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Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding Women: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention Strategies


  • Priscilla Tait CNM, MS, IBCLC

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Priscilla Tait received a master's degree in Psychiatric/Mental Health nursing from the University of Michigan in 1985. She graduated from the nurse-midwifery program at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1987. In 1998, she completed the postgraduate certificate program in Infant Mental Health at the Merrill-Palmer Institute for Human and Family Development, Wayne State University. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She works in rural west Michigan with women, infants, and toddlers.

595 E. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455–9616.


This article identifies problems and conditions that contribute to nipple pain during lactation and that may lead to early cessation or noninitiation of breastfeeding. Signs and symptoms of poor latch-on and positioning, oral anomalies, and suckling disorders are reviewed. Diagnosis and treatment of infectious agents that may cause nipple pain are presented. Comfort measures for sore nipples and current treatment recommendations for nipple wound healing are discussed. Suggestions are made for incorporating in-depth breastfeeding content into midwifery education programs.