Sore nipples: who should take the blame?


March 22, 2011 – I am sure you’ve heard about the tales that cause nipple soreness in breastfeeding women. The most common being because of the unaccustomed suckling. Well, it certainly isn’t the case.

Nipples are not made for any form of sucking. If they are drawn in and out of the baby’s mouth, friction will most certainly occur thus soreness. This will make it almost impossible for you to breatsfeed leaving the child to suffer.  All this is caused by poor positioning of the breast while breastfeeding.

Here is how to do it right and prevent soreness :

Make sure the ‘teat’ (the nipple plus the areola) is fully in the babies mouth. Some women have a larger areola than others, if you are one of them, just make sure the bigger section is in the babies mouth. This way, your babys jaws will be squeezing the margins of the areola and very little suction will be  subjected to the nipple.

If you have very  soft breast tissue and start to experience bruising on the areola, adjust the position during the next feed to a newer area. Never subject your nipple to suction by pulling it out of the baby’s mouth while the baby is still feeding. Wait until the baby takes a break during breathing and gently take it out. If you really have to and your baby is not taking the long breaths, put your small finger (hoping its clean) at the corner of his mouth and gently remove the nipple.


If you are pregnant and you’re only a few weeks to go, leave the soap for the rest of the body and not the nipples. You shouldnt sue it either during breast-feeding. During this time, the nipples are self lubricated by tiny glands around the areola which is much more effective and hygenic than any cream you use to replace it. Soap will only wash away this lubrication away.

At the end of feeding, express some hind milk for lubrication of the nipple and areola.

You see? and the blame always fell on the baby. So remember, positioning is the key !

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