How can I cure my sore nipples and breast pain? Breastfeeding

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mom breastfeeding baby
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Breastfeeding can be downright painful. Get moms' tips, tricks, and solutions for curing breast pain and cracked nipples.

Fix the Latch

"If you have sore nipples, it's important to fix your baby's latch. Apply breast milk or saline to nipples and let them air-dry to help heal them. If the entire breast hurts, it could be from engorgement or an infection -- keep the milk flowing either way." -- Leigh Anne O'Connor, IBCLC, lactation consultant in private practice, New York, NY

Use Heat and Massage

"Mothers can fill up a basin or pan of warm water and lower their breasts into it to ease breast pain. The heat of the water will provide relief to the nipples and breasts, and gravity will help move the milk." -- Emily Silver, MS, NP-C, certified family nurse practitioner, co-owner of Boston NAPS, Boston, MA

Try OTC Nipple Cream

"I recommend over-the-counter nipple cream, such as Lansinoh HPA Lanolin. This helps relieve dry, cracked nipples by repairing them. To help with breast pain, I recommend applying ice or a cold compress to your breasts after a feeding (for about 10 minutes). This helps numb the area and reduce swelling, a major cause of pain." -- Skyler Gardner RN, BSN, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

Apply Breast Milk

"For cracking nipples, breast milk works wonders. Use it instead of a cream. Just let it air-dry on your nipples."

Wear Breast Shells

"Plastic breast shells helped keep anything from rubbing on my nipple between feedings. But stay away from nipple shields, which are used during feedings and aren't as good as your baby latching on himself."

Keep the Nipple Dry and Clean

"If possible, expose your nipples to air -- it is the constant wetness that chafes them. Also, stand in a warm shower and let the water hit your breasts."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.