11 DIY Ways To Ease Nipple Pain When Breastfeeding

Ad failed to load

When you're a breastfeeding mom, nipple pain is bound to happen at some point in your journey. For many moms, the pain is most prevalent when they first begin breastfeeding. That being said, it's also very common to experience nipple pain or soreness later down the line as well. For moms who aren't in excruciating pain and need immediate relief, DIY ways to ease nipple pain are often the simplest methods to alleviating discomfort.

According to La Leche League International (LLLI), some of the most common causes of nipple pain for breastfeeding moms include incorrect latch or positioning, engorgement, skin conditions, stress, nipple vasospasm, or feeding frequency changes. Throughout the course of a breastfeeding journey, you're bound to run into some sort of nipple pain or discomfort, and it's generally an easy fix. If the pain, however, is unbearable or continues on for a week or two, it's always a good idea to reach out to a local lactation consultant for expert advice. Otherwise, there are often several items around your home you can use to lessen discomfort or get rid of nipple pain completely. If you're needing some DIY ideas to ease the pain, consider some of the suggestions below for quick, simple relief and prevention.

Ad failed to load

1Check Your Baby's Latch

Today's Parent on YouTube

According to Today's Parent, the majority of sore nipples are caused by latch problems. Some DIY ways to check or adjust latch include making sure your entire nipple and a good amount of your areola are covered by the baby's mouth, allowing your baby to self-latch, using good positioning, and trying to adjust your baby's latch (if there's pain) without unlatching.

2Apply Some Breast Milk


According to the aforementioned LLLI article, hand-expressing a bit of breast milk ahead of time can soften the nipple and areola enough to avoid some nipple pain. After you're done feeding, express a little more breast milk onto your nipple and let it air dry to help heal. This is especially helpful for dry or cracked nipples.

3Turn To Coconut Oil


Although olive or almond oils are also great options, coconut oil is the oil primarily suggested to ease nipple pain. According to Natural Fertility Info, coconut oil can moisturize and prevent dry nipples and is an anti-fungal that can be used to treat itchiness or thrush as well.

Ad failed to load

4Utilize Cabbage Leaves


Although this DIY idea doesn't work for everyone, I know moms who swear by it and was also given this tip by a midwife at one of my OB-GYNs practices. If you're experience nipple pain due to engorgement or clogged milk ducts, place a cabbage leaf over the hurting breast and leave it for one to two hours before changing, according to Mercy Clinic. Once you notice the pain subsiding, stop using the cabbage leaves.

5Apply A Warm Compress


Using a warm washcloth or compress can soothe sore nipples while the heat assists in healing, according to Top 10 Home Remedies. Simply take a washcloth and dip it in or hold it under warm water, wring it out, and place the washcloth over your breasts for a few minutes.

6Get Icy


Applying ice wrapped in a damp washcloth to your nipples prior to nursing may alleviate some pain by numbing an already tender nipple for when your baby latches, according to Ask Dr. Sears. This option, however, should generally be used for temporary relief in addition to another method to get rid of nipple pain.

Ad failed to load

7Try Aloe Vera


The aforementioned Top 10 Home Remedies article also suggested using the healing powers and pain-relief from aloe vera to sooth sore nipples. For best results, extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf by cutting it open and apply it to the affected area. After it dries, clean the area with a warm towel and repeat later if needed.

8Make Breast Pads

sergey0506 /Fotolia

My Frugal Baby Tips shared a genius DIY idea for creating soothing breast pads to ease nipple pain and breast tenderness. And, unlike some DIY projects, these are usper simple.

9Create A Cooler Gel Pad


Several moms turn to gel pads for nipple and breast pain relief. One quick DIY tip from Intermountain Healthcare is to head to your local store or pharmacy for gel pads. You can create extra relief when you place a gel pad in the refrigerator, which allows the cooling sensation on your nipples to help with the pain.

Ad failed to load

10Soak In Saline


If the skin isn't cracked or broken, the aforementioned Intermountain Healthcare article also suggested creating a mixture containing 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of warm water. Use gauze or cotton pads to dip into the solution, wring out the salt from the pads, and place them over your nipples for a few minutes.

11Homemake Nipple Butter


Since many moms and even some doctors steer away from Lanolin, making your own nipple cream may be a route that works best for you. Modern Alternative Mama suggested a homemade nipple butter.

If you are experiencing nipple pain and want to look for some simple ways to address and ease it, there are several options available. Sometimes DIY options don't work though, and nipple pain persists. That's completely normal too. If you notice your nipple pain is getting worse or not going away, reach out to your health care provider for more options. Because most nipple pain is due to latch, you can also consider going straight to a lactation consultant to work out your breastfeeding pain.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack