The best tips for sore nipples while breastfeeding

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Sore nipples are a common symptom from breastfeeding mothers. For some, the pain starts from the first feed, for other mums it’s when the baby grows, and the suck intensifies.  

See tips below for how to soothe sore/cracked nipples.

Whilst it’s completely normal to have tender nipples in the beginning stages of feeding. It is not normal if your nipples are extremely sore, bleeding or cracked. These symptoms generally occur if the baby is poorly attached and sucking on the nipple rather than the areola.

Tips

While feeding

  • Start feeding from the less sore side first. Babies are more gentle on the second side.
  • Quickly apply ice before latching to numb the area.
  • If you are finding it too painful too breastfeed, ensure that you express milk from the sore side as this will reduce the risk of mastitis and promote milk supply.
  • If you start feeding when baby is crying and desperately needing milk, they can forget to create a correct latch which can cause problems for mums nipples. To prevent this from happening, look for early hunger cues such as opening the mouth or sucking on fingers or hands as they will feel more calm when latching and feeding.

After feeding

  • Apply a few drops of expressed breast milk to nipples to promote healing
  • Expose nipples to the air as much as possible to help with healing.
  • Warm heat can help to soothe sore nipples. Run a clean cloth under warm water, squeeze excess water and place directly over your nipple.

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