Mother holder her swaddled baby on her chest. 

How to Treat Nipple Pain During Breastfeeding

Sore Nipples Jan 27, 2021

Do You Have Nipple Pain or Nipple Sensitivity?

Some nipple sensitivity is normal in the beginning. Wait it out; it just takes time for your nipples to get accustomed to nursing. In the meantime, pure lanolin and other natural nipple creams should help relieve normal, sensitive nipples.

Identify the cause of your nipple pain.

Different nipple variations that may interfere with breastfeeding.

Cracked or Bleeding Nipples

Causes could be a bad latch/suckle, bad positioning, thrush, a problem with the breast pump, or it could be that your baby is biting your nipples.

  • You can ease the pain of sore nipples by applying ice wrapped in a soft cloth or by using other cold treatments (cold compress). The Lansinoh breast therapy pack is recommended.
  • You can also try an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, and Tylenol, which are safe to take during breastfeeding.
  • Also, try rinsing your breast with clean water and salt after every breastfeeding session. This will wash your baby’s saliva off of your nipples so that they do not crack and become sore.
  • A mother’s milk gently rubbed into the wound is just as soothing and accelerates healing and relieves nipple pain as well! Not to be used during a thrush infection.
  • Lansinoh Lotion for breastfeeding mothers is excellent for applying just before you breastfeed or even when pumping and prevents sore broken nipples.
  • Mothers with larger breasts or nipples might struggle to breastfeed their babies.
  • Some mothers find that they have to use a nipple shield for the first few days, just until their nipples have healed.
  • Some mothers experience burning or shooting pain while breastfeeding. This pain may be due to constriction of blood flow.
  • Nipple/breast eczema info.
Smiling Family
Photo by Edward Cisneros / Unsplash

Breast Pain

  • If you have pain inside your breast, before and during the entire time you are breastfeeding, you should see your Doctor in case of thrush or mastitis.
  • Burning pink, itchy nipples are a sign of thrush too. Thrush is a yeast infection.
  • Some mothers suffer from Raynaud's phenomenon (blanching of the nipples) without realizing it!

More about teething while breastfeeding.

How Can You Stop Your Baby From Biting Your Nipples?

  • Sometimes this happens because your baby wants to use you as a teether. Use any teething remedies you find work the best, and unlatch your baby when biting occurs.
  • Some babies have sucking problems due to oral problems, like a cleft lip.
  • Let your baby know that you are unhappy if bitten! When your baby stops sucking, unlatch your baby with your fingers by putting your finger between the corner of your baby's mouth and your breast before they get a chance to bite.

If your baby latches correctly, you are less likely to experience sore, cracked, painful nipples.


Tracy Behr

Mom of two, breastfeeding helper, qualified nutritionist and lover of all things natural! Studying a breastfeeding counselor course via Childbirth int.

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