It is well established that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), applied to the skin, has healing and anti-inflammatory properties.Aim:
To evaluate the effectiveness of EVOO in the prevention of nipple cracking in lactating women.Methods:
Experimental, prospective, randomized study of 300 lactating women, admitted to the postpartum unit of the city's general hospital (Cienfuegos, Cuba). The study was carried out in 2012. Eligible patients were randomized into two groups of 150 women. In Group 1, EVOO was applied on the nipple after feeding, and in Group 2, drops of breast milk were applied to the nipple after feeding. Clinical evaluations were made during the first week of treatment and after the first month. All women who initiated breastfeeding were considered eligible to be included in this study; breastfeeding was characterized as the moment of mother–child interaction with suction on the nipple. Efficacy was evaluated quantitatively, as the absence of cracks in the nipple during the first 2 weeks of lactation using as the proportion of women with or without nipple cracks, and if present, whether they were moderate or slight.Results:
The quantitative efficacy was 97.3% and no adverse effects occurred in mothers and newborns during the administration of EVOO.Discussion and Conclusions:
EVOO helps prevent nipple cracking in lactating women. It has been shown to have protective effects when breastfeeding presents technical difficulties. This conclusion is borne out by the frequency distribution results obtained, which reflect a significantly higher proportion of nipple cracking in the population that was not treated with EVOO.Linking Evidence to Action:
Use EVOO to prevent nipple cracking during breastfeeding by administering 3 drops on each nipple after each feeding. Decreased nipple cracking will reduce pain and enhance breastfeedinging by administering 3 drops on each nipple after each feeding, improving the health of mothers and infants.