- Nipple soreness is thought to be a combination of recurrent trauma,
exposure to maternal and infant flora, exposure to wet/dry environment
and clothing friction. One conventional treatment for nipple pain is
massaging maternal milk onto the nipple after feeds and allowing it
to air dry before applying Lanolin Cream with breast shields.
- Nipple pain is experienced by about 80%.2
- Pain is the most common reason mothers stop breastfeeding within the
first 6 weeks.1-4
- Proper technique significantly reduces nipple pain and irritation.1-4
- Educating on proper technique can increase the percentage who remain
breastfeeding at 6 weeks by 3 fold (88% vs. 28%)6
- If the proper technique is not used, the application of teabags, water
compresses, or Lanolin does little to help reduce early nipple irritation
- Most pain subsides by the fifth breast-feeding day.4
- Mothers with infants younger than 1 month who complain of moderate
to severe nipple pain with cracks, fissures, ulcers or exudates have
a 54% chance of having S. aureus colonization.2
- Note: Pain more than one week after initiating breastfeeding
is abnormal. If there are signs of infection or erythema the breast
may very well be infected with S. aureus or candida and therapy should
Livingstone V, Stringer LJ. The Treatment of saphylococcus areus
infected sore nipples: A randomized comparative study. Journal
of Human Lactation, 1999; 15(3):241-46.
Livingstone V, Willis CE, Berkowitz, J. Staphylococcus aureus
and sore nipples. Canadian Family Physician, 1996; 42:654-9.
Brent N, Rudy SJ, Redd B, Rudy TE, Roth LA. Sore nipples in breast-feeding
women. A clinical trial of wound dressings vs. conventional care.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 1998; 152:1077-82.
Lavergne NA. Does application of tea bags to sore nipples while
breastfeeding provide effective relief? Journal of Obstetrics
Gynecology and Neonatal Nurses, 1997; 26(1):53-58.
Pugh LC, Buchko BL, Bishop BA, Cochran JF, Smith LR, Lerew DJ. Comparison
of topical agents to relieve nipple pain and enhance breastfeeding.
Birth, 1996; 23(2):88-93.
Duffy EP, Percival P, Kershaw E. Positive effects of an antenatal
group teaching session on postnatal nipple pain, nipple trauma and breast
feeding rates. Midwifery, 1997; 13(4):189-96.