Cures for Sore Nipples from Breastfeeding

Some nursing mothers are blessed to never experience sore nipples. However, not all of us are so lucky. For those who are dealing with sore nipples there are several things that you should know, a few things you should try, and a few things you should avoid for your health and the health of your baby. You don’t have to suffer from sore nipples any more.

Positioning and Latching.

Oftentimes, sore nipples are caused because of improper position or improper latch on. This is something that can easily be corrected with a little knowledge and a little practice. When you are breastfeeding, your baby should be well supported, should have his or her head tilted back and away from the breast, and the nipple should naturally point toward the back of their mouth. When latching on the baby should take all of the nipple deep into their mouth, should take a good portion of the areola (the brown part around the nipple) into their mouth, should have a wide open mouth, and should have their lips pointing outward. If their is pain with latch on and you aren’t experiencing encouragement then you should consider talking to your doctor, your baby’s doctor, or a lactation consultant to get help with positioning and latch on.

Breast milk.

Breast milk can be the perfect way to condition your nipples. Before and after each feeding squeeze a few drops of milk onto your nipples. Gently rub it in to help moisturize the nipple and keep it soft and supple. You can also do this before and after a shower and any time through the day when they are hurting.

Lanolin.

Lanolin is a great option for conditioning your nipples. It is all natural and as long as you choose a lanolin cream that is 100% lanolin then you are doing something safe for you and your baby. Simply massage a pea size amount between your fingers and gently rub into your sore nipple(s) after a feeding (or between feedings). It will condition, soften, and provide relief. You don’t have to wash it off before feeding either because it is safe for your baby.

Saline Soaks.

If you are in need of some relief then one good way is with warm saline soaks. Take 1 cup of warm water and dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt into it. Soak your nipples for 10-15 minutes and then let air dry. This is safe, all natural, and will provide a lot of pain relief.

Breast Packs.

There are many different types of packs out there. Many can go in the microwave or in the freezer to provide hot or cold relief. You can then add them to your bra for some easy relief that can be worn around the house while you do other things.

Air.

Air and light can also provide some relief for your nipples. Simply let them be out and about for 15-20 minutes a day. You can do this after another treatment as well.

Nipple Shells and Shields.

Nipple shells and shields can be worn inside your bra or nursing top to keep your nipples from touching your clothing. If you are having a lot of pain from the sore nipple rubbing on the fabric then these are perfect for protecting you from that pain. Nipple shields are made to be worn during feeding, however research shows it’s a bad idea because it often causes long term nursing problems, a decreased amount of milk getting to the baby, and an increased chance of drying up early.

Sore nipples are never fun and they can make it hard to continue breastfeeding. However, with the proper techniques, a little care, and some gentleness you can have nipples that are pain free while you continue to feed your baby.

Home Remedies.