Breast feeding Help for Sore Nipples
Sore Nipples from Breast-Feeding
best cure is prevention
Getting sore, cracked nipples is a common problem for nursing
The following tactics have helped many mothers avoid suffering
from the pain of sore nipples.
Position the baby properly
The baby should
be a little bit up from horizontal -
and turned so that
his chest, belly and thighs are against you
with a slight tilt so the baby can look at you. You can use a
pillow to help support him or her in this position. The baby should approach the
breast with the head just slightly
tilted backwards, which results in the nipple automatically pointing to the roof
of the baby's mouth.
Ensure a good “Latch on”
The baby should
latch on with a wide open mouth covering as much of the areola as possible -
Lightly run your
nipple along the baby's upper
lip from one corner of the baby’s mouth to the other until his/her
mouth is wide open - that is the moment for him or her to latch on.
Bring the baby toward the breast such that his or her chin is the
first to touch your breast. The nipple points to the roof of the mouth, not the
middle of the mouth.
latched on baby will be covering more of the areola with his/her lower lip than
with the upper lip - The baby’s lips should be everted (see picture
You should not
be feeling any pain –
if the baby is latched on and sucking
Do not allow the
baby to suck on just the nipple -
i.e. with the mouth not covering
most of the areola. Use your forefinger next to the corner of the baby’s mouth
to break the suction, and have the baby latch on again properly. A good “latch
on” also reduces the possibility of the baby getting “gas”, and allows the baby
to better control the flow of milk.
Sun-tan the Nipples
Expose your nipples to full sun for 30 minutes/day
/ Sore Nipples
Pure Lanolin –
preferably 100% pure, anhydrous, fragrance-free, pharmaceutical
grade lanolin (extracted from sheep’s wool). A small amount goes a long way.
Gently rub on the nipples between feeds. Wipe off any excess lanolin remaining
just before feeding.
Australian Golden Lanolin for Sale at Amazon.com
Some other good brands:
Pur-LanTM or LansinohTM,
Saline Soak – Mix 1 tsp. salt
in 1 cup of warm water in a small bowl. Soak the sore nipple(s) in this solution
for 5-10 minutes and then allow to air-dry.
Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil –
Sea buckthorn oil
is the MVP for healing skin problems.
For most benefit, use organic, cold-pressed oil from the sea buckthorn berry. It
costs around $25 for 2oz., but that should be more than enough to deal with the
problem. This treatment is also excellent if the soreness is due to thrush,
where the baby has a white fungus lining the inside of the mouth. Rub the oil on
your nipples and inside the baby’s mouth. It’s perfectly safe - some people take
this oil as a health-supplement.
Air the Nipples
as much as possible / Use breast shells /Avoid direct contact with nursing pads
when airing is not
possible, plastic dome-shaped breast
shells (not nipple shields) can be worn to protect your nipples from rubbing
on your clothing. Nursing pads keep moisture against the nipple and tend to
stick to damaged nipples. If you leak a lot you can wear the pad over the breast
Nipple shields -
A teat is placed
over the nipple to enable the baby to suck on the breast without direct contact.
However, most mothers have NOT
found these to be very helpful. Also, they tend to reduce the milk supply,
and once the baby is used to it, he/she may not want to return to the breast.
Comfrey ointment - softens and strengthens nipples. Soothes /heals sensitive nipples.
Yarrow leaf poultices / yarrow infused oil - provide almost instantaneous pain relief and heal cracked nipples
Fresh aloe vera leaf gel – soothes/heals heal sore
and cracked nipples.
Calendula ointment - an old favorite to heal
and strengthen nipples.