I wasn’t sure what to expect on this second go-round of acclimating to nursing. When Little Girl was born, I was a bit surprised by how much nursing could hurt. Lactation specialists will tell you that if it hurts, you’re not doing it right. Liars. Lanolin became a close friend for the first month after Little Girl’s birth. Having nursed her for a year, I kind of expected this time to be significantly easier. Having a year’s worth of experience this go round, it helped with knowing how to hold the baby and feeling comfortable with using a nursing cover in public, but as for the pain associated with nursing, I think you just have to get used to it all over again.
As we found out in my last post, I’m a big case of TMI right now, so allow me to continue. This time, nursing was actually more difficult (painful) than last time because I struggled with engorgement. Engorgement is incredibly uncomfortable in its own right, but it makes it difficult for the baby to latch well, which can cause some *trauma* (read in Titus Andromedon’s voice from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). All that to say, lanolin wasn’t cutting it. Refrigerated gel pads weren’t cutting it. That’s when the lactation specialist saved the day with a recipe for nipple ointment, or as I affectionately like to call it, boobie balm.
It’s quite simple. You mix the following over-the-counter creams and mix them in equal parts:
- Polysporin (it’s similar to neosporin and can be found in the same section of the pharmacy) — helps prevent infection
- Hydrocortizone 1% — reduces swelling, itching, and redness
- Miconazole ointment (as in, yep, monistat–yeast infection cream) — helps prevent thrush
You can make the cream as needed by mixing it in equal parts in the palm of your hand before applying it, or you can make a good bit of it at once, put it in a jam jar by your bed, and laugh at your homemade “boobie balm” label every time you use it. The choice is yours.
It isn’t necessary to wash the cream off before nursing, though if there is visibly a lot that hasn’t soaked in the skin by the time you have to feed, you may want to wipe it off in case baby’s not a fan of the taste. It’s important that you don’t use lanolin while using this cream, as the lanolin will limit its effectiveness by restricting the cream’s absorption.