breastfeeding process

New moms often complain of burning, stinging or aching nipples. Initially they are not familiar with the robust suck of the baby on their nipples, which generally resolves in a few days as they get accustomed to the breastfeeding process. But, if the pain still lasts for more than a few minutes during feeding it may affect the nipples and cause cuts and cracks. At this time a few modifications must be considered for a comfortable feeding experience.



Always hold the baby up in your arms and carry it towards the breast rather than bending over the baby and stooping. A lot of positions aid in this like a cross cradle hold, cradle position, football holding position or a laid back position. Moms can rest on a pillow or take support of a back rest.


The baby should open its mouth wide before inserting the nipple. The lower lip should lie on the junction of the areola and the remaining breast. The tongue should cup the part of the breast in the mouth and the nipple should lie at the far back end of the palate.


Rarely the tip of the child’s tongue is not free and is attached to the base by thick fibrous bands. This restricts the mobility of the tongue and does not allow the tongue to go beyond the lower lip giving it a heart shaped appearance. This hinders the smooth process of sucking.


Anatomically, a few women have inverted nipples making it difficult for the little one to latch onto.

All these reasons are primary contributors of sore, cracked or cut nipples.


Get educated about proper latching techniques and positioning from expert lactation consultant. Apart from this always break the suction seal while pulling the baby’s mouth away from nipple. Do not comfort feed with a poor latch.


Every time when the baby is held at the breast its initial sucks will be very forceful till a slower rhythm is set. If the breast is already affected do not introduce that side at first. Give the baby the non-affected side and once the initial forceful gulping stops, then you can give the affected side.

Express a little milk to lubricate the nipples and to keep it moist.

Cool compresses and gel pads might help to alleviate the pain.

Use Lanolin based ointments, which work wonders in no time, for any wound or cuts on the nipple area. Its sticky nature keeps the nipple hydrated, soft and supple. It should be applied after every feed and thoroughly washed with warm water prior to the next feed. As it is completely natural and derived from animals, it has no side effects.

Mothers are also advised to avoid using soap and tight clothing, as it only causes more drying.

Do not self-medicate.

CALL Doctor Immediately If:

-If discomfort still persists after 24hrs of trying home remedies.

-If your breasts are warm to touch and painful or you suspect a mild fever or infection.

-If there is a pus discharge.

-If there are nodular swellings in the neck or armpit regions.