Many breastfeeding mothers get a milk blister. Several therapies are available to alleviate symptoms and prevent further milk blister from developing.

milk blister

What is milk blister?

A milk blister is a little white dot that might occur on your nipple or areola when you’re breastfeeding or pumping. Milk blisters arise when a duct in your breast becomes clogged, resulting in thickened breast milk and a slower flow near your nipple’s opening.

A milk blister can also form when the skin develops over the entrance of a milk duct, causing milk to back up in the breast. In several situations, milk blisters aren’t uncomfortable and may even disappear after a few weeks with little to no at-home therapy. On the other hand, some women experience discomfort while nursing with a milk blister. Moreover, it can also cause mastitis, which is an inflammation and infection of the breast.

What does a milk blister look like?

Milk blebs or blisters typically appear as a little white or yellow area the size of a pinhead on your nipple, and they sometimes mimic a whitehead pimple. There may also be some redness or inflammation surrounding the milk blister, which some women report as causing pain when nursing.

A milk blister should not be confused with a bigger, less painful blister created by rubbing. These bigger, irritated nipple blisters are generally caused by pumping with nipple shields or an ill-fitting flange. This friction blister should heal rapidly once the cups on your pump are properly sized.

In addition, thrush which is a fungal infection that occurs on the nipples or breast that can cause extreme burning and agony during breastfeeding should not be confused with milk blister. Nipples with thrush are generally glossy and red, with many white spots. Thrush frequently requires the use of antifungal medications by both mom and baby.

Causes

Milk blister is believed to be generated by milk within a milk duct that has been sealed up by the epidermis, triggering an inflammatory response. Oversupply, pressure on that area of the breast, or any of the other common reasons for clogged ducts might be the underlying cause of a milk blister. Latch, suck, and tongue issues may contribute to blisters due to friction on the nipple tip.

Milk blisters can also be caused by thrush. It can manifest as little white spots on the nipple or as bigger white patches that clog one or more milk ducts. If you experience any blisters at the same time, thrush is likely to be the culprit.

milk blister

How to prevent milk blister?

These are some suggestions that help you to prevent milk blisters:

Alter the postures of breastfeeding

A strong latch, as well as a variety of postures throughout each feeding, can aid in the effective emptying of your ducts. Each time you sit down to nurse, try putting your new baby in a different nursing position.

Insert the pump

When you are not sure whether your baby did a good job with the breasts, plan a pumping session or two thereafter to completely drain the milk from your breasts is a good way to prevent a milk blister.

Eat healthily and stay hydrated

A well-nourished and hydrated mother has a greater likelihood of increasing her milk production. To that aim, follow a balanced breastfeeding diet and keep nutritious snacks and a water bottle on hand at your nursing station. Get enough of rest to keep your energy and milk levels up. If you have a milk blister, you may need to reduce your intake of saturated fat.

Wean with caution

Whether your baby begins to nurse less because they are sleeping through the night or they are just ready to give up the breast, weaning should be done gradually. Pump or hand-press your milk for a few minutes to alleviate any pain while your body adjusts to the new schedule.

How to treat milk blister?

When getting a milk blister, you should treat it right away. Because it’s not only uncomfortable but also leads to mastitis, a serious infection in the breast tissue.

Provide a warm compress before breastfeeding

Soak a towel in warm water and place it on your breast for about 15 minutes before each feeding. Allow your infant to nurse after gently rubbing your nipple dry. Warm water softens and expands the skin. Once your infant starts sucking, the blister will generally open naturally, providing immediate comfort. Avoid bursting the blister yourself, since this increases the risk of infection and the development of another painful milk blister in the future.

Bathe in Epsom salts

Epsom salts and a warm bath might also help loosen the afflicted skin. If you don’t have time to take a brief bath before feeding, you may quickly administer the Epsom salt with a shot glass. Fill a shot glass halfway with Epsom salt and warm water, then bend over so your nipple is over the shot glass. Allow it to soak in the Epsom salt solution for about 15 minutes before breastfeeding.

Use olive oil

Olive oil is a natural moisturizer that softens skin and has anti-inflammatory qualities. It helps soften the skin and ease the milk blister when a thin layer of skin clogs the milk duct. Try putting olive oil on a cotton ball and putting it in your bra. Before feeding the infant, change the cotton ball twice a day and gently rinse off any residue.

When using the cotton ball, make sure it is not squeezed too firmly against the skin, since too tight bras might produce milk blisters and plugged ducts, worsening your milk blister.

Frequently breastfeed

Maintaining constant milk flow via your milk ducts is one of the greatest methods to avoid a milk blister. Even after the milk blister has been removed, it is critical to nursing often to prevent the skin from resealing.

Use a pump to maintain the milk flowing through your milk ducts if you are away from your infant when the milk blister is removed. Wearing breast shells to ease pressure from garments on your nipples might also alleviate discomfort and aid in recovery.

milk blister

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