Q&A: Sore Nipples From Breastfeeding?

I thought I was committed to breastfeeding, but my nipples are killing me! They are sore, cracked, and even bloody. What can I do?
ByPaula Kashtan
Updated
Jan 2017
Hero Image

Don’t panic — and don’t quit. This is a problem that can be fixed. First, check your baby’s latch. When he’s feeding, he needs to open his mouth wide and take the entire areola in his mouth — not just the nipple. You might need to tickle his lips or chin before he latches on to get him to open wide enough.

To soothe the pain in between feedings, apply a lanolin cream such as Lansinoh. It’s safe for baby, so you don’t have to wipe it off before he eats again. You can also try cool gel pads that fit in your bra.

If these remedies don’t work, call in the big guns: A lactation consultant who can show you the best positions and techniques. Ask your OB or pediatrician for a referral or check the International Lactation Consultant Association’s expert locater.

Related Video

Mom's Viral Photo Makes a Case for Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
10/13/2017

Husband Asks Wife to Stop Breastfeeding for an Appalling Reason

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
11/03/2017

The States Where It’s Legal to Breastfeed In Public

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
08/04/2014

Breast Pumping Mom Pranks Her Coworkers

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/22/2016

Q&A: Are Nuts Okay to Eat While Breastfeeding?

Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
Pediatrician

Mom Banned From Facebook After Sharing Breastfeeding Article

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
10/06/2017