Home Remedies For Sore Nipples: What Causes Sore Nipples, Quick Tips On Preventing It, And Natural Ingredients To Soothe The Pain

Motherhood is amazing, beautiful, courageous, and inspiring. Even so, it’s not always a piece of cake. Pregnancy can take its toll on women and can cause nausea, bladder issues, back pains, and the ever-so dreadful sore nipples, and it doesn't stop after the baby is born.


Throughout new-motherhood, breasts can be tender and having a little one struggling to latch on doesn’t help with the pain. Even though this isn’t always the case, there are common issues that a lot of moms face when it comes to baby feeding.


However, when momma has a better understanding of what exactly causes this pain, and how to improve or reduce it, then she can conquer and feel like the queen she is!


So, what can actually cause sore nipples? Here are some of the common struggles that some mommas often face, and breastfeeding tips to help prevent them!

 

Latching issues

  • Some babies have trouble with the initial latching which can be due to uncomfortable positioning or in some cases it’s caused by a tongue/lip tie.
  • How to help prevent this: 
    • Breastfeeding positions can play a big part in latching, and if your baby isn’t comfy, then they may have trouble maintaining a proper latch. If you adjust your position, and your little one is still having trouble, gently put a finger in your babies mouth to break the latch and adjust until he/she is in better form to latch. Also making sure that you are feeding your baby before they get to the “desperate crying” stage can help start off a proper latch. Note that if you end the breastfeeding session too quickly, your baby’s latch can slip, which can cause discomfort. If your baby has a tongue/lip tie, then it’s best to have it evaluated by your lactation consultant. 

Inverted nipples

  • While there isn’t much health concern involved with inverted nipples, it can still make it difficult to breastfeed at times. If someone has inverted nipples, it means that instead of protruding outward and erect, the nipple more represents a dimple due to the nipple being retracted into the breast tissue.  
  • How to help prevent this: 
    • Manual stimulation or pulling back breast tissue, or using a nipple shield during feeding can help draw out the nipple. However, you should speak with your lactation consultant to help best identify how to feed with an inverted nipple.

Mastitis

  • Often occurring in the early stages of breastfeeding, mastitis is inflammation that is often due to infection caused by a clogged milk duct. It can also be caused by an oversupply of milk, weaning too quickly, or if bacteria gets into the nipple.
  • How to help prevent this: 
    • While it is generally easy to treat, it’s best to be treated ASAP as mastitis left untreated can escalate into worse issues. Having a more consistent feeding schedule and emptying your breasts consistently can aid in reducing this issue.

Cracked nipples

  • Can be caused by a shallow latch, improper size of a nipple shield, use of a breast pump, or even if dermatitis is present. 
  • How to help prevent this: 
    • If you can continue breastfeeding, start on the nipple that isn’t as sore, and if the soreness is unbearable, you may want to take a break from the breastfeeding to allow yourself rest and a chance to clean the nipple.

All in all, if you believe there is more to your sore nipples than just some of the common issues, then meeting with your doctor or a lactation consultant is advised.

 

Nipple soreness can help be prevented or reduced, but chances are that breastfeeding moms will still experience it to some degree. When this happens, here are a few natural home remedies that we found for sore nipples!

 

  1. Taking a warm/hot shower while massaging your breasts can help ease the tension and build up that often cause buildup. Taking a warm, damp cloth and putting it directly on your nipples can give the same effect and help relieve the pain.
  2. Olive oil and a single drop of tea tree oil combined with some warm water can help soothe soreness and pain, and tea tree is excellent for the skin for its antibacterial benefits
  • Ingredients:
    • Olive oil
    • Tea tree oil (1 drop)
    • Lukewarm water
    • Cotton balls/rounds
  • Chamomile tea doesn’t have to be just a relaxing drink… if you steep tea bags for a while and ring out the excess water, you can set them on your nipples to soothe soreness! So rest up with a cup of tea, and a couple of bags of tea Momma!
    • Ingredients:
      • Chamomile tea bags
      • Hot water
      • A mug (for some relaxing momma time!)
  • Your own milk is actually very helpful in healing cracked or bleeding nipples due to it being so rich in nutrients. Gently apply it to your sore nipple and air-dry for some super, natural healing! (How cool is the female body?! We can heal ourselves!)
  • Giving your nipples a saline/salt water soak for a couple of minutes (no more than 5-10) can help cleanse your nipple and hydrate your skin, which is especially helpful with cracked nipples.
    • Ingredients:
      • ½ teaspoon
      • 8 oz. of water
  • This quick and easy DIY for Homemade Nipple Cream that is only three ingredients!
    • Ingredients:
      • Beeswax
      • Cocoa butter
      • Coconut oil
  • We’ve all heard of the wonders of coconut oil, and it’s amazing what benefits it has! Mix 1 part of it with 2 parts shea butter, and you’ve created a wonderful, two-ingredient nipple balm!
    • Ingredients:
      • Coconut oil
      • Shea butter (or mango butter)

     

    With any remedy, be sure to cleanse your nipples again before breastfeeding to make sure you’re all set for you baby!

     

    Breastfeeding is rewarding and can create beautiful bonds between moms and their little ones. It helps when discomforts of the process are kept to a minimum so that momma and baby can enjoy the benefits. Ultimately, knowing your body, and understanding how it works your baby, is the best way to feed in a way that is healthy for you and your baby as well.

     

    Do you have any special home remedies that we didn’t mention? If so, send us an email or reach out on social media and we’ll share your story!