Nipple, a small prominence arising from the middle of the female breast. The lacteal tubes terminate in these projections, through which the milk is drawn in the act of sucking.
The nipples of females, when suckling their first child, are frequently so diminutive and deep within the breast, as to render it difficult or impracticable for the infant to extract the milk. In such cases, the young mother should frequently, though cautiously, protrude the nipple between her fin-gers, by depressing the projecting part of the breast; and afterwards covering the protuberances with an excavated nutmeg, to be worn several weeks previously to her delivery. But, if this expedient prove insufficient, it will be advisable to draw the breasts, either by presenting them to a healthy infant, several months old ; or, by applying Mr. Savigny's small air-pump contrived for that purpose; and which is far preferable to the common breast-glasses, as well as to the disgusting practice of employing quadrupeds.
Another inconvenience incident to nipples, frequently arises from chaps, or excoriations. These are not only painful to the mother, but also prevent the infant from drawing the necessary supply of milk. In some, instances, even part of the substance of thc nipple is destroyed by violent suction ; so that the mother, from the intense pain thus occasioned, is obliged to refuse the breast ; and a stagnation of the milk takes place, which is often accompanied with ulcerations and fever. To prevent such dangerous affections, the practice of raising the nipples, as before suggested, should be timely adopted ; but, if the parts be already in a diseased state, it will then be useful to bathe them with lime-water, or diluted port-wine ; after which the nipple should be dressed with a little spermaceti-ointment. Before, however, such applications are resorted to, it will be preferable to anoint the sore part with a composition of white wax and olive-oil, and to cover it with a fine linen rag ; by which simple means great relief may often be obtained.
These remedies will, in general, be found sufficient ; but, if the nipple receive no benefit, it has been recommended to apply the neck, together with part of the body, of a hog's bladder (or cow's teat taken from a healthy animal), to the part affected. Either of these, if properly moistened and fixed to the breast, will effectually protect it, while the infant is sucking ; and, when not in use, the bladder or teat may be preserved in a little spirit of wine, which will prevent it from putrefying. - See also Thrush.