Whether you breastfeed for three months or three years, chances are you'll experience some kind of nipple discomfort during your breastfeeding journey. With practice and proper latch, the pain should subside after at most a few weeks. In some cases, however, moms deal with cracked, dry, sore nipples for far too long without remedy. Learning how to soothe sore nipples isn't always easy, but luckily, there are ways to ease the pain.
According to La Leche League International (LLLI,) nipple pain is all to common for nursing moms. Although it should never be painful, sore, cracked, throbbing, bleeding, painful nipples are some of the leading reasons that mothers stop breastfeeding altogether and can lead to things like low supply, mastitis, engorgement, and underfeeding.
However, pushing through the pain isn't necessary (or pleasant,) so identifying the root of the problem is the first step to recovering and nursing pain-free. Although some level of discomfort is par for the course of early breastfeeding, it should never stick around long enough to make you question your decision to breastfeed. Once you know what is causing the pain, you can apply the following methods to help soothe it and keep it at bay for good, ensuring that your breastfeeding journey is as beautiful as it is beneficial.