Breastfeeding consultant and maternity nurse Deearna Withey discusses nipple blanching and why this happens
Nipples turning white (known as nipple blanching) can occur after feeding and is due to the blood flow to the nipple being limited. Blanching is most commonly related to latch problems.
Nipple blanching is not always associated with pain however some women do suffer from symptoms such as shooting, burning breast or nipple pain, and it can therefore be mistakenly diagnosed as thrush.
Reasons for it occurring
• Poor latch
• Yeast infection
• Circulation problems
• Improper sucking
• Baby clamping down
• Feed in a warm environment
• Apply a warm compress prior to nursing
• Drink fennel tea before feeding, this helps to dilate the blood vessels and also helps boost milk supply
• Ensure you do not have breast or nipple thrush
• Make sure you ask a professional to check your latch
• Do not tense up prior to feeding
Did you know? As soon as the saliva from your baby’s tongue touches your nipple, this sends a signal to your brain to make the correct milk to help fight any infections (colds, etc.) that your baby may be developing.