Of all the unpleasant things motherhood brings on in the beginning, getting a milk blister from breastfeeding is definitely one of the worst. Like so many mamas before you though, you can make it through it. If this is something you haven’t experienced yet, you are probably wondering what exactly a milk blister might be because it definitely sounds unpleasant just from the name.
A milk blister is when the skin on your nipple grows to cover one of your milk ducts, which causes milk to get trapped and then essentially become an inflamed blister. Luckily, there are some things you can do to relieve the irritation and we are going to go over exactly what you should know about milk blisters.
What to Know About Getting a Milk Blister
As we said, a milk blister is a covered milk duct that is trapping milk behind it. If you are trying to increase your milk supply, this is definitely not good. They vary in color from white, clear, or yellow and will feel like a small bump. It will look like a small blister or pimple. There are a couple of different things that can cause this painful annoying little bump.
The main two being; oversupply and problems with latching. If you notice one of these little bumps it’s good to jump into action because they aren’t too difficult to heal, but left ignored can turn into plugged ducts. Another important thing to pay attention to is if it is a singular milk blister or multiple all at once. If you have multiple blisters, you may actually have thrush.
Thrush is a common type of yeast infection and you may need to pay the doctor a visit for medication to clear this up. Once you have narrowed all the symptoms down and you know it is a milk blister, you just need to know how to treat it!
How to Relieve a Milk Blister
Using a warm wet compress
A warm wet compress is a simple cure to so many different ailments, and lucky for moms with milk blisters it usually does the trick. Before feedings, hold a wet compress to your nipple. This will help open up and soften the blister. It is best to apply the compress right before a feeding because if the warm water isn’t enough to rid you of the milk blister, the pressure from your baby feeding may be the extra push that it needs.
Very gentle pressure
Following along with the above, a little pressure can go a long way in getting rid of a milk blister. Scrape the edge of the blister with your fingernail or rub the bump with a washcloth. Sometimes breastfeeding alone is enough to get the job done. If you are solely pumping or nursing is not doing the trick, try applying a little pressure to the blister on your own.
Soaking in a saline solution
A combo of a warm wet compress and a homemade saline solution is another great way to relieve a milk blister. A saline solution will both help get rid of your blister and start the healing process on the right note. About two teaspoons of Epsom salt to one cup of water should do the trick.
Vinegar and a cotton ball
Motherhood calls you to do some pretty odd things, if milk blisters are part of that journey for you one of those odd things might be putting a vinegar soaked cotton ball in your bra. It helps to soften your blister and pull the stuck milk out.
Ask your healthcare provider for some help
Don’t be afraid to call up your doctor and ask for some help. That is what they are there for. They will be able to use a sterile needle to pop the blister, and they can give you some antibacterial cream to help you heal up properly. (Do not do this on your own)
Preventing Future Milk Blisters
Switch things up
Milk Blisters can be caused by your baby’s latch or too much pressure in one area frequently. If you change how you hold your baby when feeding every so often, you decrease your chances for a milk blister.
Reach out to a lactation consultant
A lactation consultant can seem like a superhero in the beginning of motherhood. They have the answers for all things boobie-related and are no strangers to milk blisters. If the latch is the problem, they are definitely the ones who know how to solve it.
Try a different bra
Finding the perfect nursing bra can be really hard and there might be some trial and error. You really want to ensure that your bra is not too tight or rubbing uncomfortably against your nipples. You might also want to avoid all bras with underwires.
Keep your nipple moisturized and healthy
This may seem obvious to some, but with how hectic motherhood gets self-care can easily get thrown to the side. Make sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. There are plenty of different creams and soothing ointments that will help keep your nipples healthy and keep milk blisters away. Epsom salt soaks and vinegar-soaked cotton balls also help with long-term breast health while breastfeeding. Along the same lines with staying healthy, you should feed your body good fueling food and always stay well hydrated.
Have More Questions about Milk Blisters? Please leave a question in the comments or ask questions in our Rookie Moms Facebook Group. It’s a great way to connect with other moms, share tips and get advice.
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