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To start treating a sore nipple, you need to make sure you are feeding your baby appropriately. You need to work on your latch and positioning.

Here are tips that will help:
1.    Breastfeed your baby from the uninjured side first. When you eventually swap, your baby will nurse more gently on the second side.
2.    To help with the pain of an initial latch on, use some ice before latching as to numb the area.
3.    If you experience difficulty in breastfeeding, express milk from the injured side to reduce the risk of mastitis and to maintain supply.
4.    If pumping is too painful try hand expression.
5.    Make sure you find the most comfortable position for you and your baby when breastfeeding.

After nursing tips:
1.    Rinse with salt water immediately; this salt water is a special type of salt water called “normal saline” which has the same concentration as tears so isn’t painful.

2.    If you want to make your own salt water solution, this is the procedure:

•    Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in one cup (8 oz) of warm water. Make a fresh supply each day to avoid bacterial contamination. You may also buy individual-use packets of sterile saline solution.
•    Soak nipple(s) in a small bowl of warm saline solution for a minute. Alternately, put the saline solution into a squeeze bottle and squirt it on gently; use plenty of saline, making sure to get it on all areas of broken skin.
•    Avoid prolonged soaking (more than 5-10 minutes) that “super” hydrates the skin, as this can promote cracking and delay healing.
•    Pat dry very gently with a soft face towel.
•    If baby objects to the taste of the residual salt from the saline rinse, rinse directly before nursing by dipping nipple(s) into a bowl of plain water. Pat dry gently.

3.    After your salt water rinse you:

•    Apply expressed breastmilk to the nipples to promote healing.
•    To promote “moist wound healing” (this refers to maintaining the internal moisture of the skin, not keeping the exterior of the skin wet) apply a medical grade lanolin ointment (e.g, Lansinoh, Purelan), soft Vaseline or a hydrogel dressing (e.g., Comfort Gel).

4.    When you’re in the process of nursing you:

•    Keep nipples exposed to air when possible. When wearing a bra, use fresh disposable pads and make sure you change when damp.
•    If there is an injury such as a bite use ice packs over a layer of cloth. This should help soothe the pain (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off); repeat as needed.
•    Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) is compatible with breastfeeding
•    Once a day, use a non-antibacterial, non-perfumed soap to gently clean the wounded area, then rinse well under running water. Using soap on the nipple area is not recommended unless the skin is broken.

5.    Make sure you contact your doctor or visit the hospital immediately if you notice you have a fever, inflammation/redness, swelling, oozing, pus, or other signs of infection.

6.   I have also come across a natural remedy (Mama Natural DIY Remedy for sore nipples):

The natural remedy for sore nipples is made from apple vier vinegar, coconut oil, and infant probiotics.

DIY sore nipple healer will reduce the pain significantly within a feeding or two, and end the discomfort completely within 24 hours. It’s also a good way to ward off any infections or thrush and for baby to get an extra boost of probiotics, so it’s a win-win. :)

  • Ingredients

    1 TB of raw apple cider vinegar (I like this brand)
    1 cup filtered water
    Squeeze bottle (something like this)
    Organic cotton balls
    Raw coconut oil (I use this one)
    Powdered infant probiotics (I rotate between this one and this one)

  • Directions
  1. Mix your 1 cup of filtered water with 1 TB of raw apple cider vinegar in a squeeze bottle. After each feeding, squirt a cotton ball or a small piece of cloth with your vinegar solution and apply to nipple and areola. This will kill any harmful bacteria or yeast as well as clean your nipple area.
  2. Then apply a small amount (~ 1/4 tsp.) of your raw coconut oil to your breast. NOTE: If you live in a warm climate, keep your coconut oil refrigerated so it is a solid rather than liquid oil.
  3. Then pour a small amount of probiotic powder into the palm of your hand. (Be sure your hands are clean!) and sprinkle the probiotic directly on your nipples. The coconut oil will catch the powder and keep it adhered to your breast. You could also make a paste by mixing 1 TB of firm coconut oil with 1 tsp of probiotic powder and apply that way.
  4. Then put a small piece of paper towel over your nipple and put back on your bra. This will create a barrier so you don’t stain your bra.

    Do this for 24 hours for healing and pain relief. You can also continue doing indefinitely as a preventative practice.


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