Most sore nipples are the result of poor latch-on or inefficient sucking, and the only way to cure the sore nipples is to fix what the baby is doing at the breast. But while you are working on the breastfeeding problem, you might want to use something on your nipples to help them heal.
You can’t use just anything on sore nipples, since this skin will be going into your baby’s mouth. Products that contain a petroleum base and other questionable ingredients have to be removed from your nipples before nursing. If the skin of your nipple and areola is already tender, this is not only difficult, but painful. Some products can cause allergic reactions in some mothers, which will make nipples worse instead of better.
Our recommendation is a product called Lansinoh for Breastfeeding Mothers, which is a highly purified, 100 percent natural form of lanolin, with no allergens or additives. It’s a sticky but very effective emollient. A small amount softened between the fingers and patted on the nipple and areola will help the skin retain the internal moisture that speeds healing. Lansinoh is especially effective on cracked nipples and prevents painful scabs from forming and then falling off.
You can purchase Lansinoh from most babycare stores or other businesses that sell breastfeeding products. Many grocery stores and pharmacies carry it if they have a section for baby products. Lansinoh is also available from many lactation consultants.
Stretch marks on the breasts are common during and after pregnancy. There’s not much you can do to prevent these. You’re a victim of your own heredity, which gave you unstretchy skin. If your breasts are dry or itchy during pregnancy or lactation, you can use your favorite lotion on them. Just avoid getting it on the nipple and areola, and avoid lotions with perfume. Babies don’t like strong scents and you camouflage the natural scent of mother’s body that baby is attracted to.