We asked mums how they saved their nipples while breastfeeding

Breastfeeding. It seems like it should be the most natural thing in the world, right? 

Alas, for many, getting the right latch and finding a comfortable position can feel about as easy as trying to teach your baby the tango. And our poor nipples are often the ones who end up suffering for it.

We asked mums how they saved their nipples while breastfeeding and curated their top ten tips. 

Pretty much every mum used a nipple cream or balm…

Balm, use the balm. And it’s not failing when you use the shields. – Jess

Lanolin! Just pack that sh*t on! – Nicky

Vitamin E oil. I would buy the capsules and cut them open and put the pure vitamin e on my nipples and I never had any problems or pain. I would use about 4-6 capsules a day. – Stephanie

Paw paw ointment all over them nips. – Anya

Moisturize your nipples with lanolin and use cold compress to soothe the tenderness. – Claire

Some suggested breast milk was the best fix for sore and cracked nipples…

Breast milk! Rub it on your nipples. Also keep yourself hydrated, and I found paw paw cream helpful for when our baby was bringing on my milk and sucking for hours. – Zoe

Perseverance and Gaia breast balm but actually the best testament is breast milk on top of your nipples and again I will say perseverance! They will adapt to breastfeeding as some kind of normal. – Alexia

Express small amounts of extra milk after feeds and allow it to dry to help heal any sores. – Anita

Another great tip was to apply cooling discs after feeds…

Cooling disks (put them in the fridge!) – Leesa

Hydro disk by Rite Aid. – Katrina

Hydrogel discs – pop them in the fridge before using. Also BodyICE breast ice packs are great for when your boobs are aching from a marathon feed! – Erin

Silicon Pads in the freezer. Use the cream! Get on top of mastitis early. – Kate

Hydrogel discs in the fridge and Moo Goo mudder udder cream. – Elise

Nipple shields saved a few mums from destroying their nips…

Use a shield!!!! I had severe trauma from before the tongue tie was corrected… the shield saved me and I only needed it until they had healed. Don’t be put off by nursing staff telling you not to use them, the pain isn’t worth it!!! – Charlotte

Nipple shields are the best invention ever! And get used to massaging your boobs in the shower. – Vanessa

I used shields as I have inverted nipples which helped, but I did also use cream if they cracked. – Liz

Mums advised to make sure you’re getting a good latch when your baby breastfeeds…

Ensure that the latch is correct or you can end up with grazed or torn nipples. Use nipple cream or similar after feeds. – Lindsay

Get lanisoh and most importantly, make sure the latch is good. If it’s still hurting after ten seconds unlatch and try again. Protect your nipples! – Amber

Have them checked for lip and tongue ties, learn correct latching techniques. – Nicole

Make sure the latch is correct, get all of that nipple in there – if your nipple is looking squashed then they haven’t got enough in their mouth. – Katie

And then get professional help if you’re struggling…

Get in touch with an IBCLC if you are struggling. Do not listen to anyone who is not internationally board certified. – Cassandra

An IBCLC is worth their weight in gold. Multi mam compress and hydrogel discs! – Alison

If you have any pain or trouble, don’t suffer alone, seek help and people are so wonderful! – Gina

We were told to let our boobies breathe…

Don’t be afraid to walk around topless for a while and let the fresh air help you. – Vicki

Don’t bother covering up, if you’re at home just let your boobs breathe in between feeds, it actually helps. – Sarah

And stop sensitive nipples from rubbing on clothing…

Milk catcher shields are fantastic to stop clothing rubbing against them while collecting any leaks or drips. – Melanie

Breastmilk collection shields are not only good to collect milk, they also keep everything from touching your nipples, so it can give them time to heal as well. – Dani

Mums said that the discomfort is inevitable but does get better (we think?!)…

There will be discomfort and pain for a bit even if you have a perfect latch! Lanolin can help and just don’t bother wearing a top or bra to let them catch some air. – Caitlin

Mine hurt feeding for the first 3 weeks – it gets better, I promise. Until the teeth appear! – Kayla

And finally, if it’s just not working for you, it’s ok to stop…

I struggled with breastfeeding. Tried nipple shields but decided to exclusively pump breast milk and feed by bottle. Looking after my nipples and mental well being meant not feeding directly from the breast – Suzie

Breastfeeding can be a beautiful way to bond with your baby, but can also leave your nipples feeling uncomfortable at best and raw and bleeding at worst (ouch!). Try these tips to help protect your nips, seek professional help if the discomfort continues to persist and know that it’s ok to stop breastfeeding if you decide it isn’t for you. Your mental and physical health is just as important as your baby’s, Mama.

Read next: How to solve common breastfeeding latch problems

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