breast-feeding is a sign of a problem and should not
be ignored. Although sore or tender nipples are common during the first few
days of breast-feeding, it should improve. Normal soreness or pain usually
occurs for about a minute when the baby first latches on to the breast. Pain
that is severe or continuous or that occurs again after it seemed to resolve is
a sign of a problem and should be corrected. Other problems may include
cracked, bleeding, or bruised nipples.
Sometimes sore nipples
develop when the baby begins to suck harder because he or she is not getting
milk quickly. This often is caused by:
Sore nipples and breasts may also result from:
Be sure to contact your doctor or a lactation consultant if you continue to have sore, red nipples after trying home treatment for a day or two.
If your nipples are cracked or bleeding, it's okay to continue breast-feeding your baby. To help relieve your discomfort, use the care tips given above. Call your doctor or a lactation consultant if you find it too painful to breast-feed or if you've tried home treatment for 24 hours and it doesn't help.
Watch for signs of infection, such as a fever, flu-like symptoms, or a painful area on the breast that may be reddened, warm to the touch, or both.
Call your doctor now if you have:
Call your doctor today if you have:
Other Works Consulted
American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2012). Care of the newborn. In Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 7th ed. pp. 265–319. Elk Grove, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
Lawrence RM, Lawrence RA (2009). The breast and physiology of lactation. In RK Creasy et al., eds., Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine, 6th ed., pp. 125–142. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
Pessel C, Tsai MC (2013). The normal puerperium. In AH DeCherney et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology, 11th ed., pp. 190–213. New York: McGraw-Hill.
April 3, 2013
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Mary Robbins, RNC, IBCLC - Lactation Consultant
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
We are happy to take your appointment request over the phone, or, you may fill out an online request form.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.