Sore Nipples and Breastfeeding – 6 Must Have Products to Soothe Sore Nipples


sore nipples and breastfeeding

One of the more uncomfortable parts of breastfeeding can come directly from the source. So what can you do when you have sore nipples and are breastfeeding?

Well, I have been there. I have lived the sore, cracked, and bleeding nipple dilemma.

Sore nipples and breastfeeding tend to go hand in hand. The good news is that most nipple soreness is temporary and will resolve within a few weeks.

So what causes nipple pain and how can you treat it?

This article will help you understand some likely causes of your nipple pain and some products that can help you with that pain.

sore nipples and breastfeeding

Sore Nipples and Breastfeeding

Causes of Nipple Pain While Breastfeeding

There are some obvious reasons that can cause nipple pain, like a bad latch but some other reasons may need a more experienced professional to help diagnose. 

Here are some common reasons for Sore Nipples while Breastfeeding:

  1. Postpartum Hormones
  2. Bad Latch
  3. Poor Position
  4. Vasospasm
  5. Thrush
  6. Infection
  7. Milk Blisters
  8. Lip or Tongue Tie

To read more about the causes of sore nipples and how to remedy them, click here to read my full article on Causes of Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding.

6 Products to Help Soothe Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding

Obviously working with a certified Lactation Consultant is always best, but you can do a lot of things at home to help get relief between nursing sessions.

I have used a lot of different products over time and have found some that I truly love.

sore-nipples-and-breastfeeding1 – Moverlove Nipple Cream

Where to buy: Figure 8 Maternity

Why I love Motherlove Nipple Cream:

You may or may not know that lanolin (the most commonly used nipple cream) contains harmful pesticides that should not be ingested by infants (or anyone for that matter). Most products that contain lanolin advise users to wash off the product before nursing or pumping.

What I love about Motherlove Nipple Cream is that it has 100% certified organic ingredients and has a score of ONE rating on EWG’s skin deep database. In case you are not familiar with EWG ratings, a one is the lowest possible score and basically means that the ingredients in the product are not hazardous/toxic.

It is made with things like extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter. It does not have to be wiped off prior to nursing or pumping which to me is huge. There is no need to worry about your baby potentially ingesting harmful toxins.

I found that using other brands only gave temporary relief. While using Motherlove, my nipples healed faster and it helped with the pain in between nursing. I will never go back to using any other kind of nipple cream! I am so in love with this product that anything else is a big waste of money!

Click here to read more about Motherlove Nipple Cream!

sore-nipples-and-breastfeeding2 – Love My Nipple Shield

Where to buy: Amazon

Why I love Love My Nipple Shields:

I debated on whether or not to put nipple shields in this review. It can be a slippery slope when it comes to using them but in the end, they can be a great tool for relieving nipple pain associated with a bad latch, inverted nipples or flat nipples.

But please use nipple shields under the care of a certified lactation consultant only.

A nipple shield is made of soft silicone and is designed to fit over your nipple. It can help keep the nipple in a position that makes it easier for your baby to latch. When a baby doesn’t latch properly, you get cracked, sore and sometimes bleeding nipples! 

Love My Nipple Shields have a 4.5 star on Amazon and what I love about them is you get 2 in a pack which is great for the price. One comment that I see a lot on the Love My Nipple Shields is that they are a little firmer than the Medela brand ones. Some really like that and some don’t. It is a matter of personal preference. 

I would say if you are using the nipple shield solely because you have nipple pain and for no other reason (no latch issue, etc) then you may find a softer nipple shield is more your style. But if you are using these because of a latch issue, then this product may work better since the point of a nipple shield is to provide a firmer surface for your baby to latch.  

 I personally did not find these hard in any way, but do agree there are some softer ones on the market. But for the price and quality, Love My Nipple Shield is a fantastic product!

Click here to read more about Love My Nipple Shields!

sore-nipples-and-breastfeeding3 – Medela Softshells for Sore Nipples

Where to buy: Amazon

Why I love Medela Softshells:

If you are suffering from sore nipples and have not heard of Softshells, then listen up because these could save your life (or nipples)! What is the worst part about having sore nipples? Wearing clothes that rub on them, of course!

Medela Softshells are made to cover the breast and form a shell over sore nipples. It keeps your clothing from rubbing and causing further irritation. They have a soft, flexible backing which provides more comfort when wearing them. 

The front is contoured and made to be worn under clothing without a noticeable, bulky appearance. But one feature I really like is that the front has holes in it to provide ventilation which helps heal your nipple. Another useful part is the foam inserts. Though you can use regular nursing pads underneath and most users say they prefer to do just that. I’ve tried both and personally prefer my washable pads.

Medela Softshells are a wonderful way to give sore and battered nipples a break. 

Click here to read more about Medela Softshells!

sore-nipples-and-breastfeeding4 – Boob Warm/Cool Relief Pads

Where to buy: Figure 8 Maternity

Why I love Boob Warm/Cold Relief Pads:

These pads are amazing! The first thing I love about this product is the super soft, washable covers. Such a great feature! My sore nipples could not have taken anything but a nice fluffy cloud at one point so the soft material was a welcome feature.

These relief pads can be made warm by popping them in the microwave or cold by popping them in the freezer. Use it warm to help stimulate milk production and prevent clogged ducts. Use it cold to help soothe tender and swollen breasts from engorgement and get relief when inflamed from a clogged duct.

They are made from organic cotton and are filled with natural flax seed which I love since I want to expose my baby to as little chemicals and toxins as possible.

I found the pads slipped easily into a nursing bra and were like a drop of Heaven for my sore breasts. Not only did wearing the cold pack help relieve my sore nipples but I found it a huge relief for the early engorgement when my milk first came in. 

These can be used in all breastfeeding stages all the way down to weaning. Then they become a lovely ice or heat pack for other ailments. I highly recommend these! 

Click here to read more about Boob Warm/Cool Relief Pads!


5 – Bamboobies Super-soft Washable Nursing Pads

Where to buy: Amazon

Why I love Bamboobies Nursing Pads:

Bamboobies has a real winner in this product. One of the more inconvenient side-effects of nursing is the leaking.

Most nursing mothers cannot get away with foregoing nursing pads. They are basically a nursing staple. When it comes to sore nipples, having a clean, dry nipple is the best way to promote healing so a good nursing pad is a must.

You have two choices when it comes to nursing pads: disposable or washable. The only brand I like and will wear where disposables are concerned is Lansinoh’s nursing pads. But they can be bulky and when full they tend to bunch up (this mostly happened overnight). Plus you have to keep buying them and that can get expensive over time.

On the other side, I was not a big fan of the washable nursing pads for the longest time because I found that they leak. This doesn’t help sore nipples in healing since they are always moist and not to mention lactating through your shirt is not considered cute. Then, l I found Bamboobies.

Bamboobies are made from of ultra-soft (and I mean ULTRA-SOFT) organic cotton and bamboo rayon velour. Basically, picture a cloud for your nipple.  The inner layer is made of hemp and organic cotton, which makes these super absorbent. I never had issues with these leaking!

The regular nursing pads are a thin, heart-shaped design, which are made for light leaking. The overnight nursing pads are made for heavy leaking and newborn nursing. Both types are made with a unique milk-proof backing.

The other feature I love about these pads is that you cannot see them through your clothing because of the shape and how thin they are.  I have not had issues with them bunching up at night like I did with disposable nursing pads.

One downside, of course, is the pricier upfront cost. But when you look at how much overtime you spend on disposable, I think the upfront cost is worth it. A 60-count disposable pack of nursing pads costs about $8.Most women will need to change their nursing pad several times per day. So let’s be generous and say a 60-count box will last 15 days (changing pads twice a day). That means you are spending $16 per month.

In just a little over two months, you will have spent more on disposable pads than the cost of washable ones. And you still have 10+ months of nursing to go… Yikes!

Washable pads are the way to go! Plus it’s eco-friendly!

Click here to read more about Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads!

sore-nipples-and-breastfeedingPhilips Avent Nipplette

Where to buy: Amazon

Why I love Philips Avent Nipplette:

One additional reason for nipple pain can be attributed to inverted nipples. It can cause an issue with the way your baby latches. Philips Avent Nipplettes can help resolve this issue and has been shown over time to greatly improve inverted nipples permanently.

The product description from Amazon explains it this way:

Philips Avent provides a simple solution for inverted nipples which is effective and easy to use. Flat or inverted nipples can be a potential problem for women wishing to breastfeed. Through gentle suction the Niplette pulls the nipple out into a small plastic thimble-like cup. Clinically proven- The Niplette: an instrument for the non-surgical correction of inverted nipples (DD McGeorge FRCS (Plast). British Journal of Plastic Surgery, December 1993). In a matter of weeks of continued wear, the nipple will stay permanently erect.

I have not personally struggled with inverted nipples but know several women who have and it has caused them quite the struggle in their effort to breastfeed. The Nipplette is a product that not only comes recommended by those mothers but also their doctors.

If you are looking for a non-surgical solution to inverted nipples, give the Nipplette a try. It is by far the best-rated product of its type on the market today!

Click here to read more about Nipplette!

Nipple pain can cause a lot of issues for breastfeeding moms. I hope you find these products bring you as much relief as they did me!

Have a favorite product to help with nipple pain? Sharing is caring! Leave a comment and share it with us!

Also See – 


Read: Review of KoalaKin Hands-Free Nursing Pouch- See Why This Little Gem Makes Latching Baby Easier!


Read: Suffering from Low Supply? Find Out What You Can Do!


Read: In Need of a Powerful but Comfortable Pump? Check Out This Hospital Grade Pump!





  1. Dana says:

    Wonderful Post!
    You are going to help so many people with this page, and I wish I had found it before I had my baby. (she is almost 2 now!)
    I was one of those mothers who had the WORST pain due to all symptoms you mentioned, and no products I found helped. (Of course I hadn’t tried the Moverlove Nipple Cream! Next child for sure!)
    I tried some no name-ish nipple shield, and it was more of a crazy mess than a help, and from a mother to a mother, more mess turned me right off! No Mom needs more mess! I guess its my fault for being a cheep-o lol.
    great read! i will definitely mark this page for the future!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Haha! I can see how a nipple shield can cause a mess and you are right that no mom needs more mess! I hope these products can help you later on. There are so many products I wish I had known about with my first baby. You live and learn!

  2. Red Gazania says:

    I checked EWG’s rating of lanolin. Like Motherlove Nipple Cream, lanolin also has a rating of 1 (one). See:

    Therefore, according to your statements, lanolin, with its one rating, “basically means that the ingredients in the product are not hazardous/toxic.”

    I dislike the smell of lanolin and am looking for lanolin-free products. That’s how I found your site.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Red,
      It is strange that Motherlove Nipple Cream is not listed. At the time of publishing, it was listed. I have reached out to EWG to see where it has gone. I do see several other Motherlove products listed (all with scores of 1) I will keep you posted when I hear back!

      As for your questions about lanolin: I am happy to discuss my stance on lanolin! This post has an extremely short explanation so you bring up a great point that I am sure others would love to know!

      To make it short: Lanolin is a waxy substance that coats a sheep’s fur to keep it moist and needs to be refined before it can be used in products. That process of refinement varies by company, of course. It can contain sebum, dirt, pollen, sweat, fecal matter, etc simply because of it’s source. So the process to get all that out can be difficult as you can imagine.

      In addition to all that junk, most sheep farmed in the US are not raised organically. The big issue with that is the GMOs, dried distiller grains (which are from corn products and distilled at ethanol factories), etc that make up their food source. GMOs affect the lanolin that sheep secrete so it will be within the lanolin. The biggest issue though (that I pointed out in the article) is the pesticides that are sprayed directly onto the coats of the sheep and to treat the fur after it has been sheared. The FDA actually allows up to 40ppm of pesticides so yes, unfortunately, it can contain pesticides and most likely does.

      There is so much more information out there on the process of how lanolin is harvested so this is a super quick summary. I will maybe do an entire blog post on this subject as you have inspired me. My intention is not to mislead by any means. I do 100% believe what I put in this post and stand by it. I am sure the debate of organic vs non-organic, the effects of GMOs, etc could go on for days. At the end of the day, it is something you need to determine for yourself if you are comfortable with it.

      I do not consider myself a “crunchy mom” but I do try to educate myself on various products and make an informed decision. That’s all we can do.

      And I don’t blame you for looking it up yourself. It’s funny that you point out the rating of 1 by the EWG. I have actually reached out to them about that very rating in the past. The score is based on the ingredients and while very helpful in finding safe products, when you have a product that is derived from animal secretions, I would do a little more research (for all the reasons I posted above).

      So why do I prefer a product like MotherLove? Simple. It is from 100% organic ingredients. It is herbal. And of course, it is lanolin free.

      I am sorry you felt mislead and I can see how on the surface you could have felt that way. I do appreciate you reaching out and asking the questions! I will always present the fact to the best of my ability and will never put misinformation out there purposely. I take great pride in what I do and the products I recommend and I do research things thoroughly. I appreciate you giving me the chance to say that!

      Take care and please reach out if you have any more questions! You can find our contact info on the “About Me” page too if you want to shoot me an email with additional comments, etc. Have a great day!

      Heather Grace

  3. Lauren Kinghorn says:

    Oh my Heather, you’ve done it again! Another excellent article, with brilliant advice. Firstly, I had NO idea that lanolin was toxic. Motherlove looks and sounds gorgeous – is it as effective in reducing nipple pain as lanolin? I love that you were cautious about recommending nipple shields, as I’ve also heard they can cause problems. Wish I had found your website before I had my son, because those soft shells and warm/cool relief pads sound awesome! Bamboobies also sound like the Crème de la crème of washable nursing pads, thanks so much for telling me about them!

    • Heather Grace says:

      It is surprising to me too that lanolin is used so often for breastfeeding and most women have no idea what’s in it. I was told by one LC that I didn’t even need to wipe it off before nursing my son. Crazy! But you educate yourself and move on! Bamboobies are the Bees Knees. Best nursing pads ever!

  4. Desiree says:

    This is seriously a great page! I’m tandem nursing my toddler and 5 month old and I’m in the process of becoming a la leche league leader. This information is spot on! You’ll help so many mama’s. Also, I had no idea about the lanolin. I never used it because I’m paranoid anyway, but I’ll keep motherlove in mind!

    • Heather Grace says:

      That is fantastic that you are becoming a La Leche League leader! They do such great work. It’s all about educating mothers to help them succeed.

      Yes, read about lanolin! Motherlove is 100% a better option! Thank you for your comment!

  5. Anne says:

    I am definitely bookmarking this page! My husband and I are looking at having our first child soon (I know it’s a bit off yet) but I have actually been worried about this issue!
    I definitely want to breastfeed my children and I’m really glad to know now that there’s products out there that will be able to help when the time comes!
    How long after using the Moverlove cream can you expect to feel back to normal?

    • Heather Grace says:

      Motherlove cream is amazing because it works the second you use it in terms of relief. It is kind of like when you have extremely chapped lips and you use a high-quality lip balm. You feel relief right away but it takes a few application for it to heal.

      I really feel its the best nipple out there!

  6. Claudia says:

    Hi Heather,

    Where was this site when I was breastfeeding so many years ago!!
    I still remember the pain and discomfort as though it was only yesterday. I had mastitis, which was extremely unpleasant. I love your website and I think it will help so many women in the same situation! Cheers

    • Heather Grace says:

      Mastitis is miserable! I wish a site like this was here when I was breastfeeding too haha. I hope many moms find a lot of support and resources here. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. Raquel says:

    Hi Heather. I’m with you, sore nipples are horrible and terribly painful! So happy that there are products to soothe them nowadays from nipple creams, nipple shields, breast pads, and even warming/cooling pads. Just can’t imagine how our moms dealt with sore and cracked nipples years ago when these things weren’t available yet.

    • Heather Grace says:

      I know right! We have so many luxuries today. Makes me greatful! I am sure they had some homeremedies or something lol.

  8. Market Merchant says:

    Well, I just commented on another of your, more heart-frlt/touching posts, and now stumbled over onto this one, which is also GREAT!
    Breastfeeding was quite the pain for my baby’s mom, and dealing with the soreness was something completely and totally new, especially for me, as she is very blunt. So NOTHING is ever, “carefully-worded.” Not even for my peace of mind, lol.
    However these are some great tips and I will be sure to pass them along to her.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Haha, I can imagine between the hormones and the newness of a baby that bluntness happens. It is overwhelming at times trying to figure all this stuff out. I hope this article can educate and show women that they don’t need to give up. It really DOES get better! Thank you for your comment

  9. Tar says:

    Talk about experience. Personally, seems to me it is serious and it sounds horrendous if it is not treated properly.

    I notice that, like other products online, I mean in general, higher quality tends to be more costly. Well, that is the general context.

    Still, it is a matter of personal preference. Even it is 10/10, some people wont buy it due to factors such as brand/product loyalty and costs. That is my thinking.

  10. Jane says:

    This is unfortunately an issue that many new mothers face and it can be very painful and frustrating. I am glad that you have this site for other women who are going through the same things you have gone through. It is great that you have the products all right there within reach for them and they don’t have to go searching. Kudos to you, this is a great site! Do you have a product that is your favorite? Thanks, Jane

    • Heather Grace says:

      Sore nipples are one of those things that can make or break a woman’s will to breastfeed in the beginning! It can be just horrible. I am thankful there are products that can help ease that discomfort!

      As for my favorite product? I have to say out of these 6, the Motherlove nipple cream was my “can’t live without” product. It really is fantastic! And the fact that it is all natural with no added toxins is a huge plus!

  11. Vallery says:

    OK, but i am not a woman and neither am i married.
    Even though i am still hoping to find a beautiful lady to complete my life, i just imagine that providing a lady with some tips on how to take care of her sore nipples is going to make her love me more.Or what do you think?
    Anyway, congratulation for the hard work.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Haha! You really made me laugh with that. And yes, I do think it will win you some major points when you find that lucky lady. Trust me, when you become a father one day, there will be many, many things you will be researching that you never considered!

  12. Stacey says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for your article on remedies to help aveviate painful breastfeeding nipples.

    I didn’t know just how bad lanoline is and I can’t believe companies would even consider using this on such personal products with babies involved.

    I like the motherlove nipple cream. And for something made from natural ingredients it’s not that expensive (as some products can be).

    • Heather Grace says:

      When I first researched what was in lanoline, I was surprised too! I guess the big red flag is the fact they want you to wipe it off before nursing. And I agree with you that Motherlove Cream is a great price for the care that goes into making it all natural. Plus a little bit goes a long way so that little bottle will last a while!

  13. Abbie says:

    I myself am not a mother, but I’ll definitely bookmark this site just in case I ever have kids because it’s incredibly useful! I appreciate the care you take in going through such detailed reviews of each of these products, it’s so hard to find genuine and in-depth reviews sometimes when I’m just Googling around. I also love the way your site is set up–beautiful and very easy to access and read the different articles. Overall, awesome work and I can’t wait to read more from you.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Thank you, Abbie! One of the reasons I started this site was because of the difficult time I had getting information all in one place when I had my first baby. I was all over the web looking at tons of websites to find the answer to one question. I am glad you found the site useful and user friendly! Thank you very much for your comment!

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