Nipple soreness often occurs when the baby is not attached well to the breast or positioned correctly. Make sure your baby’s jaws are deeply over your areola and about ½ inch behind the base of your nipple. Your nipple should be rounded and erect after the baby detaches.
Ways to Prevent Nipple Soreness
- If you feel pinching, rubbing or biting pain during the feeding, check the baby’s position and attachment.
- Air-dry your nipples by leaving your bra flaps down for a couple of minutes after a feeding.
- Express a small amount of colostrum or milk and spread it around the nipple and areola after air-drying.
- Avoid the use of soap, alcohol and extra water on the breast. Clean your breasts by allowing water to flow over them when showering.
If You Have Nipple Soreness
- Feed your baby more often for shorter periods of time.
- Do not allow your baby to become too hungry.
- Do not use an artificial nipple shield over the breast for feeding. They can cause damage to your nipple and interfere with milk flow.
- Use a purified lanolin product or gel pad to heal cracked or open areas.
- Begin feeding on the least sore nipple. Be sure to break suction carefully by sliding your finger inside your baby’s mouth.
- If it remains painful when your baby first latches on, remove your baby and try again.
- A fast deep latch will put your baby’s jaws behind the nipple and tender areas.
Soreness is just one of a number of breastfeeding problems that you can easily remedy with care.