Facebook and Instagram @jenbutlerearlyparenting. Can't wait to bring you your next episode. I'll see you back here again then.

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