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Sore Nipples

Pain is not a normal or expected part of breastfeeding! If you notice any pain or discomfort, call your peer counselor right away. There are many quick and easy things you can to do to feel better.

Sore Nipples are usually caused by poor positioning or latch during feedings. These are easily prevented and easily remedied problems.

The best way to have healthy nipples during breastfeeding is to follow these best practices:

• Learn and watch for early feeding cues – she will not suck as hard if you nurse her before she gets really hungry.

• Hold your baby close – nose to nipple. Place your baby so she does not have to turn her head to reach your breast.

• Massage your breasts before feeding – this will help your milk flow for your baby.

• Make sure your baby has both the nipple and the lower part of the areola in her mouth. Your baby should have a mouth full of breast.

• Try different feeding positions and change feeding positions often.

• Ask your peer counselor or lactation consultant to check your positioning.

• If you are sore, start the feeding with the less painful breast.

• To speed healing, rub some expressed breast milk on the sore area after feeding and let your nipple air dry. Breast milk helps fight infections.

• Avoid using soaps or creams on your nipples.

• If using nursing pads, change them between feedings to keep your breasts dry.

• Wear cotton bras and clothing.

• Avoid wearing bras and other clothing that is tight and puts pressure on your breasts.

• Ask for help before trying medicinal creams, gel pads, or a nipple shield – they usually cause more problems.