After all, nipples typically don’t require much maintenance. When you start breastfeeding, be prepared that this could change. All of a sudden, sore, cracked and dry nipples may become part of your everyday life, especially in the beginning, when the baby is still trying to figure out how to latch on properly. Don’t worry, though. Most of these common breastfeeding problems can be resolved with some simple breastfeeding tips, and regular nipple care can help you get breastfeeding pain relief.

Benefits of taking care of your nipples

Normally, your nipples more or less take care of themselves. The tiny, raised bumps on your areola are in fact glands that release an oily lubricant that moisturises the nipples and prevents them from getting dry and sore. To help the baby find your breast, the oil even smells just like your amniotic fluid. Another of your body’s most ingenious tools for nipple care and breastfeeding pain relief is breast milk, which is naturally anti-inflammatory and protects your nipples from getting sore. This is important, since cracked and sore nipples can make breastfeeding painful and increase the risk of infection. But sometimes, your body’s natural defences aren’t enough to prevent sore and dry nipples. If that’s the case, regular nipple care can help keep breastfeeding a pleasure rather than a pain.

Remedies and breastfeeding pain relief

If motherhood seems overwhelming at times, your nipple care routine doesn’t have to be. The first step towards healthy nipples and effective breastfeeding pain relief is to make sure that your baby is positioned well and has a good latch. If you still have sore, cracked or dry nipples, try these tips:

• Avoid using soap on your breasts and be gentle as you wash and dry them.
• Express some breastmilk after the baby has fed and gently rub it into your nipple.
• Wear a cotton bra that allows your skin to breathe.
• Allow the baby to feed as long as they want, since cutting feeding short doesn’t help your nipples and might impair your milk supply.
• Apply a little bit of Multi-Mam Lanolin or Multi-Mam Balm after each feeding to keep your nipples smooth and supple, and to replace the natural oils in the skin that are removed during breastfeeding.

Remember that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. If you need help with your baby’s latch or have questions about nipple care, don’t hesitate to reach out to your midwife or a lactation consultant.