If your nipples are cracked, painful, and bleeding, then you are pushing your breasts too hard. Some things that you may need to do are:
- Use a healing cream. It is very good to keep your nipples from cracking and bleeding. Using a wonderful soothing cream that is healthy for your baby is very important. One of my favorite all organic creams is Natural Nipple Cream.
- Slow down the suction on your pump. Sometimes we get a little anxious and just want to get as much milk out as fast as possible. If your pump allows you to change settings, you should begin at the highest suction that feels comfortable. As you pump, you will increase the suction and slow down the speed, just as a baby would. But most importantly, PUMPING SHOULD NOT HURT. If it hurts, something is not right.
Now, back to the blood. This can be perfectly normal. Can you give it to your baby? I was told by my lactation consultant that it is fine. Besides mothers that breastfeed also get cracked nipples and the babies will also receive the blood. It is up to you. But, continue to pump, whether you keep the milk or not. In addition to the cracked nipples, you could have an infection inside the breast, and you should contact your doctor or lactation consultant.