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It's painful now

Posted by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 8:08 PM
  • 5 Replies

My daughter is 16 months now and still nursing quite a bit. Does anyone else have a problem with nursing being painful with an older baby? I'm not sure if it is because she has some many teeth now or because she sucks so much harder but is is becoming so uncomfortable and painful to nurse her now. 

by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 8:08 PM
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by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM
Oh it's both. Teeth and stronger sucking, I nursed my kids til 2. Currently nursing my 5 month old. It hurt. Get a nipple shield to help for a while.
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by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM
Ask an LC. It sounds like a hard suck.
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by Ruby Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 8:46 PM
Are your nipples/ breasts still tender between nursings? Could be ovulation/AF getting ready to come back.
by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Sometimes a mom will get sore nipples after weeks or months with no problems. Following are six potential causes, plus some troubleshooting tips.


Anytime you get sore or cracked nipples all of a sudden, check for thrush symptoms. Thrush usually causes pain in both sides.


Mastitis or a plugged duct or a milk blister is a possibility, particularly if only one breast/nipple or area of the breast is sore. It’s unusual to have mastitis, plugged duct, or a milk blister on both sides at once.

 Hormonal changes

Are you ovulating or about to get your period? The hormonal changes at these times can cause sore nipples for a few days. Typically, both sides will be sore. Many moms of older babies are more bothered with latch on during these times, and it may feel as if baby is clamping down or scraping his teeth on the nipple, even though he doesn’t seem to have changed his latch. Mom may also feel generally uncomfortable and even irritated with nursing. Some moms get relief from the soreness by taking evening primrose oil or acalcium/magnesium supplement.

Any chance of pregnancy? Often the first sign of pregnancy for nursing moms is sore nipples. More here on pregnancy and nursing. As with soreness that comes with ovulation or menstruation, both sides will typically be sore since the soreness is caused by hormonal changes.


Has your baby been pulling on the nipple, bitingscraping teeth or leaving tooth indentations or practicing creative nursing positions? Any type of nipple trauma can cause soreness, and soreness may be on one or both sides.

 Skin irritation

Is baby teething? Many times moms experience nipple irritation as a result of teething. The increased saliva and the enzymes in it can irritate nipples. This can be lessened by rinsing the baby’s saliva off the nipples after the feeding. With teething, both sides would typically be sore.

Has baby started solids? Remnants of food left in baby’s mouth can also cause soreness. Rinse baby’s mouth or give him a sip of water before nursing.

Are you prone to getting eczema or psoriasis? Either can cause nipple soreness.

Are you using a new soap, laundry detergent, nipple ointment/cream, skin lotion, shampoo, powder, hair spray, perfume or deodorant? An allergic reaction to any of these might cause sore nipples.

Have you been exposed to poison ivy?

 Latch and positioning

Any time you experience soreness, go back to the basics of positioning and latch just as you did in the early days. Even if you have not had problems with this in the past, latching/positioning can occasionally be a problem as baby gets older because older babies usually nurse in all kinds of positions, and the latch can get sort of “sloppy” too. One or both sides may be sore. Improving latching/positioning may be helpful even if there is another primary cause of the soreness. For example, many moms experience sore nipples when pregnant and although this has a hormonal cause, good positioning and latch can still improve the soreness to some extent.

by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 3:45 AM

Nursing became very uncomfortable for me when I became pregnant with #2.  DS1 was 12 months old then, and it was 2 months of near hell until he self-weaned at 14 months.

Any chance you're pregnant?  :)

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