Breastfeeding Shouldn't Hurt

Your breasts may feel a little tender at first, babies do have a strong suck.  If your baby is only sucking on your nipple your nipple will get very sore and may start to crack and bleed.  If you are feeling a sharp pain call a breastfeeding specialist from our resource list a get some help right away before you get too sore.  

Sore Nipples

1.  Make sure you and baby are tummy to tummy with baby's bottom tucked in, not hanging down.  2.  Have baby's nose straight across from your nipple, wait until baby's mouth is wide open and then       pull baby onto your breast. 

3.  Nurse for short but frequent feedings, 10 minutes each side every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.   

4.  Hold your baby in different positions at each feeding.

5.  Start with the least sore side first.

6.  Let your nipples air dry.

7.  Rub a little breast milk into the sore area after feedings. 

If the soreness lasts longer than one week or if your nipples are cracked, bruised or bleeding, call a breastfeeding specialist from our resource list. 

Sore Nipples after One Month

If you have been comfortably breastfeeding for several weeks and suddenly have sore nipples. contact your Healthcare Provider.

This type of nipple pain may be caused by thrush, a common yeast infection in the baby's mouth.  Both you and your baby need special medicine.  Your baby's doctor will prescribe it for you.  Remember, keep breastfeeding while you treat the problem.

Swollen, Sore Breasts

Most women notice their breasts feel heavy and full during the first weeks after childbirth.  This fullness is normal.


1.  If your baby breastfeeds well and as long as he wants, your breast will feel more comfortable in a       day or two.  During this time, breastfeed often every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

2.  Try a warm washcloth on your breasts before you nurse. 

3.  Hand express a little milk to soften the breast before nursing.

4.  If your breasts still feel full after baby feeds, you can hand express or pump after feedings only             until the breast is softened. 

5.  If you are still sore, try an ice pack on your breast after you nurse.

Breast Infection

A sore breast that comes after two weeks of breastfeeding may be a plugged duct or breast infection.  A plugged duct is a sore area on one breast which may be pink or red and is warm to the touch.  A plugged duct can become an infection.  

A breast infection has the same symptoms as a plugged duct plus a fever and "flu" like feelings.  

            Taking care of the problem:

1.  Try to nurse often on the sore breast to drain the milk.

2.  Lightly massage the sore breast while nursing and apply warm moist washcloths to the sore area.

3.  Call you Doctor if the pain and fever doesn't go away in 24-48 hours.  You may need to take an           antibiotic to help get rid of the infection.  Continue to breastfeed during this time.  Your milk is           still good, the infection is not in your milk.