Cracked Nipples

What really helps to prevent and heal.

When you start feeding your baby your nipples might crack and bleed as they are not used to it.

Nearly every breastfeeding woman experiences this. But if you follow some tips you can avoid the pain & struggle.

How to avoid it:

Our tip is Helago oil! It is best to take it with you to the clinic. This oil with chamomile and sage can help with sore nipples.
Simply apply it to the nipple after breastfeeding. It does not necessarily have to be washed off before the next breastfeeding!
It is pleasantly cool when stored in the fridge. It can also be used against mosquito bites and oral (mucosa) infections.

Another very important tip is that especially at the beginning of your breastfeeding period you should take care that your baby sucks in the right way.

Signs for a correct latching:

  • The child has not only the nipple tip, but also the surrounding nipple tissue in the mouth.
  • The lips should be pushed outwards.
  • The cheeks are full and round (not retracted when sucking).
  • The lower jaw moves rhythmically and shows no biting motion.

If there is persistent pain when sucking or if the baby is using the wrong sucking technique, you should carefully remove the baby from the breast. With the help of the little finger you release the vacuum in the corner of the baby's mouth and can therefore remove the suction from the nipple without hurting yourself. Then try again.

Another trick from one of our moms to help them latch:
What worked for me was filling a diaper with warm/hot water and use it to warm the milk in your breasts, then massage the milk down to the nipple, touch the nipple with the drops of milk onto your baby’s lips to latch - especially if you want them to latch on the non-favorite breast (yes there is usually a favorite one... :-)).

Cracked nipple Trouble Shooting

Apart from Helago Oil you can apply nipple cream after breast feeding, which needs to be removed before feeding again (available at any drugstore/pharmacy e.g. Multi-MAM, Lansinoh, Medela PureLan) or use hydrogel pads to soothe your nipples e.g. Multi-MAM (please remove gel before feeding).

In addition, you can use nipple shields to protect your nipples while breastfeeding. Or you can apply your milk on the nipples and let it dry. Also silver nipple shields help to cool and disinfect after feeding. Also a chest donut might help with the pain

If you have any problems with your nipples and it is not getting better, please ask for help. A midwife or lactation consultant can observe breastfeeding, examine your breasts and give you valuable advice. She can also determine if your baby has a shortened frenulum or frenulum of the lips.


Be patient with yourself and your baby. Breastfeeding is a learning process for mother and child. Not everything always works right from the start. Even if you suffer from sore nipples, it is good if you persevere and continue breastfeeding.

Did you know that it is ok for your baby to drink the milk contains a little of your blood from your cracked nipples - it is slightly pink (in case you pump) and is called Strawberry milk.


March 2022 - Gravidamiga
This blog post has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“ Picture credit: Adobe Stock licensed

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