10 Ways to Prevent Sore Nipples for Breastfeeding Mothers 2022

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We have curated a list of Ways to Prevent Sore Nipples for Breastfeeding Mothers and soothe it effectively. Its very common for moms who breastfeed to suffer from having to experience sore nipples. This write-up is to help all the moms out there!

Hooray! Nine months have gone so fast, you have conquered hours of painful labor and you have just given birth to your little bundle of joy. Giving birth might be a horrendous experience for you but now, you have to condition yourself and your body towards your fourth trimester: taking care of your newborn.

We all want our babies to thrive and we all know that exclusive breastfeeding is the easiest and healthiest way that we can nourish our little ones. We know it’s hard, but we also know how determined are you to continue with your breastfeeding journey.

In this article, we will be providing you with how to prevent sore nipples while breastfeeding.

Sore nipples are very common, especially to new moms. It is because our breasts are not used to this new kind of workout. Never be discouraged because this is totally normal and all the pain and discomfort is temporary and worth it as you see your little one thriving and growing so well. Let’s now tackle different ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers and get that milk flowing!


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Top 10 Ways to Prevent Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding

1. Ensure Proper Nipple Latching

Ensure Proper Nipple Latching

One of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers is to ensure proper nipple latching. Babies develop their sucking reflex even when they are inside their mother’s womb. When your baby comes into this world, all he wanted to do is to suck and feed on your milk.

The first thing to prevent having sore nipples is to make sure that your baby is latching well. Breastfeeding should not be painful as it seems to be, but having the right latching which is your baby’s mouth should be covering all or most of your areola, not only your nipples would save you from painfully sore nipples.

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If your newborn is only latching on your nipples, his gums will press down to suck more milk, causing more pressure on your nipples. Improper latching can also lead to your little one being always hungry and fussy, because he is not getting enough milk. Check out the proper way of latching on the picture above for your reference

2. Make you and your baby comfortable

This list of ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers includes making you and your baby comfortable. There are many positions that you can experiment with when you are breastfeeding. One key is to make sure that you, amazing mama, are comfortable like how your baby enjoys your milk!

Another tip is to use a nursing pillow.

This is a very convenient tool for you and your baby as this supports your baby’s body in the right position as you breastfeed. Strained arms and crouched back are a no-no’s by using a nursing pillow. By making yourself comfortable, it makes breastfeeding more enjoyable and not feeling like you are merely feeding your baby as a necessity.

If you’re a first-time mommy, the cradle and cross-cradle is the best position as you start your first breastfeeding journey. These positions give out a better view to see if your little one is latching correctly.

When you’re getting used to breastfeeding, you can try other positions above to minimize the rubbing pressure on your nipples while your baby latches.

Following this one of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers is a huge help.

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3. Watch Out for Tongue Ties!

preventing sore nipples while breastfeeding

One of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers is to watch out for Tongue ties. This is known to be a condition where the frenulum or the thin skin at the bottom of the tongue which is connected to the mouth, is short. Pediatricians can easily detect this as soon as the baby is born.

Depending on the severity, this may cause difficulty in latching and eventually lead to dry, cracked and sore nipples because the baby cannot suck well. For moms who are expecting baby boys or have already given birth to a cute little boy, studies have shown that tongue ties occur more commonly in boys than girls.

Do not fret, this condition can be easily treated by releasing the tongue through snipping the frenulum with a quick and simple cut. This does not give any discomfort or pain to the baby even though a small amount of blood might be seen. After 24 to 48 hours, the cut is completely healed and you can see an immediate improvement on the latching of your baby.

4. Never Forget to Moisturize

ways to prevent sore nipples while breastfeeding

Moisturizing is one of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding moms. Yes, your baby is hungry as a hippo and we know it! Newborns feed every 2 to 3 hours round the clock, resulting in dry and cracked nipples. With all the sleepless nights nurturing your little one, dry and sore nipples are a no-no’s! Grab yourself a handy-dandy moisturizer to keep your nipples away from discomfort.

There are a lot of different moisturizers that you can choose from but make sure to purchase a baby-safe one! There are even organic moisturizers that you can choose in which you do not even need to wipe off when you nurse your baby.

This is really important since sleep-less moms tend to forget that they have moisturizers applied on their nipples, then they nurse their babies at wee hours of the night without wiping off the moisturizers on them.

5. Nurse, Nurse, and Nurse Even More

One of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers is to nurse your baby as much as you can. As stated earlier, newborns are typically hungry every 2 to 3 hours and if you are a new mom, your breasts are not quite familiar with this kind of workout, leading to sore nipples. When you nurse more often, your nipples will be accustomed to this type of routine. This would also prevent having engorged breasts which are as painful as sore nipples.

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When you let a baby feed for longer periods, the tendency is he will surely be hungrier and will suck more aggressively on your nipples. Breast engorgement also make it difficult for a baby to latch on, making you more prone to sore nipples.

So, just nurse as much as you can! It might seem like a tedious job to do but enjoy these moments when your baby is still this little and needy for you.

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6. Ice Ice Baby!

10 ways to prevent sore nipples while nursing
Cubes of ice on white background

This list of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers should not exclude ice. Never underestimate the power of ice as you can transform these into cold compresses to soothe your breasts and nipples after each feeding. Not only does it numb the pain of the first days of breastfeeding but it also prevents swelling.

You can use a piece of cloth and wrap it on something cold, an ice pack will do or some frozen goods (if no ice is available) will also do good. Just make sure to never apply ice or ice packs directly onto your skin!

7. Check Your Nipples from Milk Blebs

top ways to prevent sore nipples while breastfeeding

Checking your milk blebs is also one of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers. Milk blebs happen when a thin layer of skin blocks a milk duct, causing milk to clog and get stuck. When this condition happens, sore nipples are waving hello at you. Milk blebs look like white or yellowish dots on your nipples.

This can be treated instantly by your physician or lactation consultant. If you happen not to be bothered about it, this condition will heal on its own after a few weeks.

8. Do Not Overdo Your Pumping

preventing sore nipples while breastfeeding 2021

Watching out your pumping duration is one of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers. All breastfeeding women probably wanted to build their milk freezer stashes but please new mommy, do not overdo your pumping. You might be so determined to stack on your milk supply but you are probably using the pump on its maximum level of suction or you are using it for longer periods of time. These causes sore nipples and breast trauma.

Be sure to consult your lactation consultant for more information on how to use your pumps properly. Also, check for correct flange sizes as this can also hurt your nipples and lessen the efficiency of your pumping making you pump less milk than your breasts can.

One quick tip for checking if your pump flanges fit you is that if you see all or most of your areola inside the breast pump shield while pumping, you are in need of a smaller-sized flange.

On the other hand, if your nipples are scratching onto the sides of the shields, you need a bigger-sized flange. Check your pump manufacturer for the right fit and go get that freezer full of milk without soreness!

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9. Teething Babies Should Have Teething Toys

ways to prevent sore nipples while breastfeeding

Are your baby started teething? Consider getting them teething toys as this is one of the ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers. You just saw those tiny cute teeth coming out of your baby’s gums and you suddenly felt like your nipples are sore. Your baby must be nibbling and playing around your nipples to soothe their teething gums. Offering teething toys or teething goodies between nursing is a must.

There are also teething gels that you can purchase to help your babies soothe their itchy gums. In this way, your baby will know not to nibble on your nipples for unwanted soreness.

10. Let the Baby Unlatch By Himself

top 10 ways to prevent sore nipples while breastfeeding

Letting your baby to unlatch by himself is one of the important ways to prevent sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers. You might be so sleepy and you saw that your baby has also fallen asleep while feeding onto you and you just badly wanted to lie down and go to bed. If you pull the baby off of you for a couple of times without guiding him to unlatch himself or just patiently waiting for him to unlatch, this will result in sore nipples.

Babies create a strong seal when they latch onto their moms as they breastfeed. To help your little one unlatch properly without hurting you, you can place your finger on the side of your baby’s mouth to break the suction and protect your nipples as you guide your baby drift away from your breasts.

Why Do Sore Nipples Happen?

As a mom who performs breastfeeding, experiencing sore nipples is common. Here are some of the reasons why sore nipples happen:

  • Your baby isn’t latching properly
  • The way you use breast pump is wrong
  • Chafing
  • Changes on Hormones
  • Medical Reasons
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If you’re able to determine the reason for having a sore breast, you are one step away from finding the right treatment to perform.

Are your nipples still sore while breastfeeding? Time to check with a doctor

Have you already done all the possible ways in preventing your nipples from getting sore while breastfeeding? This is now the perfect time to seek medical attention from your doctor or a lactation consultant to cure your sore breast. 

If none of the mentioned ways above help you in avoiding sore nipples, don’t just ignore it and go straight to your doctor to have it cured as soon as possible and prevent any further damage.

Ways to Prevent Sore Nipples for Breastfeeding Mothers: FAQs

How do I stop my nipples from hurting while breastfeeding?

An effective way to soothe your nipples and reduce swelling is by applying cool compresses. You may apply this by using a fabric under your arm and an ice pack until you can’t feel any pain. 

What is the most common cause of sore nipples during breastfeeding?

With all the possible reasons for sore nipples, the common cause is incorrect positioning and attachment. This can happen when your baby isn’t attaching well or their mouth is in an improper position. 

What is the fastest way to heal sore nipples?

Here are some of the remedies to heal your sore nipples quickly:
– Apply fresh pumped breast milk
– Put on some warm compress
– Rinse your nipples with salt water
– Apply Lanolin Ointment 
– Change your nursing pads oftentimes

What is safe to put on sore nipples?

Applying your own milk on your nipples is the safest way to soothe the soreness as this is known to have healing properties to cure your nipples naturally. You may also want to consider putting some lanolin cream on your nipples as this is also one of the safest ways to cure sore nipples.

Should you moisturize your nipples?

Yes, moisturizing is one of the important ways to prevent your nipples from getting sore. You just have to be careful when buying one as some of them will not cause your relief but rather more issues.

How long does latch pain last?

Latch pains can be experienced after 3 days of giving birth as your nipples are taking time to adapt with breastfeeding. This kind of pain can last up to two weeks, depending on how you’ll treat your sore nipples.

How long does it take damaged nipples to heal?

Since moms have different pain tolerance, healing damaged nipples also varies. Some types of soreness last for hours to days depending on the process of treating sore nipples. If you’re currently dealing with long-established and serious wounds, it may take for about 2 to 3 weeks to be completely healed even if the major cause of soreness is already eliminated.

How do sore nipples last while breastfeeding?

The pain and soreness usually peak on the third day of breastfeeding. If you’re lucky enough that you don’t have blisters, cracks, or bleeding, the soreness will heal on its own within a span of two weeks.

Do your nipples ever stop hurting when breastfeeding?

Yes, it does! As painful as it seems, your body and your nipples will get used to the breastfeeding work. Your baby’s sucking will become more efficient as the days go by, so don’t you worry because this pain is temporary. If the pain is getting worse, it is advisable to consult a lactation specialist for further help.

Final Take on Preventing Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding your Baby

Preventing sore nipples may seem impossible as all women experience this as they breastfeed.

Nevertheless, these tips may reduce the risk of having one or following these steps can help alleviate the pain.

Being a mom is indeed a tough thing to do because of all the pain and efforts that we need to experience just to provide our children with the utmost care but, it is all worth it as you watch them grow into amazing humans. Those sore nipples will come to pass, and you’ll eventually enjoy your breastfeeding journey with your little ball of sunshine! ☺

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