Common Nipple Pain When Breastfeeding & What to Do About It

There are many types of discomfort that occur after pregnancy and giving birth. Breastfeeding can be one of them and it is normal to experience soreness and some pain in the first week or two after beginning to breastfeed. If you experience continuous pain after the initial few weeks, there are steps that you can take to lessen it.

Common Causes of Nipple Pain

There is a long list of things that can lead to nipple pain while you are breastfeeding. It is important to be aware of some of the most common causes for nipple pain:

  • Shallow latch
  • Breast pump difficulty
  • Thrush/yeast infection
  • Mastitis/plugged duct
  • Tongue-tie
  • Milk blister
  • Engorged breasts

What to Do If You Are Experiencing Nipple Pain

If you are experiencing persistent nipple pain while you are breastfeeding, there are some things you can do to try to lessen the pain.

Watch for Hunger Signals

Try to feed your baby as soon as they are hungry. If you make them wait too long, they can get impatient and be more aggressive with your nipple while you are feeding them.

Use Proper Positioning

Much of nipple pain while breastfeeding can be attributed to the baby having difficulty latching because of poor positioning. Make sure your baby is close to your body and that you are cradling them by their shoulders, not their head. Point your nipple towards their nose instead of their mouth so they can tip their head back. If you are still having trouble, a lactation consultant can help you find the most effective way to position your baby.

Reposition Baby Without Unlatching

Instead of taking your baby away from your nipple and beginning again when you are having difficulty latching, try adjusting the baby while they are on your nipple. This will make it easier for you to find the right position and keep the baby from becoming frustrated.

Ask an Expert

The most effective way to solve your nipple pain is to consult a professional. They can tell you exactly what the problem is and help you find a way to fix it that is best for you and your baby.