Ask the Lactation Consultant: What can I do about sore nipples?

Nipple or breast yeast infections are the most common cause of severe nipple soreness unrelated to latch problems, although latch problems and yeast infections can occur at the same time. Yeast infections generally cause severe pain even though latch is correct. The pain associated with yeast infections usually comes on suddenly after a period of pain-free breastfeeding. It's often described as burning or stinging and can occur during and after breastfeeding and even while using a high-quality breast pump. If you've had vaginal yeast infections or have been on an antibiotic, you may be more likely to get a nipple or breast yeast infection.

Other less common causes of nipple soreness:

  • Problems with the anatomy of mom's nipples or breast
  • Problems with the anatomy of the baby's mouth and tongue
  • Sucking difficulties

These matters are more complex and varied and require the help of an experienced lactation professional.

How can I get help for my nipple soreness?

The way the baby latches is usually easy to correct with the right help. If you're experiencing nipple pain of any sort, you can get help from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who can watch your breastfeeding session, check the latch and teach you how to latch the baby more comfortably. Your lactation consultant can also determine and help treat other causes of nipple soreness.

Find a lactation consultant.

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