Tender nipples at the start of a breastfeeding are normal during the first week or two. But pain, cracks, blisters, and bleeding are not. Your comfort depends on where your nipple lands in baby's mouth. And this depends on how your baby takes the breast, or latches.
Causes of sore nipples:
• Improper latch-on
• Flat or inverted nipples
• Removing baby from the breast without breaking the suction first.
- To take the baby off the breast, put your clean finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth to
break the suction.
• If your nipples are very sore, use ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
• Take a few deep breaths before feeding to relax.
• Before a feeding, ease the soreness by putting ice on your nipples for a few seconds.
• Start the feeding on the less sore nipple.
• Rub a few drops of breastmilk onto your nipple and areola after a feeding. Let nipples air dry.
• Pain that continues during and between feedings, blisters, cracked and bleeding nipples are
not normal. Call a breastfeeding specialist or your doctor for help!
Sore nipples may be caused by a condition called thrush, a common yeast infection.
• Your nipples may itch or burn.
• Your baby may have white patches in his mouth or a bright, red diaper rash.
• Your baby may refuse to breastfeed and be fussy.
If you suspect thrush, contact your health care provider for medications for you and your
You can and should continue breastfeeding!