5 Ways to Soothe and Heal Sore Nipples

Ways to soothe and heal sore nipples

When you’re breastfeeding, sore nipples sometimes come with the territory.  And if you’ve experienced it already, you know, sore nipples can be quite painful!

If you experience sore nipples, it’s best to seek help from a lactation consultant to ensure your baby has proper positioning and latch.  These issues are often the culprit of sore nipples so working through them may resolve the problem.

Sore nipples are most common early in breastfeeding when you and your newborn are just learning the ropes.  As time passes and you both get the hang of it, your nipples will probably get used to the stimulation and your baby may develop a better latch and suck as well.  Until then, check out these 5 ways to soothe and heal sore nipples:

1 – Spread Breast Milk on your Nipples

Breast milk itself is a powerful healing substance.  Chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, breast milk can help treat and heal irritated nipples. After a feeding simply hand-express a few drops of breast milk and rub it around your entire nipple.  To avoid bacteria, let the breast milk fully dry before fastening your nursing bra.

2 – Air Dry your Nipples

Exposure to air also helps heal sore nipples. Cracked nipples often get infected when they remain moist from saliva, breast milk and other ointments because moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria.  An infection will only prolong the healing process and cause more pain.  After each feeding spend time letting your nipples air dry.  Try drying out your nipples during post-nursing diaper changes.

3 – Use Breast “Donuts” to Shield your Nipples

Sore nipples can become even more painful when they rub against your nursing bra or nursing pads.  Constant shifting can make raw skin stick to fabrics which may cause further damage to your nipples when you try to peel the fabric off your breasts.  Avoid nipple contact with fabrics by using a breast “donut” that covers your nipple beneath your nursing bra.

4 – Apply Cold Compresses before Nursing

Until your sore nipples situation improves, soothe them by numbing the area with cold compresses prior to nursing.  This will at least offer you some relief during feedings because you probably won’t feel much of anything.  Although this is a temporary fix, it will help you stick to your breastfeeding goals until your nipples have time to heal and your baby’s latch improves.

5 – Cover your Nipples with Hydrogel Pads

Hydrogel pads are like a breath of fresh air for your nipples.  They offer a cooling sensation to inflamed nipples that need serious relief.  These are available at most baby supply stores and can be used for 24- hours straight.