What can I do about sore nipples from breastfeeding?

Q: My nipples hurt while I’m breastfeeding. What can I do?

A: The soreness is probably because your baby is latching onto your nipple only -- and not to the areola, the surrounding dark area. Take your baby off your breast, and gently rub your finger on his lower lip to get him to open wider. At that moment, place your nipple into his mouth, including as much of the areola as possible. To relieve sore nipples, expose your breasts to air and light for several minutes daily. Applying pure lanolin products, such as Lansinoh, can also promote healing. --Laura Flynn McCarthy

Originally published in Parents magazine, August 2002. Updated 2009.

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