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Sore Nipples

Updated on July 21, 2011

Sore Nipples - The Likely Causes

Sore nipples can have many causes, even something as simple as chafing against clothing (especially if running). However, most sore nipple problems happen through pregnancy and of course breast feeding.

In fact, many women cite the tenderness or soreness of their breasts or nipples as the first physical sympton of their pregnancy. This is due to the fact that the breasts are readying themselves for the time when the baby will breastfeed. Of course, it is important not to take this as an indication of pregnancy as other factors can be involved and it is important to have this confirmed or otherwise at your doctors.

If the nipple becomes red and is painful or irritating, you should have this checked by your doctor as it may be an indicator of a disease called paget's .. this is an indication that there may be cancer cells in the breast iteself although whilst it is wise to have this checked out, there are many other factors that could be causing this too.


And of course, there is breastfeeding; perhaps the most common reason for sore nipples, and little wonder! The most common cause of this is actually incorrect positioning whilst breastfeeding. This means that the baby is not getting the amount of milk that he needs which causes him to not only suck harder but move around the nipple more, causing irritation.

Some mothers allow their babies to 'hang' onto the breast for much longer than necessary which causes soreness and quite painful nipples. Naturally, the baby needs to get sufficient milk, but if it starts to close its eyes and takes much longer pauses between sucks, then it has nearly certainly been sufficiently fed and it is safe to remove the baby from the nipple.

Consult your GP

If the nipples are red chafed and burning, you may have thrush. Also check the baby's mouth for white patches which may indicate this too. If you feel you may have this, you should consult your GP for advice.

In fact, as with all medical problems, it is best not to self diagnose and what you fear may be a serious problen such as cancer, may well turn out to be something much less serious, so you should consult a medical professionsl as soon as possible.


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    • Didge profile image

      Didge 5 years ago from Southern England

      Keep building those hub Ritsos!