Ouch! How To Treat Sore Nipples For Nursing Moms

Anne McDermott
By Anne McDermott / August 29, 2016
How to treat sore nipples

Are you a nursing mom struggling to deal with nipple irritation and soreness? Or maybe a soon-to-be mom looking for ways to prevent the seemingly inevitable nipple pain that comes along with breastfeeding? Either way, we’ve got you covered.

Breastfeeding is something that many women struggle with due to problems with nipple chafing and soreness. However, this can be treated, stopped, and even completely prevented in the first place! Below, find our best tips for how to handle sore nipples.

How To Prevent Sore Nipples

The best way to treat sore nipples is actually to prevent them! This can be done in a variety of different ways and often has to do with your baby’s latch or improper positioning.

It’s recommended to position yourself comfortably with back support, pillows under your arms and in your lap, and your feet supported. Next, position your baby so he or she is facing you and make sure that the baby latches correctly. Letting the baby self-latch is also recommended.

Another tip for preventing sore nipples is to watch for early hunger cues. If your nipples are sore, you might want to wait as long as possible before nursing, but that will only make it more painful! You should also check for tongue-tie. A baby with tongue-tie can’t lift his or her tongue and move it forward normally, and this can cause trauma to the nipple. A medical professional may be necessary if this situation arises.

It’s also important to realize that not all problems with sore nipples are caused by an improper latch and positioning. A few other reasons you could be experiencing sore or cracked nipples include thrush, a bacterial infection on the nipple, or Raynaud’s syndrome. If you suspect any of these problems, the best thing to do is contact a doctor.

How To Treat Sore Nipples

There are many ways to treat sore nipples. One easy way is to express some milk onto your nipple and let it air-dry. Another recommended treatment is to apply an ice pack to your nipples before feeding to numb them temporarily while your baby latches on.

A good idea if you’re struggling with nipple soreness is to try to air your nipples out as much as possible. Breast shells can also be used to keep your nipples from chafing against your bra or nursing pad. A warm, moist compress used after nursing may also provide some relief, as will a saltwater rinse.

One of the best ways to treat sore nipples is to use a nipple cream or balm. There are dozens of different options, and many of them are 100% natural and organic. These creams treat irritation, soreness, chafing, and other issues. They tend to be low-price and can be easily purchased on Amazon if you aren’t able to find them in a store near you.

A few other attributes to nipple creams and balms are that they contain powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients and provide soothing, moisturizing relief. Many are also completely safe to ingest, so you don’t have to wash them off before nursing. Another great aspect of nipple creams is that they can also be used for a variety of ailments, like cracked heels, chapped lips, and even diaper rash.

How To Stop Sore Nipples

Practicing the classic cradle hold while breastfeeding can often eliminate pain altogether. The classic cradle hold consists of sitting upright in a comfortable chair with pillows for support. Your baby should be positioned on his or her side with their entire body facing yours, and their nose and chin should touch your breast. This position completely eliminates pain for many nursing mothers.

Managing any engorgement or low milk supply problems you may have will also stop sore nipples. To manage these problems, you may have to contact a doctor. You should also avoid early uses of bottles and pacifiers, which can cause nipple confusion and contribute to sore nipples.

Another option is to see a lactation consultant, who can help you figure out the proper latch and identify any other problems that may be going on. With the consultant’s help, it’s likely that you’ll be able to completely stop sore nipples.

Now that you have more information on how to treat sore nipples, how to prevent sore nipples, and how to stop sore nipples, you should know exactly how to handle nipple irritation if it ever happens to you! Here are a few quick reminders from the information above:

  • The best way to treat nipple soreness is to prevent it by ensuring that your baby is latching correctly.
  • As far as treatments go, natural and organic nipple creams and balms are a great choice. Ice packs, warm compresses, and saltwater rinses are helpful as well.
  • If you’re really struggling with nipple irritation and soreness, see a lactation consultant. They will be able to help you correct any latch problems or other issues.

Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be painful! Follow our tips and you should be pain-free in no time.

About the author

Anne McDermott

I'm an active mom with two beautiful children that keep me really busy! I learned a thing or two nursing them both and now I like to share what I've learned with new and soon-to-be moms!

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