Welcoming motherhood is no mean feat! As you know, motherhood is all about navigating through several milestones and the very first and most significant one is- breastfeeding.

New moms often look forward to breastfeeding their little one right from birth as it helps both the mother and the baby bond in a unique way. 

But along with this, did you know about all the positive health advantages of breastfeeding beyond basic nutrition?

Keep reading to find out!

Benefits Of Breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood, according to research.1
  • Infants who are breastfed are more likely to gain steady weight as they grow.2
  • It plays a role in prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that protect against infection and boosts immunity.4

In addition to the above, breast milk also has an essential component called Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - an omega-3 fatty acid - present in it. DHA has many health benefits for the baby. It is crucial for the growth and development of your child’s brain and nervous system.5

Nonetheless, DHA is produced in the human body in very small quantities. Therefore, it is very important for breastfeeding mothers to take DHA in adequate amounts. This is to ensure that the growing baby is receiving it in the optimum quantities. To guarantee that breastfeeding women do not lack DHA, they must monitor its levels from time to time. 

An easy way to test is by using LifeCell’s OmegaScore-N for lactating women! It is an easy-to-use self-collection test that measures and tracks the breast milk DHA levels. 

All you have to do is collect the sample and send it to their lab! Rest assured, you’ll soon receive a digital report with all the insights about your DHA level.

Once you have made sure that your breast milk is rich in DHA, you can enjoy your breastfeeding journey. 

However, at times breastfeeding can be a bit challenging. Your baby may have a hard time latching onto your breast properly. Or your nipples might feel sore and sometimes might also be cracked causing you a lot of pain. 

The unbearable pain caused due to sore nipples can leave you wondering about its causes and how you can get relief from it. 

Let’s take a look at some of the causes and preventative measures of sore nipples below-

What Causes Sore Nipples When Breastfeeding?

Tender, cracked, blistered, bleeding, and sore nipples are common problems for the newbie nursing mom.6 Know that you're not alone and that eventually your nipples will heal and toughen up. Here are some of its most common causes.

1. Nipple Sensitivity

One of the most common complaints by new moms, nipple sensitivity usually increases during pregnancy and peaks about four days after giving birth.7 You may notice pins-and-needle pain or a tingling feeling when your baby begins to nurse.8,9 This is one of the many causes for an increased occurrence of sore nipples among new mommies in town. 

2. Poor Latch7

For breastfeeding to succeed, you'll need a proper latch — which means making sure that your baby and breast hook up just right. You will know that your baby is not latching correctly if you have nipple pain due to your baby chewing on your nipple instead of gumming the areola. If you hear clicking noises, it is an indication the baby's not latched on properly to your breast. Other signs include your baby fussing, chewing, rooting and gaping. A poor latch is another leading cause of sore nipples.

3. Milk Blebs Or Blisters7

A blocked nipple pore, milk blebs usually develop when a milk duct becomes clogged. Breast milk becomes thick and hard as a result, which blocks milk flow near your nipple opening and further contributes to the development of sore nipples. Sometimes, a small amount of skin can grow over the bleb, preventing it from healing. This may look like a tiny white or yellow spot on your nipple.

4. Teething10 

Teething babies tend to gnaw your breast and this can also trigger sore nipples. In such instances, it is best to break the suction immediately and carefully.

5. Dry Skin11

Very dry skin or contact dermatitis(a skin rash) caused from nipple creams or soaps can lead to sore, tender, painful nipples.

6. Nipple Blanching And Vasospasm7

Nipple blanching happens when you finish nursing and your nipple pops out of your baby's mouth, whitened.12 This usually occurs because your baby bore down a little too hard on your nipple while they were feeding. As a result, the nipple gets compressed and sore. Vasospasm, on the other end, is caused when the blood vessels around your nipple contract abnormally, resulting in stabbing pain.13 It tends to last longer than nipple blanching and does not go away even with good attachment during feeds.

7. Pain From Vigorous Pumping14

Over-vigorous pumping (from using too high a suction setting) and too much friction (caused by pulling and rubbing from improper flange positioning or size) can also lead to sore nipples.

Tips For Relieving Sore Nipples When Breastfeeding

Are you experiencing cracking, bleeding or painful nipples while breastfeeding? Or are you recovering from a painful episode of cracking or blistering? Do you wish to keep it from recurring? Well, here are some ways to prevent it.

1. Get A Good Latch15

The best way to prevent cracked or sore nipples is to make sure your little nurser is properly positioned on your breast. Latch them the right way by making sure they are taking enough of your breast into their mouth and grasping the areola, not just the nipple, between the gums. If they are nursing just on your nipple, the sucking can leave you feeling chewed up and your nipples feeling red, sore, cracked and tender. 

2. Change Your Nursing Positions16

Alternating between cradle hold and football hold, for example, will ensure that a different part of the nipple and areola is compressed at each feeding, further aiding in preventing sore nipples.

3. Relax And Breathe16 

Classic relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation help many new mommies. This helps in enhancing the milk letdown, which means your baby (or the pump) won't have to work as hard.

4. Express Breast Milk  7,16,17

Squeeze a little milk onto your nipples after nursing to soothe sore nipples. You can also gently apply a small pea-sized portion of lanolin11,16 to the nipple and areola. This provides a moisture barrier.


Sore nipples may develop due to many reasons. Luckily, the above tips can help you prevent it. Trying different nursing positions, and making sure your little one has a good latch on your breast are some great ways to prevent nipple soreness.

Having the pain and discomfort that comes along with sore nipples can take a toll on new moms. However, if things are getting beyond what you can bear, it’s best to turn to your doctor for personalized tips and support.