Sore or cracked nipples are extremely common for new breastfeeding mothers. They can be a result of your baby not latching correctly or if you’re not using your breast pump correctly. If this is your problem- check out our online breastfeeding course to help you get your baby to latch and make breastfeeding a more comfortable experience.
Some symptoms of cracked nipples are soreness, throbbing, dryness, bleeding, and oozing from the nipple. This can be extremely painful or uncomfortable and often leads to early weaning and a decrease of milk supply.
Below are five remedies we suggest for soothing and “fixing up” your cracked nipples
1. Warm Compress
A very common solution for most breastfeeding related issues (how to get rid of clogged milk ducts), it is suggested that you try applying a warm compress to your cracked nipple. Place a soft cloth in warm water, wring out the access water, then gently press the cloth over your nipple and breast for a few minutes. After you finish with the compress, make sure to gently pat dry your nipple completely before getting redressed.
2. Use Freshly Expressed Milk
One of the most accessible things you have while breastfeeding might just be the thing that heals your cracked nipples- breast milk! With clean hands, apply a few drops of your breast milk to your sore nipples and allow the milk to air dry completely before covering up.
3. Salt Water Rinse
Create a saline solution by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt with 1 cup (8 oz) of warm water. Soak your tender nipple in the solution for about 1 minute following your nursing sessions.
You can soak for a little bit longer but I don’t recommend exceeding 5 minutes as it could over-hydrate your skin and lead to even more cracking and discomfort. After soaking the nipple, gently pat dry.
4. Change Your Nursing Pads Regularly
The discomfort and pain of cracked nipples can be heightened by leaving your nipples in moist environments. To prevent this, try making sure you’re frequently changing your nursing pads or bras. Creating a dryer environment will allow your body to heal the cracked nipples.
5. Apply Lanolin Ointment
If you would prefer to go the route of moist healing, I suggest you try a medical-grade lanolin ointment specifically designed to remedy this type of problem! Just apply the cream after breastfeeding.
I hope that one of these solutions helps you get the relief you deserve! Breastfeeding can be so challenging but you can get through this. Let us know down below if any of these solutions worked for you or if you have any other suggestions!
BONUS: Silverette Nipple Cups
I recently asked about Silverette on Instagram, and I got SO many positive reviews.
These are silver cups that are designed to protect nipples and help heal cracked nipples. Silver is an antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial material that can help to prevent and heal cuts and wounds. While I haven’t personally used these, I was blown away by the positive response I got when I asked about them! Check them out here.
Some more breastfeeding advice and tips
- Top Must-Haves for Breastfeeding Twin Babies
- 8 Ways to Unclog a Blocked Milk Duct in No Time
- The Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump: What All New Moms Should Know
- The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding as a Working Mom: Tips, Schedules and More
- Six Helpful Apple Watch Breastfeeding Apps
Katie Clark is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has helped thousands of mothers and families around the globe navigate breastfeeding challenges and questions since 2015. She has a passion for creating research-based, helpful breastfeeding education and helping parents find a way to make breastfeeding work for them. Katie is a mom of three little boys and lives in the great state of Colorado. She also has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in print journalism.