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Natural remedies for cracked, sore nipples

If you’re a breastfeeding mom experiencing itchy, irritated, or even bleeding nipples, you’re not alone. A 2017 medical study showed that most moms experience sore nipples during their first months of breastfeeding. In a recent post, we talked about some of the common causes of nipple soreness and possible solutions.

However, there’s likely to be an adjustment period, no matter what you do, especially if this is your first time breastfeeding. A lanolin cream like the one in Medela Accessory Starter Set will soothe and rehydrate painful nipples. But if you have wool allergies, lanolin probably isn’t for you. Fortunately, there are some natural remedies for cracked, sore nipples.


Your own breastmilk is full of antibodies that can prevent infection while relieving tenderness. It’s as easy as applying breastmilk to your nipple after a feeding and allowing it to dry. As wild as it may sound, one cure for sore nipples is breastmilk. Breastmilk contains antibodies that can prevent infection and soothe sore nipples. Gently apply breastmilk to your nipple and allow it to dry after each feeding.

Aloe Vera

A 2020 medical study showed that the anti-inflammatory and anti-infection herb aloe vera can improve nipple soreness considerably. It may even be more effective than breastmilk. An aloe plant is great to have in your kitchen anyway, as it can also help heal burns. Simply cut off a piece of aloe, slice the stem open, and apply the gel inside to your nipples. Allow to air dry as with breastmilk.

Olive Oil

Yes, there’s another ingredient in your kitchen that can help nipple soreness – olive oil. Actually, both olive oil and coconut oil have been shown to have positive effects on painful nipples, but olive oil appears to be slightly more effective. It’s also in more people’s cabinets, and it’s very affordable.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, which can reduce irritated skin around the nipples. It can also prevent itching associated with inflamed and aggravated breasts.

Saline Soak

Some soreness is normal, but cracks and fissures should be minimum. If your nipples have been damaged, a saline soak of ½ teaspoon Epsom salt to 1 cup of warm water can offer some healing support. Soak nipples for five minutes twice a day for up to three days for maximum relief. Be sure to rinse and air dry after soaking.

Take care of you

Getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and eating healthy meals are all important to keeping your immune response in peak condition. That’s half the battle. Preventative measures like wearing absorbent breast pads and comfortable nursing bras are also important. Need to talk to someone about nipple pain caused by breastfeeding? We’re here for you. Give us a call.