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All of the experts say that breastfeeding is natural, but sometimes it doesn’t always come naturally for every mom. Breastfeeding can truly be difficult to get the hang of – especially when you are suffering from sore and cracked nipples from breastfeeding your baby.
But thankfully there are some really great home remedies for sore cracked nipples from breastfeeding.
*I am not a doctor or a medical professional. These are just my experiences with breastfeeding my baby. This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.
Are Sore Nipples Common During Breastfeeding?
When a new mom first starts breastfeeding some mild soreness is very common, but having extended discomfort or even pain is not normal at all. Breastfeeding shouldn’t cause intense pain or discomfort even in the beginning.
Here are 9 tips for solving and treating nipple pain while breastfeeding.
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1. Perfect Latch
Why are my nipples painful when breastfeeding?
Many new breastfeeding moms ask this question and the most common reason for nipple pain while breastfeeding is due to a poor latch. Latching your baby onto your breast correctly is extremely important for your baby to properly express breast milk from your breasts, but also for your comfort.
If you are having pain every time you are latching your baby onto your breasts then chances are that your baby isn’t being latched on properly. And if your baby isn’t getting a perfect latch the best way to find a remedy to treat your sore nipples is to learn how to properly latch your baby.
One of the easiest ways to learn about the perfect latch is by taking a breastfeeding course like this one – Milkology, which is taught by a certified lactation consultant. The class is also so awesome because you can take it from the comfort of your home.
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Do you feel like your breasts just need a cold pack to soothe the soreness?
That’s where these babies come in. These 3-in-1 therapy packs by Lansinoh can be used hot or cold to help relieve soreness in your breasts while breastfeeding.
And they are completely reusable so this means you buy one pack and you are set. Just toss them in the fridge and pull them out when you need a little extra relief.
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3. Air Them Out
Have you ever heard that fresh air can help with diaper rash?
I was told this all of the time when I had little babies running around in diapers. In fact, anytime our babies had a rash we would let them have a little naked time without a diaper to allow airflow to the area.
It’s the same with your breasts. They need fresh air – especially when your nipples are sore and cracked. Allowing your nipples to air dry after breastfeeding also helps them to stay dry and prevent them from staying wet and irritated.
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Another common treatment for over abused breastfeeding nipples is lanolin cream. Many moms are actually given this cream in the hospital after they have their baby if they decide to breastfeed.
Of course, there are tons of other lanolin nipple creams available, but I found this one by Medela to be the best for smoothly going onto sore nipples whereas other creams were too thick and hurt to put on.
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5. Use Breast Milk
What is the Fastest Way to Heal Sore Nipples?
And if you don’t have nipple cream with lanolin another really natural option is to use breast milk. Breast milk has so many nutrients that are so incredibly helpful to healing sore cracked nipples.
And all you have to do is express a bit of breast milk and gently wipe around your nipples. Then let it air dry. It’s really that easy.
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6. Hot Shower
When you are a breastfeeding mom, there is truly no better relief that I have found than taking a hot shower.
Anytime I felt engorged or like I couldn’t express breast milk, I would jump in the shower and the warm water would help. Just gently massaging my breasts was enough to help relieve the engorgement and any pain.
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Using a breast pump is a great way to relieve pain from being engorged. And by pumping that extra breast milk, you can freeze it and save it for later.
I did this a ton when I first started breastfeeding to build a breast milk stash and to make breast milk pops for my little guy when he was teething.
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8. Manual Expression
Don’t have a breast pump?
Even if you don’t have a breast pump you can still relieve your breast pain by manually expressing breast milk. Of course, manually expressing your breast milk may not be helpful if you are trying to save your expressed breast milk but it can help if you just need a little pain relief.
There were times when I was breastfeeding that for some reason my little guy just didn’t want to nurse. So when that happened if I didn’t have a breast pump handy or I was feeling a bit lazy I would just express a bit of breast milk into a bottle to relieve my full breasts.
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If you still suffer from sore cracked nipples or breast pain while breastfeeding check with a local lactation consultant to see if they can help. Sometimes with breastfeeding, your baby can have underlying issues such as a tongue tie or lip tie that make breastfeeding difficult.
Lactation consultants are trained to be on the lookout for things like this and are literally the experts when it comes to breastfeeding.
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Will Sore Nipples Go Away?
If you can find out what is causing your nipples to become sore and treat it then yes they will absolutely get better.
However, if you simply do nothing your breastfeeding problems could worsen and sore nipples can turn into an infection really quickly if you do not seek help. So if you try all of these tips and still don’t see results please see a lactation consultant and possibly your family doctor if they are familiar with breastfeeding.