What Would Bleeding from Nipple Mean?
Ranking third from the most common reasons why women seek medical help after lumps and breast pain, nipple discharge needs close attention. Normally, a woman’s breasts secrete milk when milk ducts and lobules are matured. In non-lactating mothers (not producing milk), tissues plug the nipple ducts to prevent expressing milk. During lactation, hormones that regulate milk production are produced in large quantities. Nipple discharge can be yellow, green, brown, bloody, or milky.
- Causes of bleeding from nipple area can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
- Most discharges are milky or cloudy in appearance, which is normal.
- Watery or bleeding from nipple area is due to papilloma or infection, which is benign (approximately 90%), while the other 10% is caused by breast cancer.
- It is good to note that most discharges are not cancerous.
Bleeding from Nipple During Pregnancy
Hormones that are responsible for making milk increase their production during pregnancy and lactation. Since the breast tissues require nutrients to produce more milk, blood supply to the breast is increased. This may lead to bleeding from nipple during pregnancy. Slight trauma can be a cause too. Small amounts are normal; however, large amounts of blood and tissue discharge from the nipples is of medical significance and should be seen immediately by a doctor.
Blood in Milk while Breastfeeding
- A small amount of blood discharge is a condition common during lactation.
- A bleeding from nipple while breastfeeding can also be caused by increased blood supply to the breast. Apparently some women do not notice it since breastfeeding is done by latching on, that is the mouth of the infant directly sucks the mother’s nipple.
- A bleeding from nipple while breastfeeding can also be caused by a slight trauma/injury to the breast. A heavy blood discharge however requires medical attention.
How to Handle a Bleeding Nipple at Home?
A bleeding from nipple area can be fixed with some adjustments. Here are some pointers to consider.
- Babies who are hungry tend to feed at forceful manner that could injure breast tissues. Make sure that your baby is fed on time. The right time to feed your infant is when they are awake. Remember that newborn infants sleep about 20 hours a day.
- Allow your breast milk to flow before feeding by using breast pumps. Again it should be done at a speed of your convenience.
- If you are using nursing pads, be sure to change them regularly. Microorganisms easily multiply in soiled items and can cause further infection.
- If you are experiencing pain, you might want to take a pain reliever. Be sure to consult your doctor about this. Some pain relievers are expressed together with breast milk and may poison your baby.