Prevention and Treatment of Sore Nipples


Breastfeeding is supposed to be a comfortable, pleasant experience. Everyone’s heard stories of sore nipples. You can avoid this problem most of the time. However, many new mothers still find their nipples are tender for that first few days when the baby starts nursing. This usually disappears by a couple of weeks.

It is important to keep in mind that blisters, cracking, bleeding and/or pain that continues during or perhaps between feedings just isn’t normal. Seek advice from a lactation consultant, La Leche League, Nursing Mothers’ Council, or your health care provider when you have some of these problems.

To avoid sore nipples, start by ensuring baby is properly positioned while breastfeeding.

To stop sore nipples, breastfeed frequently, every 1-1/2 to a few hours (eight to 12 feeding per 24 hours). Keeping your newborn baby with an artificially longer schedule could make him frantically hungry and increase the likelihood that too vigorous nursing will make your nipples tender.

Release the suction before you decide to remove your child in the breast. Try this by placing a clean finger in the side of your baby’s mouth between his jaws. Do not take him away until you have the suction break.

After nursing your child, express milk slightly and massage it into your nipples and areola, then air dry. Leave them open to mid-air whenever possible.

Never use soap, alcohol or breast creams on your own breasts or nipples. Water ‘s all which is necessary to clean your breasts when you shower or bathe.

In case your nipples don’t realize sore, there are many things you can do to ease the discomfort. Medela has developed a special SoftShells for Sore Nipples (see it here) specially built to help relieve sore nipples. The following suggestions may be used to alleviate discomfort:

  • Use yoga breathing, soft music, or other relaxation techniques before and during breastfeeding.
  • Limit the nursing time on the sore nipple.
  • Nurse about the least sore side first.
  • Express milk slightly first to stimulate let down.
  • Massage your breasts while nursing. It will help stimulate the milk to flow.
  • Use non-plastic lined bras and/or bra pads. Alter the pads frequently to keep the nipple dry.
  • If your nipples become dry or cracked, use a little USP Modified Lanolin, for instance, Purelan 100 on them. This forms a moisture barrier, so nipples stay dry.
  • If the breasts become engorged, try expressing just a little milk first. Engorged breasts allow it to be a hardship on your child to latch-on. Expressing a little milk manually or pump makes all the areola softer, nipple more erect and latch-on easier.
  • Wear multiple-holed breast shells between nursings for sore nipples. This allows air circulation and protects nipples from further rubbing because of your bra. does not provide medical advice! It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the Breastfeeding And You Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider.