By Dr. Nancy Brent
Nipple blebs are small white spots on the tip of the nipple. They range in size from 1 to 3-4mm. They are often associated with sharp, deep and intense pain.
These blebs are the tip of a clogged duct in which a very thin layer of skin has grown over the opening. The milk then bulges out against the clog, causing pressure and pain.
1. Soak the nipple for 10 minutes in saline: 1 cup warm water, ¼ tsp baking soda, and ¼ tsp salt.
2. Rinse the nipple with clear water and then immediately breastfeed or pump. Use breast compressions or massage the breast towards the nipple during the feeding or pumping session. Sometimes pumping can dislodge the bleb better than nursing, as it uses suction alone.
3. Apply a nipple ointment such as purified lanolin after breastfeeding or pumping. You may need to be seen at the Breastfeeding Center for a prescription ointment.
4. Continue this treatment until the bleb resolves. If blebs reoccur, try eliminating saturated fats from your diet and taking lecithin 1200mg 4 times a day.
5. Call the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh at 412-246-4726 with any further questions.
Dr. Nancy Brent is the former Medical Director of the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh.