How to Heal & Prevent Milk Blisters (aka Blebs) for Breastfeeding Mothers
Blebs can be painful and uncomfortable, luckily we got some tips from Motherlove to help you avoid and heal them!
If you're a mother you probably know about or have experienced milk blisters, also known as blebs. A milk blister, or a nipple bleb, looks like a tiny white spot on the nipple that can be caused by a plugged milk duct or a thin layer of skin blocking the milk duct. According to WebMD, blebs can appear when your baby is not properly latching on during breastfeeding, causing pressure on a particular area of the breast that can lead to buildups from trapped milk.
Milk blisters can be painful and uncomfortable for breastfeeding mothers, but luckily there are solutions and ways to prevent them from occurring. We spoke with Silencia Cox, the CEO of Motherlove, about the various tips, tricks, and products that can help get rid of blebs. Motherlove is a women-owned, 30+-year-old company that provides trusted organic herbal remedies to support expecting and new moms. In this article, you'll learn tips and tricks on how to remove a painful bleb, how to prevent future ones and products that can help with your breastfeeding journey.
Temporary Pain Relief Tips for Milk Blisters
If the skin has covered up a nipple pore, softening the skin with a warm wet compress before feeding will help to loosen the skin so that when your baby nurses the skin opens and releases the bleb. Some mothers also try a saline soak (two teaspoons Epsom salts to one cup water), soaking in the bathtub, or using olive oil on a cotton ball worn inside a bra in between feedings.
Surprisingly, your baby is the best person to apply pressure to the bleb – thus providing pain relief – when they nurse, especially after you apply a warm wet compress. You can also gently manipulate the area behind the bleb after using a compress to see if you can get the bleb to release. A pump is generally not very effective because it pulls instead of pushing from behind the bleb.
How to Loosen the Milk Stuck in the Pore
If the bleb is being caused by milk stuck in a nipple pore, you can try applying vinegar to the area with a cotton ball over the nipple held inside your bra. Vinegar dissolves calcium, so it may help to loosen dried milk stuck in a nipple pore. Warm wet compresses also help to loosen plugged nipple pores so that your baby can remove them while nursing.
How to Open a Bleb Safely with a Sterile Instrument
Should the milk bleb continue to worsen, we strongly recommend you ask your healthcare provider to open the bleb using a sterile instrument or receive information from them about how to safely open the bleb. After the skin is opened, either by your provider or yourself, be sure to use an antibiotic ointment on the affected area to prevent infection.
Preventing Future Blebs
The best way to prevent milk blebs is by nursing frequently, switching up the nursing positions, and ensuring that your baby has a deep latch. If your baby skips a nursing session, replace the feeding with pumping to prevent engorgement. You can also change nursing positions so that you don’t always have pressure on the same places around your nipple. If your baby is struggling with a strong latch, consult a trained lactation consultant to ensure a correct latch.
Motherlove Products to Help With Breastfeeding
Over the past 30+ years, Motherlove Herbal Company has gained a reputation for their best-selling breastfeeding products, including an award-winning organic More Milk Moringa, More Milk Plus, and different herbal blends to optimize breast milk supply. For sore nipples, Motherlove’s best-selling (and award-winning - named the best nipple cream by The Bump and What to Expect product, their Nipple Cream, is lanolin-free with USDA Certified Organic herbs. The cream can also be used as a pump lubricant that doesn’t need to be washed off prior to breastfeeding.
We Want to Hear From You
Do you have any must-know tips for breastfeeding?