How to avoid sore nipples while breast-feeding

Preventing sore nipples while breastfeeding.

Although beautiful and full of rich benefits for both mother and child, the breastfeeding process is not free of its own set of challenges.

One of the major problems experienced by breastfeeding mothers is sore nipples. There are several factors however that contribute to this problem.

These factors may include but are not limited to: breast infections breast engorgement, incorrect positioning of baby, and improper breast and nipple care.

Here’s a how-to-guide on preventing sore nipples while breastfeeding.


Step 1

Position your baby correctly on your breast.

Step 2

In the event your breast are too engorged, hand express or pump to soften them and relieve fullness before attempting to breastfeed.

Step 3

Alternate between each breast during each and every feeding.

Step 4

Take proper care of your breast and nipples using these tips:

  • Limit your use of creams, lotions, oils, and soaps. Instead, use clear water when you wash your breast and avoid over-drying them.
  • When possible, air dry your nipples after each feeding session. Avoid using hair dryers or any other quick drying method; even ones that include cool air, which can damage the skin and leave the sensitive skin on and around your nipples vulnerable.
  • Change your breast pads frequently and avoid using pads with plastic liners — opt for the cloth or cotton kind instead.
Step 5

Try to breastfeed every 1 to 3 hours during the day and every 2 to 3 hours at night. Avoid skipped or delayed feedings at all cost.

Step 6

To prevent skipped or delayed feedings, pump or hand express to relieve any fullness.

Step 7

Always begin each feeding session on the last breast offered.

Step 8

Try several breastfeeding positions until you find one that works comfortably with you and your baby.

Step 9

Never pull your baby from your nipple. Instead, break the suction with your finger before removing him or her from your breast.

This can be accomplished by 1.) gently sliding your finger between baby’s gums and into his or her mouth, all the while protecting your nipple with your finger, or 2.) pressing on your breast near baby’s mouth, creating a small dimple-like opening with your finger — thereby freeing the nipple from baby’s mouth.

Things Needed
• Boppy Nursing Pillow
• Glass of Water
• Comfortable Sitting Area.

Tips & Warnings
• Using a boppy pillow during breastfeeding will aid in proper latching.
• In the event your nipples become sore, apply a small amount of modified lanolin or pure extra virgin olive oil on the damaged nipple. This will aid in healing.
• To ease soreness, express and put a small amount of breastmilk on the nipple before and after each feeding session.
• To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water while breastfeeding.
• If nipple soreness is accompanied with flu-like symptoms, fever, pain, and a thick and yellowish discharge, contact your physician immediately.


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