Blisters on your areola, nipples, or the surrounding skin of your breasts are common problems that are faced by breastfeeding mothers. Sometimes the blister can be painful which may make your breastfeeding experience painful. Sometimes the blisters are white or yellowish in colour. These are known as milk blisters.
What is Milk Blisters
Milk blisters are the extra skin growth that appears on the nipple or around the areola. This milk blister obstructs the flow of milk by blocking the pores on your nipple area. They appear like a dot or blister and if you press your breast, it may bulge outwards. These blisters can be very painful at times for feeding mommy. They may remain for a few days or up to a few weeks. Usually, these blisters may become okay after the skin of the blister peels off.
Tips for breastfeeding with a blister on your breast:
1. Never try to pop the blister
It may seem the only option as you might sometimes do with a pimple- to pop the blister and take out the goop. But here it is not a good idea. This could make the situation worse and the area might become more painful. Thus leave the blister as it is and let it heal on its own.
Also read: How To Use A Breast Pump
2. Do not stop feeding your baby
You should breastfeed your baby as often as possible. This will help to get your milk supply flowing. Your baby’s sucking movement helps stimulate your milk flow which can help you get rid of the blister quicker.
3. Start breastfeeding on the breast without a blister
If your blister is extremely painful start with the other breast with no blister. Since at the beginning of the feed, the baby’s suck is stronger and that puts more pressure on your breast. Switch the breast when your baby’s sucking has become less vigorous.
Also read: Why do babies fall asleep when feeding?
4. Try different nursing positions
Try changing your nursing position. Make your baby lie down and lean over with the support from your elbows and knees. This way the milk flow increases that can help release the blister. When you change nursing positions, your baby's mouth will be in a different place on your breast. This helps as one area won't be getting all the pressure and friction, which can be painful.
5. Pump if you cannot breastfeed
If, for any reason, you are not able to breastfeed or you are in too much pain, stop breastfeeding till your blister heals. But do not forget to pump your breastmilk. Pumping will help you in keeping your milk flow active and once the blister is gone, you can get back to breastfeeding, without hindering your milk supply.
6. Try to reduce engorgement
Engorgement happens when a lot of time goes by without taking out milk from your breasts. This will happen if you stop breastfeeding from breast because of the blister and the breast continues to produce milk. If this happens, it can be painful. You should lean over a sink and use a warm towel over your breast and compress. You can gently massage your breasts in the shower and let the milk drip.
7. Keep nipples moist
You should ensure that your nipples remain moist throughout the day. You can soak a cotton ball in some olive oil and place it on your nipple before wearing your bra. Nipples are sensitive and can crack and bleed during breastfeeding if they become too dry. Moist nipples help in keeping the nipples soft as dryness of the nipples may harm the blister more.
8. The bra that you use
You should pay attention to the bra that you are using. DO not wear bras that are too tight or too loose. Wear the correct size of the bra which provides you with comfort and air to let that blister heal.
9. Medicines and doctor
A visit to the doctor is a must if your blister doesn't heal. Your doctor may use a sterilised surgical needle. Once the extra skin gets removed from the duct, the milk will start flowing. Your doctor may even prescribe certain antibiotics for you to get rid of the blister and to ensure that there is no infection.
10. Always check the baby’s latch
Improper latching position is one of the main reasons for milk blisters. If one feeding position does not suit you, try various other options. You should choose the one best-suited for you and your baby. If you have a blister because of a poor latch, and you don't fix it, the blister may not heal well, and it could keep coming back.
Also read: Why your baby won’t breastfeed
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