How To Heel Sore Nipples

May 12, 2011 No Comments by

Soggy nipples, that is, nipples that remain wet for long periods, are more prone to soreness, it therefore helps to expose your nipples to air and sunlight as much as possible, until the soreness heals. You can wear a loose garment without a bra, or you can wear a tea-strainer without a handle inside your bra, to promote healing.

Avoid using creams on cracked nipples. Dry cornflour can be dusted on them instead. It is also very helpful to express some milk after a feed and rub it on the sore nipple where it should be left to dry. This quickens healing considerably. Avoid the use of water proof backed bra pads. Do not remove any crust appearing on the nipple. It is part of the healing process.

Always offer the less sore side first. That will establish the flow on the sore side before the baby takes it, thus making it less painful. You can use breathing for labour to able to handle the pain. An aspirin or mild alcoholic drink (beer or wine) taken shortly before a feed will help reduce the pain. It can be taken if the pain begins to interfere with the let down or release of milk.

You can try using a cold compress on your nipples before feeding. Apply an ice cube wrapped in a towel or hanky. You can wear a blotting paper or an ever dry napply liner inside the bra to keep the nipples dry. Sometimes, a sore nipple may bleed. There is no harm if the baby swallows tiny amounts of blood with the milk. This can quite frightening, especially when the baby burps after a feed, and along with the curdled milk brings up a little blood. However, this is harmless to the baby.

Continue to treat your sore nipples and carry on feeding.

There may be a risk of infection of sore nipples, if the baby has thrush, that is, white spots on the tongue that do not wipe away. Thrush must be treated medically. You can take the baby off the breast for a few feeds until the skin has healed. The milk can be expressed and fed to the baby from a spoon. Gentain violet can be applied to baby’s tongue to clear it of the thrush.

A nipple shield can be used. It is rubber shield that fits over the nipple and aerola and prevents direct suction on the nipple.


  • You could dab the sore area with cotton soaked in water to which a few drops of calendula Q, a homoeopathic medicine has been added, and leave it to dry.
  • The last part of expressed breast milk applied on the sore nipple will encourage it to heal.

After The Baby Is Born, Postpartum:The First 6 Weeks
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