Milk blisters, blocked nipple pores, or blebs, can occur at any stage of your breastfeeding journey.;
What is a milk blister?
You’ve heard your doctor say that breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful, yet you’re in agony. You look down and notice a white, yellowish spot on your nipple, just beneath the skin. It appears to be hard and the area just around it is a little swollen. This is more than likely a milk blister.
Natural ways to treat a milk blister
If you’re in a lot of pain while breastfeeding, your first thought might be to relieve the pain and pop the blister yourself, but this isn’t always the best option, especially since milk blisters can recur and popping it yourself raises the risk of infection.
▪If possible, breastfeed more frequently to stimulate milk flow. Cavim agrees, “Feeding often is really the best way to get rid of milk blisters because the baby’s jaw and mouth is most effective at sucking and stimulating milk flow. Aim your baby’s chin and mouth directly over the blister if possible because that’s the area where the baby sucks the best.”
▪Lay your baby down and lean over on elbows and knees while breastfeeding. The extra gravity will help to boost milk flow.
▪After bathing or showering, gently rub the surface of the nipple to release the milk blister. If this doesn’t work, don’t persist.
▪Apply pressure behind the nipple, along with gentle massage and manipulation.
▪If none of these methods release the milk blister, make an appointment with your GP who might decide to use a sterilised needle to gently remove the layer of skin over the milk duct and release the milk blister. However, Cavim says that even after the milk is released from the duct, it can refill again so it’s important to keep feeding frequently over that area again to avoid the build-up of milk within the ducts.
▪Topical antibiotics might also be recommended for 5-7 days, but you’ll need to chat to your doctor about nursing at this time. Applying some expressed breast milk over the area is also a good option as it has antibiotic properties too, adds Cavim.
General breast ideas:
▪It’s important to keep the nipples moist throughout the day. You can do this by soaking a cotton wool pad in olive oil and placing it inside your bra over your nipple.
▪Soak your breasts in Epsom salts (which have a detoxifying effect) three to four times a day. Use 2 teaspoons in a cup of warm water.
▪Stop wearing a bra or underwire.
▪See a physiotherapist for ultrasound treatment of the breast.
▪Increase your fluid intake (this is critical for breastfeeding success in general).
▪Avoid dairy, sugar, caffeine, peanuts, chocolate and too much saturated fat.
▪Consider boosting your immune system with vitamin C and D. Speak to your doctor about the dosage before you take these supplements as they can have an effect on your baby while breastfeeding.