Breast-Feeding Positions: Treating Sore Nipples

Several different breast feeding techniques, like positions, will relieve sore nipples and sustain your breast-feeding relationship.

As soon as you have sore nipples while nursing your baby, you will want to be rid of it so you don't feel pushed to wean. There are several different approaches to relieving and eradicating the pain, and just experimenting with what works best for you is the way to proceed. Every mom and every baby are different and there is no way to know what is right for you.

The first and foremost to relieving the pain is positioning your baby different with each feeding. If for one nursing you hold your baby cradle style nestled against your tummy, crosswise along your lap, try the football hold the next feeding. Be sure that it is a different position for each breast each time. So if your baby only nurses on one side and falls asleep, when baby wakes and nurses again use the same position as you had when she last nursed, but on the opposite breast. So it is not alternating the position with each feeding if only one breast is being nursed on. It would be switching positions every feeding if baby is nursing from both breasts.

With the cradle hold, football hold and lying down, relief can often be obtained, at least for a short time. Since the nipple is being latched on in different ways, tender areas have a chance to heal some.



Lansinoh, an ointment available at retail stores, is a soothing formula for sore and chapped nipples. Though it doesn't necessarily provide relief from pain it does aid the healing process.

When you are trying to heal sore nipples, be sure your baby is latching on correctly. Improper positioning can be the sole cause of these kinds of problems. Alternate nursing positions to alleviate some of your pain and to better watch how your baby is latching on.

Breaking suction before your baby releases the nipple is also vital. When the baby pulls off the nipple still sucking, the pain can be excruciating.

Before your baby latches on, you might consider briefly putting an ice cube to your nipple. It will help numb the area and facilitate latch-on with erect nipples.

The key to successfully relieving sore nipples is to quickly find a way to alleviate the immediate pain while finding the reason for it and solving the problem.

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