When I was pregnant, I had lots of thoughts about my future breastfeeding life. I was planning on being one of those out-on-the-town moms–baby nursing happily while in a sling or sitting together under a tree in one of Seattle’s local parks. My biggest concern was how long to breastfeed–not if I could breast feed. But things turned out differently.
Solomon was a sleepy baby and didn’t breastfeed regularly. When he did breastfeed, it was very painful. The nurses told me pain was normal. The pain was so bad I would make my husband stand on my feet during feedings to counteract the nipple pain Still, I was determined to breastfeed.
It’s no surprise that there are dozens of “cures” out there for sore nipples. In my lactation practice, nipple pain is the most common reason that mothers seek help. The only real way to “cure” sore nipples, however, is to fix the underlying cause. It’s usually a faulty latch that causes the problem in the first place. Once the latch is corrected, nipples feel better. Usually the results are immediate.
Some antibiotics and prescription medications can be helpful for badly damaged nipples, but nothing can eliminate the pain completely until the latch problem has been resolved. In your efforts to find relief, you may find remedies promising to cure sore nipples. Often these remedies are useless—or even harmful. Continue reading