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9 Natural Ways To Treat Tired and Sore Nipples When Breastfeeding

Being a new mom can be tough.  Whether it’s your first baby or your 10th, each time you get to be a new mom to a new baby.  With all of the demands that motherhood can place on your body and schedule, the last thing you need is to be dealing with the pain of sore nipples.  I’m going to go over some remedies here to help you soothe tender nipples that can happen as a result of breastfeeding your little one.


sore nipples

It might seem like the last thing that could help treat tired and sore nipples is the very thing that is causing so much pain.  However, it is true that breast milk is one of the most effective ways to treat nipples that are cracked and chafing.  Breast milk is high in antibodies that help to promote the healing of sore nipples.

To use breast milk as a remedy for sore nipples, simply express your own milk and then put some on your nipples.  Allow time for the milk to dry and then put your clothes back on.  Do not rinse off.  Repeat for as many times as it takes to ease the pain.

Tea Bags

sore nipples

Tea is very high in antioxidants that can help to promote healing of sore and cracked nipples.  You can use new or used tea bags.  If using used tea bags, rinse them off and then heat them up in an oven.  Place the tea bags on your sore nipples for about 20 minutes.

Cold Washcloth

sore nipples

A cool washcloth can do wonders to relieve the pain associated with sore nipples immediately.  Simply take a clean washcloth and then wrap some ice cubes around it.  Rub the compress that you just made directly onto your sore nipples.  It’s best to do this after feeding your baby since this can lower the temperature of your breastmilk.  Your baby might refuse your breast milk until it warms back up.

Vitamin E

sore nipples

Most grocery stores with a pharmacy sell Vitamin E Oil.  You can also buy it online.  Vitamin E can help to treat and also prevent cracking of nipples.  Many times Vitamin E is sold in a capsule form.  Simply break the capsule and rub the gel directly onto the nipples.  Leave on for approximately 45 minutes. Rinse with cool or cold water.  Make sure to only apply Vitamin E after you have fed your baby.  Gently wipe off your nipples before feeding your baby so that your baby doesn’t get a taste of the oil and refuse feeding time.

Salt Water

sore nipples

Take approximately four tablespoons of water and add about one teaspoon of salt into a bowl.  Dip a washcloth into the salt water and apply it directly onto your sore nipples.  Leave this saltwater solution on for about 30 minutes and then gently rinse it off.

Proper Latching On

sore nipples

Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.  Try to prevent sore nipples by allowing your baby to latch on properly.  Make sure that you are in a comfortable position before placing your baby on your breasts. A partially reclining position often works very well.  Place your baby tummy side down on your body.  Make sure the head is near your breasts.  Let your baby orient him or herself to your breast.  It may take a few moments and some bobbing of your baby’s head, but it will happen.  A baby is designed to find the perfect latch, so try not to interfere too much while your baby is latching on.

Warm Water

sore nipples

Warm or hot water has been used for centuries to help alleviate the pain associated with sore nipples.  Take a washcloth and soak it in warm or hot water.  Squeeze out the extra water and place the hot towel on your sore nipples.  This is a good procedure to use before feeding time since it also can help to relax you and let your milk come down.

Cabbage Leaves

sore nipples

Fresh cabbage leaves are an old treatment that has been passed down from mothers to mothers for treating engorgement and sore nipples.  Place a cabbage leaf inside of your bra and leave it there for a few hours.  You may even want to keep the cabbage cool in your refrigerator before placing it in your bra.  The temperature of the leaves will provide a cooling effect that can be very soothing to sore nipples.  Make sure to not leave the same cabbage leaf in your bra for more than 3 hours.  Instead, replace it with a fresh one.


sore nipples

A thinly sliced potato that is soaked in water for 15 to 20 minutes can be placed directly on your sore nipples.  Potatoes contain enzymes that can greatly help to reduce swelling and redness associated with sore nipples.

Final Thoughts

If you are suffering from sore nipples, please take the time to do something about it immediately.  Breastfeeding your little one should be a time of great pleasure and bonding, not a time of pain that needs to be endured.  I’ve gone over some remedies that you can do anytime to help not only alleviate the pain associated with sore nipples but hopefully help prevent further cracking from happening.  If one treatment doesn’t work well, then try another. The important thing is to keep trying until you find a cure. Let us know your favorite treatment for sore nipples in the comments below!

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