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Breast Feeding

Sore nipples

09/27/2006

Question:

My wife uses a breast pump the majority of the time due to her work schedule. Her nipples have been very sore and the other day she developed a blister on one of her nipples.

Any ideas on how to prevent the blisters, or what causes them? I would be grateful for any advice. Thank you

Answer:

Blisters can occur from breastfeeding as well as from pumping.

Usually it is related to too high a suction pressure or from too small a flange size.

She should use a flange that allows some of the areola to enter the cylinder, and a suction that elicits a gentle flow of milk without causing any pain.

Vinegar water (1 tbsp of white vinegar added to a cup of previously boiled water) on a cotton ball to dab the sore nipple followed by Bactroban cream (Rx) and a clean paper nursing pad left on between sessions is soothing and effective as a healing regimen. No lanolin should be used during this regimen, which should last about 10 days.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati