If you find 1 or both nipples hurt at every feed, or your nipples start to crack or bleed, it’s important to get help from your midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding supporter as soon as you can.
They can watch as you feed your baby and help you get them correctly positioned and attached to the breast.
When your baby is effectively attached, your nipple rests comfortably against the soft palate at the back of their mouth.
If your baby is poorly attached to the breast, the nipple is nearer the front of their mouth and can be pinched against the hard palate, causing pain.
Flattened, wedged or white nipples at the end of a feed are 1 sign your baby may not be properly attached. Your baby may also seem unsettled after feeds.
Having sore nipples when you’re trying to breastfeed a new baby can be stressful and upsetting.
Try to carry on breastfeeding or express milk by hand if you can, and ask for help early.
Change breast pads at each feed (if you’re using them) – if possible, use pads without a plastic backing
Wear a cotton bra so air can circulate
Keep feeding your baby for as long as they want – keeping breastfeeds short to “rest” your nipples will not ease nipple pain and could affect your milk supply
Avoid using nipple shields (a thin, protective cover worn over your nipple as you breastfeed) or breast shells (a hard, protective cover worn inside your bra) – these will not improve your baby’s attachment to the breast