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Q&A: Avoiding Cracked Nipples?

I've heard about nursing mothers' nipples getting dry and cracked. How can I avoid this?
ByNancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist
Updated
March 2, 2017
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Despite what well-meaning moms and grandmas may tell you, dry or cracked nipples are most often a result of an incorrect latch and aren’t caused by nursing “too long” or not cleaning or putting certain products on your nipples. Your best defense against dry, cracked, or otherwise sore nipples is a deep latch. To make sure you and baby are doing it right, read up on how your baby’s latch should look and feel, look at pictures of successfully breastfeeding babies, watch nursing video demonstrations, and sign up for a breastfeeding class at your local hospital.

Also remember to never clean your nipples with soap or alcohol — these can dry out your nipples, stripping them of the natural oils they need to stay moisturized.

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