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Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I thought I was committed to breastfeeding, but my nipples are killing me! They are sore, cracked, and even bloody. What can I do?

Re: I thought I was committed to breastfeeding, but my nipples are killing me! They are sore, cracked, and even bloody. What can I do?

The Bump Expert

Don't panic -- and don't quit. This is a problem that can be fixed. First, check your baby's latch. When he's feeding, he needs to open his mouth wide and take the entire areola in his mouth -- not just the nipple. You might need to tickle his lips or chin before he latches on to get him to open wide enough.

To soothe the pain in between feedings, apply a lanolin cream such as Lansinoh. It's safe for baby, so you don't have to wipe it off before he eats again. You can also try cool gel pads that fit in your bra.

If these remedies don't work, call in the big guns: A lactation consultant who can show you the best positions and techniques. Ask your OB or pediatrician for a referral or check the International Lactation Consultant Association's expert locater.

Paula Kashtan

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

my nipples are so terribly sore, I've developed scabs on both of them. It hurts to wear bras because they push my nipples down and in. Lansinoh doesn't provide any relief whatsoever. Where can I get the cool gel pads, or plastic nipple sheilds?

lherring131 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I've been having the same problem. . . I found the gel pads at Babies'r'us which did make my nipples a little more bearable. The nipple shields are there too, but I've been warned not to use these or only use sparingly since they can cause low milk supply or your baby not wanting to latch on to your own nipple later. Icing and allowing as much fresh air to your nipples also lets them heal faster. I'm still struggling myself with my 3 wk old, but it helps to know we're not the only ones. Good Luck!

FlMama13 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

The best thing that I have found is these things called 2nd skin they are used for burns. the are gel pads. This is my third baby and with my first i was crying and having a hard time. And then someone told me about these. now this time around i started using them before the pain even came and it works so well. I also use it with a combination of lansinoh too. Hope this helps. :-)

tori31 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

First- don't give up! It will pass. Especially once the baby begins to latch correctly. Second buy an organic lanolin free nipple butter- my fav: NIPSTICK by THE SPOILED MAMA. I swear by it and it has saved me and my friends over the last couple of years ;) It is completely safe for mom and baby. Actually their entire line is awesome! Good luck and congrats on your new baby!

ablessedmama |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

i use a nipple shield and it works great! I have a really big areola and small inverted nipples, so even though he latched okay it still really hurt! I recommend the nipple shield, it'lll take some getting use to but it's definitley worth it! U can get them at target.

Junesong_109 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I found that if I pumped once or twice a day, it relieves the pain of sore nipples. They also suffer less cuts and scabs. But most importantly...don't give up!!

ckane76 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

try lansinoh lanolin nipple balm. it helps a lot, and you can also try rubbing a small amount of your milk on your nipples every hour or so. it really helps.

anyanca |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I had a problem with my nipples as well. They were really sore and it was unbearable to have the baby feed. My step-mom mentioned getting gel pads and I did. They work really well. The gel pads can be found at Walgreens, I believe they are called Soothies gel pads. They can be put in the fridge while they aren't being used and it works great.

VSutcliffe21 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

i agree also i did pump once sometimes twice a day right b4 a feeding and bottle fed just to give my nipples a break also it might help to latch the baby at difrent angles this way there not hitting the same area all the time. mt lil one likes to "fall off" the nipple alot when she dozes and then relach it was awfull so i fell for you!

deztiney1 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

are there any alternatives to using lanolin? I'm allergic to wool, so my doc didnt think it'd be good idea to risk a reaction...but my nipples are so sore!

asterialeigh |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

asterialeigh, Try Lanolin Free "Nipple Butter" by the First Years. I'm not allergic to wool, but I accidentally bought it at Target.

asiandiva1006 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I agree with using a nipple shield...that and lanolin (or an equivalent) until your nipples have healed. The new ultra-thin contact nipple shields do not cause a decrease in milk production like the old ones, so there isn't a huge rush to wean your baby off the shield if it works well for you. I used a nipple shield for the full year I breastfed my first son and am on the same track with my second who is 8 months old now. They are available at babies r us, CVS (I think), amazon.com, plus tons of online stores (just google contact nipple shields). I also bought a Shield Shell to store each of my shields at www.shieldshell.com. I keep one in the diaper bag at ALL TIMES, plus one in each of my favorite nursing spots around the house. They're great because they keep my shields clean and safe from my dog and two-year-old between feedings, plus they make it easy to find my shield when I'm too tired to see straight in the middle of the night.

indymom82 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I feel for all of you as I have been there. I had horribly damaged cracked nipples, I was on a constant regimen of tylenol but that didn't help. I know it was because of baby's bad latch but I tried everything I could to improve her latch with no real luck. I tried the Lanolin cream, I tried the gel pads, I even tried a prescription cream (All Purpose Nipple Cream) - nothing helped. I also tried nipple shields but baby had a hard time getting milk with them. What worked for me was pumping and bottle feeding the expressed milk for about 2 weeks. This allowed my nipples to heal. It was hard to find the time to feed and then pump, especially at night but it worked out. I then went back to breastfeeding at night and then back to full time breastfeeding. My nipples are grossly scarred but breastfeeding is still going well at 3 months.

candyk12 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

It is no t easy to be a breastfeeding mom. I had a breakdown, but came back to my senses after I though about how important it is to give my baby my milk1 Get sleep and stay the course, my sister says the soreness passes after a month.

campbelletara |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I feel all of you on this one. I started out with only one that was sore and now it is both sides!! It has been hard for us because I had to pump when my baby was stuck in the hospital and I was discharged. In the hospital she was given pacifiers and fast flowing bottles, it changed how she sucks. I have noticed she plays with nipples with her tongue which is hard on me! Usually if I can get through the initial toe curling pain...it goes away as she feeds. She will also stop and start which kills, so I try to keep her head in the same position so she doesn't lose latch. Other things I do are small boo-boo buddy packs that I can put in my bra behind my leak pads, this helps a lot. I have tried the "Soothies" but don't like that you have to wash your nipples before baby eats... best of luck all! Keep reminding yourself - it can only get better.

Bees Baby |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

See you lactation specialist. My baby is latching perfectly and my milk supply ample but it turned out he was tongue tied. As a result he was only bringing my nipple half way down his throat (he should bring it to where the soft and hard pallet meet). Because the nipple wasnt reaching as far back as it should, it was going up and down instead of back and forth, my precious boy tore me up. I have nipple trauma where I have huge valleys not cracks. My lactation specialist put me on nipple rest and I pumping or using the shield for a week. She also perscribed me a "triple nipple cream.". It's made up of 3 creams and lotions; two prescriptions and monistat cream. She also told me to use a saline wash after each feed. I use the squirt bottle from the hospital and make my own- 1/4 tsp salt an water, then take a shower and use soap to clean the bacteria, apply my ointment, and use gel pads that I have cooled in the fridge, motrin, and finally sleep. It's quite the routine but I would have never known my boy was tongue tied otherwise. He has had a minor procedure to correct his problem. Hopefully, with all that I'm doing, I will heal. Not only does being tongue tied effect breast feeding, it could be related to speech issues, and French kissing! My advise- don't grin and bare it. Get help. After 10 days you should not be in pain. All the lanolin I'm the world would not have helped me. Good luck and don't feel guilty if you have to take a rest and formula feed or pump. We give our boy formula at night and at two weeks we have one to two wake ups. It is what works for you and your family! Good luck!

motieku |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I had a similar problem to Bees Baby, whilst in hospital, the nurses gave my little girl formula using fast flowing bottles and she went from her initial latch immediately after birth, which was perfect, to not wanting to open her mouth or suck properly because she knew there was an easier way. I ended up with cracked bleeding nipples and I don't know which of us cried the hardest at night when she was hungry and chewing on me, latching, sliding off, then latching again, and generally damaging my nipples. I called a LC and she took me off breastfeeding and had me pump and feed the milk using a bottle with a slow-feed nipple for a week to give my nipples time to heal and use the Medela gel pads and lanolin gel, but I wasn't healing so I ended up going to the doctor and getting a prescription for triple nipple cream, which contains an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and pain relieving cream combined. That worked wonders on the cracks and has stopped the bleeding but I'm still incredibly sore and have to use nipple shields. The LC came back last night and assessed the baby's latch and it turns out she has an exaggerated gag reflex so she can't take my nipple as deep into her mouth as she should, leaving me being rubbed against her hard pallet, plus, because I seem to be producing enough milk for triplets and have an extremely strong letdown, she was gagging on the sudden rush of milk down her throat, causing her to pull part way off then latch back again just on my nipple. Also, the large volume of milk means my breasts are rock hard and pushed so far out my nipples are practically flat, making it even harder for her to latch on properly. The shields are a big help, but I'm hoping that as she gets a bit bigger I will be able to wean off them and get her back to just my breast. I'm hoping perseverence pays off, I just have to look at her face and it is all worthwhile. Good luck everybody!

Hefalump |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

Don't give up on breastfeeding! Still continue to nurse often, the sore, cracked nipples usually get better after about 1-2 wks. Make sure your baby is latching on properly. The entire areola needs to be in his mouth. In the meantime you can use Lanolin cream on your nipples between feedings and they also have these cool "gel pads" that you can place on your nipples that help relieve the soreness. When you are done using the gel pads you place them back into the fridge to become cool again for the next time you need them. The more you breastfeed and nurse this problem will go away!!

lbradber |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I agree with motieku - check with your lactation consultant. My son was also tongue tied so he wasn't bringing my nipple all the way back to his soft palette, which was causing the nipple trauma for me. He was also 'chewing' instead of sucking since he couldn't stick his tongue out at birth (we had his tongue tie clipped at 1 week). The lactation specialist also referred us to a speech therapist who is helping us teach him how to suck properly instead of chew. We are at 6 weeks now and he is feeding much better and my nipples have begun to heal.

LeahCHB |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

My God, that must be horrible. I never had this issue but I’m so squeamish that I would have quit for sure. I will ask a friend of mine to tell me more related to this topic, she got an online masters in nursing degree and she should know about it, even if she had a baby and still, I never heard her mentioning anything about breastfeeding.

MiaWeiman |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

My nipples are terribly sore as well. My friend told me to not use the Lansinoh and move to the Motherlove Nipple Cream. It's all natural ingredients and safe for baby and mom. You don't have to wash it off between feedings. At first, I didn't put enough on and it works much better if you put a thicker layer on the nipple itself. It's about $10 and I purchased it at Whole Foods. Otherwise, I just wait for the first painful 20-30 seconds to end and then it seems to go smoothly after that.

bonsterr |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

i use washable breast pads soaked in water and then put in the fridge to stay cool! its awesome

andrewsbabytay |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I wish someone would have told me (i have a very sensitive chest) that if it is too much pain that you can start pumping until your nipple gets "pulled out" and then attach baby and it is sooo much less painful..now i feel like i can breast feed for the long haul! so simple, and so helpful! i know it is important to get the latch, but when you see baby has a good latch and you are just not adjusted to breastfeeding yet, the pump is a lifesaver!!

amrowe1987 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I was and still am suffering from sore nipples, however have found some relief. I was using Boobease purchsed at Baby's R Us. It's Organic and safe for Mom and baby. I was still havung pain since baby wasn't latching on correctly. My lactation consutant suggested Thera Shells. I purchased them at Baby's R Us too. I finally found relief with those. It's a plastic cup that goes right over your nipple & areola. Therefore nothing rubs against nipples to help heal it faster. I use them at home and only sometimes when I keave the house since they do make my boob look funny unless I'm wearing a loose blouse. They are a lifesaver. Although I can't say I'm completely pain free yet, the pain has subsided and I can tell that these along with training my baby to latch properly will help me heal in no time.

ladi810 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I was having an issue with cracked/bleeding nipples because my daughter latched so intensely the first few days. I went to a lactation consultant, and I received fabulous advice. First, to treat your nipples, after you feed, apply a generous amount of Polysporin (different than Neosporin) to your nipples and cover them with a disposable cotton pad (not bamboo, which the scabs stick to). Because this is not food grade, before you feed your baby again, clean your nipples off using olive oil and a cotton square (cotton balls peel and you end up with bits of it on your skin). The polysporin heals your wounds and the olive oil is also soothing. I had my husband bottle feed her every other time to give me a bit more of a break. If you are pumping, I highly recommend getting the hands free bustier so that you have some extra time to take for yourself while your husband feeds. For the bottles, the lactation consultant recommended using the Dr. Brown premie nipple, which is slow flow. This prevented the baby from gulping down more than she was used to while she got used to a bottle. Now, to fix the latching problem, the best advice she gave was to cup the underside of my breast (four fingers on the inside of the breast and my thumb on the outside). Place your thumb on the outside of your areola and use it to tip your nipple outward. Essentially, you want to brush your baby's upper lip with your nipple and when she opens her mouth, jab your nipple in to try to hit the roof of her mouth. This will help her get a proper latch. Doing these few things helped me go from sobbing every time I fed my daughter to enjoying it within a week.

smzbaker13 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I've been in the same boat, my baby is 3.5 weeks and it's been very difficult physically and emotionally. I didn't understand the latching part I kept trying to stick the nipple in her mouth - WRONG and i'm paying for it. I had to start pumping then I had wrong size phalanges and hurt myself more. I had a lactation consultant come 2x to help me and i'm grateful for it she changed my whole experience. She also thought the baby had thrush which she did it's a yeast infection now her and I are being treated and the pain is diminishing, I know the hell you're in, stick to it once you get her on the breast it will bring tears to your eyes (in a good way) good luck:)

proctorcookie7 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

I had the same problem but this video saved me! http://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-deep-latch-technique

robinstarr28 |

Q&A: Sore nipples from breastfeeding?

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gantengsekali |