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What to Do If You Have Sore or Cracked Nipples

It can take some time to get used to the sucking of your baby. Expect your nipples to be sensitive when you start breastfeeding. Though sore nipples are expected during the first week or so of breastfeeding, allowing your baby to be fed as often as possible gives you the best chance of avoiding damaged nipples.

By being extra gentle in getting your baby on and off your breast and patience should solve the problem. Keep in mind that only when your infant learns how to suck or attach properly can your sore nipples heal and improve. Though it may be tempting to put off feeds, you shouldn’t. Instead, try to feed your infant regularly for shorter periods. By doing so, your baby will calm down and be less hungry and gentler when sucking your nipples.

Before feeding:

  • Ensure that you feed your infant before she starts crying.
  • Don’t stress yourself. Make it a point that you’re comfortable when breastfeeding.
  • It will also help if you massage your breasts gently so your milk can easily flow out.
  • Express some milk so your areola can soften and to lubricate your nipples as well.

During feeding:

  • Give your infant the side that is not sore.
  • Ensure that your infant is positioned properly and that she’s attached to your breast.
  • Try out different feeding positions.

After feeding:

  • Check your nipples for signs of stress.
  • Leave your bra open until your nipples are dry.
  • Change your breastfeeding pads regularly. Consider washable bamboo breastfeeding pads since these pads have antibacterial properties that can protect your nipples from possible infections.


  • Using products that may damage your nipple skin.
  • Using plastic-backed breastfeeding pads.
  • Using breast pumps that have strong suction.

Remember that painful, sore or cracked nipples should be treated right away. In most cases an incorrect position causes a sore or cracked nipples. If the soreness of your nipple is not improving and healing seems slow even after you have done our tips above, then it’s better if you just consult with your medical adviser.

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