Although breastfeeding pain due to cracked and sore nipples is common, it isn’t something you should accept as normal. Even short bouts of breastfeeding pain can cause damage to the nipples and harm your milk supply. The pain from sore and cracked nipples may even make you want to give up on nursing altogether. Before you decide to go that route, you should know that there is help for sore nipples.

What causes sore nipples?

When the baby is newborn, they typically want to nurse often, and your nipples may become sore and crack simply because they aren’t used to the sucking. Another common cause of breastfeeding pain is that the baby has a poor or shallow latch. When the baby has a good latch, the mouth opens wide around your breast and the nipple is far back in the baby’s mouth. The baby’s tongue should be gumming the areola to get the milk out, not just suck or chew on your nipple. Oddly enough, babies don’t instinctively know how to latch on properly, it’s something you and your baby have to practice together, and it may take some time before you both get the hang of it.

What are the symptoms?

Nipple pain is a classic symptom of a poor latch, but you may also notice that your nipples are misshapen, cracked or sore after breastfeeding. Another sign of a poor latch is that the baby is biting the nipple, fussing, rooting and making a clicking noise while nursing. In the long run, the baby may not gain well, since they’re not getting enough to eat during feedings.

Remedies for breastfeeding pain

Once your baby masters the art of the good latch, your nipple pain and cracked nipples will probably become a thing of the past. Until then, there are several self-care products that can help you reach breastfeeding bliss. For quick relief from pain, swelling and sensitivity, try putting Multi-Mam Compresses on your nipples right after feeding your baby. The compresses create a moist environment that soothes sore nipples and boosts the natural healing process. To prevent damage to your nipples in the first place, gently apply a little bit Multi-Mam Lanolin or Multi-Mam Balm on your nipples at least twice a day. Lanolin is a completely natural product made of pure wool fat, while the balm is a plant-based alternative that has the same effect. Both products are harmless to the baby when feeding.