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By Jo-Anne Lawless, HCA, LC
Q. I am a new mother and baby is only five days old. I aleady have a sore and slightly cracked nipple on one side which is obviously in pain. It hurts badly when he first latches on, but once he gets nursing it feels better. What can you reccomend to get it to heal? I've already tried expressing milk and then applying Lansinoh. It worked for a while, but is now cracked again. My bra sticks to it and when I use the cotton shields they stick too.
A. What a marvelous attitude you have! Air is what is needed right now. Don't wear a bra at all and wear loose cotton clothing. As with any open sore or cut on the body, if you keep it covered up, it will stay soft and take longer to heal up. Blowing air on the nipple from a hairdryer (warm setting) will help as well. Be sure the baby's mouth is wide open as he latches on. Use the lanolin very sparingly. Some women find that a very small amount of vitamin E (squeezed from a capsule) is effective as well, but exposure to the air will heal things the most quickly.
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