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Sore Nipples in Breastfeeding Mothers: Causes and Treatments

Author(s):  Albright Lisa M

Issue:  Nov/Dec 2003 - Compounding for Investigational Studies
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Abstract:  The most commonly reported problem with breastfeeding is sore nipples, and the resultant discomfort or pain often causes the mother to discontinue the practice. This article provides background information on the causes and treatments of sore nipples to assist pharmacists in more effectively serving clients who breastfeed. The discussion covers breast anatomy and mechanics of suckling, causes of sore nipples (mechanical trauma and infection), treatments (correction of positioning or latch-on difficulties, comfort measures and ways to promote healing of the nipple) and the role of the compounding pharmacist. Three sample formulas are provided for all-purpose nipple ointments, a table is provided of selected treatment options for nipple and breast candidiasis, and resources are provided for further information on medications and breastfeeding. In summary, sore nipples are not a normal outcome of breastfeeding; and mothers who experience them should seek help quickly. Knowledge of causes and treatments will help compounding pharmacists to help their breastfeeding clients.

Related Keywords: Albright, PhD, Lisa M., Breastfeeding, sore nipples, causes, Breastfeeding, sore nipples, treatment, Candidiasis, of the breast, treatment, Candidiasis, of the nipple, treatment, Mastitis, treatment, Nipple ointment, for sore nipples, Nipples, sore, causes, Nipples, sore, treatment


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