Oh my aching nips!

Okay, sometimes one of the results of breastfeeding is sore nipples. Not to be too graphic, and I obviously do not have a pic of this, but Caren had very raw skin from Quinn’s learning curve. It was getting to the point where the every 2-3 hour feedings were dreaded. We started using the lanolin creme we had, only on the nipple, as instructed by the lactation consultant. It seemed to help but the tissue was not improving, just not getting worse. We stopped by the local big box baby store to get a breast pump yesterday and in that aisle was something I never expected to see. I am a Wound Care Certified RN and in home care we see LOTS of wounds and wound care products. One product that I never had much use for in the geriatric population I treat is the hydrogel sheet. They have their uses, like burns, but the patients I see usually need something for pressure ulcers or skin tears. So, like I said I was shocked to see an advanced wound care product in the breast feeding aisle and figured there must be something to it. When we got home I found a couple extra sheets I had from a patient long ago that told me to get them out of her house after she said they “burned” when applied to her wound. Lo and behold within only a few hours Caren said she felt better and today after only 12 hours of use the tissue is visibly improved and the pain Caren is feeling is greatly reduced. So there you have it, tip #2 from the novice parents. Hydrogel sheets actually work really well in healing sore and raw tissue on and around the nipple. You most likely can save some money by not buying the hydrogel sheet the breast pump manufacturers are selling and just pick them up at a good pharmacy or online, but even if you have to drop $20 on a couple of dressings it will be well worth it.

Also a great resource on breast feeding is La Leche League International, found at llli.org. Next to a real life IBCLC this organization is a breast feeding mom’s best friend.

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