Cracked Nipple

Illustration showing cracked nipple from cross section and front perspectives

What causes cracked nipples?

A common complaint, especially in breastfeeding first-time mothers, is a cracked nipple. It usually starts a few days after the baby starts feeding and can be excruciatingly painful. Preparing the nipples for breastfeeding should lessen the likelihood of this problem. If a crack does appear, soothing creams are available from chemists or doctors to settle the problem, and often the baby will have to be fed from the other breast for a few days or with the aid of a nipple shield until the worst of the discomfort passes.

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