Most breastfeeding moms will have some nipple tenderness in the first days or weeks of feeding. It’s normal, but very unpleasant!
Here’s how to soothe your nipples:
- Air them out as much as possible. Don’t put a shirt or bra back on for at least 20 minutes after a feeding, whenever you can.
- Use nipple cream. Lanolin is a common option to soothe sore nipples, but there are many different types out there these days. Try a few and see what works for you.
- Use breast milk. A little bit of breast milk rubbed on your nipples may help them feel better, too. Breast milk is antimicrobial.
- Use cool compresses. A cold washcloth or a refrigerated gel pack will feel amazing, especially if your breasts are hot from engorgement.
If your nipples are cracked, bleeding or otherwise injured, you may want to try a nipple shield for a few feedings. It will protect your nipples during breastfeeding and allow them the chance to heal on their own, without direct contact from your baby’s mouth. Breast shields or silver nipple cups (placed in your bra) can also provide a lot of comfort.
In time (usually 2 weeks or so), the pain from feeding should subside. If your nipples are still painful, see a lactation consultant or other breastfeeding support professional. Sometimes, a quick position adjustment or other simple change is all you need to make breastfeeding pain-free.
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This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.
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