SORE OR CRACKED NIPPLE


Dealing with postnatal depressionMany mothers suffer from sore or cracked nipples 3-6 days after birth. These sore nipples range from nipple tenderness, which quickly goes away after the baby latches on. However sometimes the soreness can be very painful and prevents mothers to breastfeed their baby. If the soreness is bad and you do have to feed the baby use nipple protectors which will be convenient for breastfeeding. There are things that you can do to help such a condition without rushing to the doctor.

First of all check the nipple condition. If the nipples hurt so badly that you dread the next nursing, then you can use an electric breast pump which can be handy. Pump often, about every 1 hours for short periods of time (approximately 5-8 minutes). This way you can avoid the pain from breastfeeding. Once your nipple heals reintroduce the breast to the baby for every other feeding until there is no tenderness upon latch-on. Return to regular feedings at the breast as soon as you are able.

Things you can do to avoid nipple soreness:

  • Correct positioning and latch is essential. Thus latch on the baby properly while feeding him.

  • Vary nursing positions for at least the first week. Limit the amount of time that you nurse on the sore nipple, and always start with the side that is not sore.

  • Use bra pads, and change them frequently to keep your nipples dry.

  • Breastfeed frequently and regularly to avoid nipple confusion and sore nipple.

  • Massage a little hand expressed milk into your nipples after you are finished nursing, and let them air dry.


  • Clean your nipples with water only. Do not put any soap or anything containing alcohol on them.

  • You can also express a little milk before breastfeeding to regularize the flow of milk.

  • You can also use nipple protectors for a while as long as your nipples don't heal.


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