Ways to Alleviate Sore Nipples Fast While Breastfeeding

Experiencing cracked nipples due to breastfeeding is a common - and oftentimes painful - challenge that many new moms encounter. Discover how an all-natural lanolin cream may help provide some much-deserved relief.

The joy you feel bonding with your little one while breastfeeding can be significantly diminished if your nipples become sore or cracked—and, unfortunately, sore nipples are a very common breastfeeding occurrence! We know this condition can be disheartening and make it harder to motivate yourself to continue breastfeeding your little one. Before you consider weaning your little one before you’ve met your breastfeeding goals—and we know you don’t want to do that just because of sore or cracked nipples—consider these tips on treating your sore or cracked nipples and even preventing this oftentimes painful condition from happening again.

Cracked Nipples

Although it’s not uncommon to experience soreness or tenderness in the first week or two of breastfeeding, cracking or bleeding should be addressed as soon as possible. If you notice a bloody discharge from your nipples or experience pain while breastfeeding, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant immediately. 

Causes of Sore or Cracked Nipples from Breastfeeding

Several conditions can lead to sore nipples that crack or bleed. It’s even possible to experience more than one at the same time. Some causes of cracked or bleeding nipples include:

  • Baby isn’t latching properly. If your baby does not have your entire nipple and part of your breast in their mouth, they are not latching properly. Changing his or her position while nursing can help improve latching, which will allow your nipples to heal.
  • Incorrectly using your breast pump. If you’ve set the suction too high on your breast pump or are using breast shields that are not the correct size, it can lead to nipple irritation.
  • Breast or nipple problems. Breast or nipple swelling from IV fluids administered during childbirth,  engorged breasts, and flat or inverted nipples can result in more difficult and/or improper latching, which can then lead to skin cracking and bleeding.
  • Skin issues. Conditions such as thrush or eczema can also result in nipple cracking. Be sure to speak to your doctor right away if you also experience shooting pains in your breasts while feeding, as this is another common symptom of a thrush infection.

What They Look Like

Cracked nipples are typically red and appear chafed. You may notice that your skin around your nipples is scabby or crusty. Open cracks or sores may ooze or even bleed. It can be a painful and even frustrating experience at a time when you’re adjusting to life with your new little one and learning how to feed together. Take heart, mama! There are some simple ways that you may be able to relieve your pain.

Relieving Cracked Nipples

Sore or Cracked Nipple Treatments

Here are some things to consider that may be causing nipple soreness while breastfeeding and what you can do instead, so you can quickly return to enjoying the closeness of breastfeeding your child - instead of wincing at soreness and discomfort! It’s important to discuss the steps you plan to take with your physician or a lactation consultant to ensure they’re the right ones for you and your unique situation. Some things that can help include:

  • Checking to make sure your baby is latching correctly.
  • Nursing or pumping every two to three hours to avoid engorgement.
  • Applying some of your expressed milk to your nipples. Be sure to avoid this, though, if you have thrush, as breast milk can actually stimulate yeast growth.
  • Wearing a quality nursing bra that fits properly and is not too tight.
  • Avoiding scented soaps, creams, or powders that could dry out your skin.
  • Applying a lanolin-based cream to the nipples after breastfeeding.
  • Using nipple shields while breastfeeding.

Treat Your Nipples with 100% Natural Lanolin Cream

Lanolin is a naturally occurring substance found in sheep’s fleece. A lanolin-based cream applied after breastfeeding can be deeply hydrating while helping restore moisture to the affected area. Our Purelan lanolin cream offers fast and effective relief with a single ingredient—and no additives, preservatives, or fragrance added. In fact, Purelan is an ultra-pure, medical-grade lanolin that has been tested to the highest safety standards and is ethically sourced from mulesing-free farms for a dermatologically-tested, hypoallergenic cream that is safe for sensitive skin and doesn't need to be removed before breastfeeding.

Use Nipple Shields

Nipple shields can offer relief for cracked nipples without interrupting breastfeeding. They’re also especially helpful if your baby is having trouble latching or if you have flat or inverted nipples. Ask your lactation consultant for guidance on how to properly place a nipple shield and use it correctly.

Breastfeeding and Pumping With Cracked Nipples

As you embark on your breastfeeding journey, it can feel frustrating to experience the pain that comes with cracked nipples, but try not to let it discourage you. By working with your doctor or a lactation specialist, you can find relief and move past this minor bump in your breastfeeding journey so you can once again enjoy this close, special time with your sweet little one.

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