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Nipple and breast skin health are fundamental to your breastfeeding journey if you are choosing to breastfeed. Rather than put up with or trying to battle through the pain on your own, here are some top tips to try to prevent any soreness as well as how to manage any issues. You shouldn’t have to put up with pain or discomfort if breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding: Top Tips

Position comfortably

This is key to getting a good latch and reducing frictional related problems. In the early days positioning is much trickier whilst you and baby learn the ropes – it will get easier! Pillows are your friend in the early days. Watch YouTube videos or contact a local breastfeeding team for help if struggling.

Apply thick amounts of nipple balm

After every feed! It’s important to start this from day one – before any issues may arise as a preventative measure. You may be able to reduce this after the initial weeks. Most nipple balms do not need to be washed off before baby latches for the next feed.

If red, cracked, sore nipples are an issue then trial an antiseptic cream between feeds. Ensure to wash it off before baby latches.

Sooth engorgement

Soothing engorged breasts can reduce nipple and breast pain. A hot bath or shower can help release excess milk and soothe pain. Try a hot flannel over the breasts for extra soothing.

Dry breasts thoroughly

Particularly after bathing, by either patting with towel or even a hair dryer (if too painful to touch) to remove excess moisture. Sore, cracked skin becomes worse when moist.

Seek medical advice

If any issues persist seek medical advice, as you and baby may need treatment for thrush for example which is a common and under diagnosed issue for breastfeeding mums.

Remember, the nipples and breasts are also susceptible to skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and skin infections (thrush, impetigo, cellulitis) so it is important to see your doctor or healthcare provider if you have persistent troubling symptoms.

For further information, check out our other content on breastfeeding and physical health.