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Heal Cracked Nipples and Engorged Breasts by Using a Breast Pump

Updated on April 2, 2012

Healing cracked nipples and engorged breasts is easy when you have a good breast pump. Sore nipples receive a rest from baby’s aggressive latch and engorged breasts get quick relief when you pump breast milk instead of breastfeeding. Painful nursing causes many women to stop breastfeeding sooner than they would like. Instead of learning how to stop breastfeeding, women can benefit from using a breast pump to learn how to soothe engorged breasts and cracked nipples.

Breastfeeding Through Breast Engorgement and Other Breastfeeding Challenges

Baby breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your health and the health of the baby. The benefits of breastfeeding include giving your baby perfect  nutrition at a low cost as well as providing crucial antibodies to fight against illness and infection. However, nipple problems and breast engorgement can turn what is supposed to be an enjoyable experience for mother and child into a painful chore.

Pumping breast milk instead of breastfeeding is a great option when breasts are injured (cracked nipples are no fun to nurse with!) or so sore or engorged that breastfeeding becomes unbearably painful. There is simply no reason to suffer. Breasts will often heal quicker if you use a pump. The suction is strong, but can be gentler than baby’s aggressive latch.

Some of the best breastfeeding advice I received was from a lactation consultant who encouraged me to use a pump to heal nipple issues. She also showed me how to relieve engorged breasts by expressing some of the excess breast milk before putting my son to my breast. This not only eased the pressure and pain in my breasts, but also made it easier for my baby to latch on correctly.

The breast pump is so much gentler to the breasts than the baby, especially when it comes to cracked nipples. Fair skinned women often suffer from nipple problems and baby’s constant latching can really exacerbate the problem. Taking a few days off from the baby’s latch (either on one breast or both) allows the nipple to heal completely and can make the difference between continuing to breastfeed and stopping breastfeeding.

I recommend investing in a hospital grade breast pump, but even if you opt for one of the cheap breast pumps, make sure you get one with a good carrying case so you can easily transport it from home to office.

Image Credit: honey-bee, Flickr


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  • profile image

    Monnia 6 years ago

    lama bra worked wonders for me -- sure beat the cabbage thing!

  • 2besure profile image

    Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    Oh boy, I remember those! The Dr game me cream to use on them. Eventually I toughened up.

  • Lela Davidson profile image

    Lela Davidson 7 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

    The pump saved my life. I would never have made it without one. It's WAY less scary than the actual child!

  • SimeyC profile image

    Simon Cook 7 years ago from NJ, USA

    Ummm I may look a little like a pervert for reading this article - but I am expecting a grandson within the next two weeks or so! My daughter is absolutely petrified of the 'pump' so I wanted to read the article and then point her your way if it looked she'll be reading this article tonight!!!