DIY Sore Nipples Remedy

There are few things as painful as sore nipples. Whether you’re struggling from a poor latch, inverted nipples, mastitis, or thrush in baby, it can make breastfeeding a toe curling event instead of something beautiful and bonding.

I have to say, I didn’t really understand this until my little Paloma came into the world. With Griffin, you see, I had NO pain. I remember hearing stories of women struggling, and it was hard for me to relate.

Now I can relate

My issues began on day two with Paloma. I thought it was because she was nursing every hour around the clock. Little did I know she had an extremely shallow latch, which is why she nursed so often, as she wasn’t getting a lot of milk with each nursing session. By day three, my soreness moved to violent pain. I had black blood blisters on both nipples, and was nearly crying with each feeding.

A lactation consultant came to the rescue and showed me that Paloma had a lip tie, which we addressed right away with a laser treatment. But, this didn’t fully solve our problem. Paloma still defaulted to her shallow latch due to my fast letdown.

The problems have persisted in varying degrees throughout Paloma’s four months of life. And I’ve tried many things for relief, from this ointment to this one to straight up coconut oil. These worked okay, but I knew there was a better solution out there.

I’ve found a concoction that is close to magical for sore nipples

In my experience, this DIY sore nipple healer will reduce the pain significantly within a feeding or two, and end the discomfort completely within 24 hours. It’s also a good way to ward off any infections or thrush and for baby to get an extra boost of probiotics, so it’s a win-win. 🙂

I hope this DIY remedy helps any other mamas out there with nipple pain!

Sore nipples remedy ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix your 1 cup of filtered water with 1 TB of raw apple cider vinegar in a squeeze bottle.
  2. After each feeding, squirt a cotton ball or a small piece of cloth with your vinegar solution and apply to nipple and areola. This will kill any harmful bacteria or yeast as well as clean your nipple area.
  3. Then apply a small amount (~ 1/4 tsp.) of your raw coconut oil to your breast. NOTE: If you live in a warm climate, keep your coconut oil refrigerated so it is a solid rather than liquid oil.
  4. Then pour a small amount of probiotic powder into the palm of your hand. (Be sure your hands are clean!) and sprinkle the probiotic directly on your sore nipples. The coconut oil will catch the powder and keep it adhered to your breast. You could also make a paste by mixing 1 TB of firm coconut oil with 1 tsp of probiotic powder and apply that way.
  5. Then put a small piece (the size of a silver dollar) of paper towel over your nipple and put back on your bra. This will create a barrier so you don’t stain your bra.
  6. Do this for 24 hours for healing and pain relief. You can also continue doing indefinitely as a preventative practice.

How about you?

Have you experienced sore nipples? How did you help them heal? Share with us in the comments below!

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

60 Comments

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  1. I have found that rinsing your nipples with salt water helps a lot. It healed mine right up I guess it cleans the nipples

  2. OMG!! I sure wish I would’ve known of this remedy two months ago. My little one had my nipples scabbed and sore so I didn’t get to directly breastfeed for a few weeks. The nipple guard helps a lot.

  3. Hello there I was searching through comments and can’t seem to find the answer. Is it ok to feed baby without whipping the nipple or should we wipe before the feedings.

    • No need to wipe off your nipple!

  4. Thank you!! I am exclusive ly pumping and before yesterday I thought my nipples were going to fall off and wasn’t sure if it was worth it. Oh the relief and realization that you were in pain and coping….just surviving. I slept better, I am not dreading pumping, and I am way less edgy.

  5. My son has a shallow latch and I worry too that he is relying on my fast letdown. How did you correct your daughters latch? I feel like I have tried so hard to correct his and just can’t.

  6. I had cracked and sore nipples, one was actually bleeding every time I fed. I would cringe and cry when my baby latched on, especially late at night. I decided to try this and would apply it after every single feeding and I usually wipes it off before the next feeding. It took me about 2 full days to start feeling some relief and I’m on day 4 now and just fed on that one nipple with no pain. Success! I had trouble with the mixture sticking to any type of bra or nipple pad I used and I had to carefully peel my nipple away, which wasn’t helping it heal.
    I finally used the mixture and then a medela air cup that holds my nipple in a little air pocket so it doesn’t touch anything and that was the key to my success.

  7. Hello Genevieve,
    Thank you so much for the tips. Do we wash this off before we feed baby? I looked through the comments and couldn’t find the answer. Much appreciated!

  8. Thank you for posting this recipe! Do you wash or wipe the probiotics off before you breastfeed baby or is it safe to leave on and breastfeed?

  9. I’m so glad I found this. After crying for 20 minutes through another feeding (due to seriously cracked nipples left over from thrush) I went back to the internet…again. I have several cracks(which seem like gaping wounds) that just wouldn’t heal, it seemed a tiny bit better, then it would be time to nurse again, and the cut was instantly re-opened. I had all the ingredients on hand, although I did sub adult powdered probiotics for the infant ones). After two applications I stopped crying through feedings. It has now been about a whole day of this treatment after every feeding, and I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    THANK YOU, from someone who has tried EVERYTHING else with no relief.

  10. My daughter had a lip tie and posterior tongue tie which we had laser corrected, but I didn’t notice a difference until we also took her for a chiropractic adjustment. After the adjustment, she was finally able to open wide enough to get a good latch! I still get a little tender form being a new mama and both of us still learning, but no longer that depression causing horrible pain. I will try your remedy for the little bit of remaining tenderness :-).

  11. For me the most effective way I dealt with the cracked nipples was a product called Silverette. They are pure silver nipple cups originally from Italy. Brought them in Australia from Silverette Australia. I used the typical Lanlion creams etc but it mask my cracked nipple, couldn’t heal it in time for the next feed. But the silver cups were able to.

    In a nut shell silver has antimicrobial properties, so no bacteria can grow on silver and with silver it has ability to increase skin repair. I just put them on my nipples in between feeds and it was safe. When I had my baby after a week of breastfeeding I was suffering from cracked nipples. My italian midwife recommended these and I can guarantee within 1 day my cracked nipples between the heal. If you look them up, USA, UK they are using them. It’s a shame people don’t know about these they are amazing and have won awards.

  12. Does this work for the blood blisters?

  13. This is great! I have the ingredients ready to start this treatment today. I just want to make sure – I don’t need to wipe off my nipples before feeding? Is this how the baby is treated??

  14. As a momma of two tied babies coconut oil was my breast friend. I would like to add that where there is a lip tie always check for tongue tie. Anterior and the very tricky posterior tongue tie. Anterior ties also most times have a posterior component. The lack of knowledge on the tongue and lip tie subject is very very very sad. Def. Pinning this for I’m sure baby #3 will definitely have a tie.

  15. I am in my 1st trimester and have a vaginal yeast infection that I have been working on for a couple of weeks. I am presently using homeopathy which has worked to a point, but found this recipe and wondered how it could be worked to get rid of a pregnancy yeast infection. Any thoughts?

  16. Hi Genevieve,

    Do i have to use infant probiotics or can I use an adult version? I have Metagenics Ultra Flora in my fridge and was wondering if it was suitable to use.

    • My pediatrician says their is no difference between infAnt and adult since they don’t do testing on dosages.

  17. So I don’t need to wash this off before the next feeding?

    I’m experiencing tons of pain from what I believe is a shallow latch. I am constantly in pain. This last weekend, I decided to stop nursing and just pump…well after two days of only pumping, I was overwhelmed and decided to just start formula. After giving him only 2 bottles of formula, the guilt set in and I went back to nursing. So I desperatly need a solution to this pain so that I can continue bf’ing. I’m working on getting him to latch better now. Thank you for your help!

    • This makes a huge difference…HUGE

  18. This cream was such a miracle! Last week was terrible in terms of breastfeeding. Out of nowhere, after 9 months of great bfing. I got thrush and milk blisters – ouch!! This cream was the only thing that helped. After the second use I could feel some relief and within 24 hours I could actually nurse without crying. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am a Bradley method instructor and I will definitely be sharing your recipe with my class!

    • Did it heal your thrush?

  19. Thank you for this post! My third baby is due in three weeks and I have all the supplies ready to make up this concoction! Do you think the coconut oil and infant probiotic mixture could be used as a diaper cream as well? Or do you have any other diaper cream recipes? Thank you!

  20. What is the purpose of probiotics? Is it for the baby? Or does it help to heal the nipples?

    • My guess is that they help add good bacteria to keep infections away

  21. Thank you so very much for posting this! I have been nursing my son for almost 4 months now, and I have been in pain for every single day! I have considered giving up on breastfeeding and considered exclusively pumping for him, but I want these special moments with him.

    I belive I have thrush at the moment, and I am working on it with a baking soda and water mixture and coconut oil. But first thing Friday morning I will get your list of ingredients and give this a try <3

  22. I have been using this for a day and a half now to treat cracked nipples. I don’t really feel like it’s working and I’m wondering if anyone else has tried it for healing cracks or if it’s more for just sore nipples and thrush.

    • I’m wondering the same thing. I gave it a try for a few days but I’m not sure it’s working for me. Maybe it’s not for cracks? All I know is im about to give up (exclusive pumper) if I have to go another week with this awfulness.

    • I always used breastmilk straight on my cracks and that helped it heal tremendously. Have you tried doing that? Maybe in combination with coconut oil and/or lanolin as well. (and also this DIY remedy) Good luck!

  23. Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve had pain free nursing for nearly 14 months with my son, up until last week. Something has changed, I think it could be hormonal (aunt flow returning soon?) and I have had horrible pain, and rather than enjoying nursing sessions I have been gritting my teeth just to get through them. I just tried this cream, and I feel IMMEDIATE relief! Thank you!!!!

  24. it really works!!! I was about to give up breastfeeding…and then I tried this and changed my mind. It hasn’t even been 24hr yet and I feel a lot better 🙂 thank you for posting this!! May God bless you!

  25. After I put this on my boob sticks to my nursing pad . Any ideas to make that stop ?

    • She said to put a small piece of paper towel on top of the nipple so not to stain the bra, but I’m sure it would help to prevent the problem you’re having as well!

  26. My issue was multiple sores and a raw area on one side. I still don’t understand why this helped that kind of issue (no infection) but I felt better almost right away. The pain is almost completely gone now. Thank you so much! I was to the point of tears and felt like passing out. I didn’t even have virgin coconut oil or probiotic powder; I only had refined coconut oil. My only complaint is that the paper towel would stick to my sores, so I just stopped using them and just had my nursing pads on.

  27. Has anyone had success with this recipe? I’m wondering what the probiotic is for. I’m about to go out to buy the ingredients. I’ve tried lanolin, bamboobies products, and triple nipple cream. I’m currently sporting butt paste as a possible remedy. I’m so frustrated and depressed from being in pain. I’d love to hear some more success stories!

  28. Thank u so much. I’m not there yet, still have a couple months b4 I meet baby. But some “friends” are trying to scare me about this…, so I went on a preventative search trying to find something that won’t hurt Baby. 🙂

    Response to Jesalyn: I do know a bit about home remedies. In my experience, white vinegar should be used more like a cleaning liquid (like bleach on countertops). Apple cider vinegar is more body friendly, less potent. It’s sort-of like the difference between cleaning a wound with Clorox or rubbing alcohol.

  29. I am breastfeeding and I suffer from nipple eczema. I am currently using a mild steroid cream, (which works), but I do not want to continue using it. What can I do?

  30. Hi!

    This post has been so helpful and I just made up this concoction. My son was born 2 days ago and my nipples are in so much pain! Did this help right away? I’m to the point where I’m afraid to feed him!

  31. Why apple cider vinegar? Why not white?

    Thanks so much for your post! Due in May with baby 2 and gearing up to avoid the pains I had with #1!

  32. Hi Genevieve,
    We just had DD’s ULT and TT lasered yesterday. Have you read about MTHFR genetic mutation/ inability to process folic acid as having a causative relationship to midline defects like tongue and lip ties? If you have any knowledge on this I would love your insight. Thanks.

  33. Have you ever tried pure lanolin (wool wax or wool grease)? No DIY involved, 100% natural, works like a charm and because it’s nearly odorless and tasteless you don’t even have to wash it off before the next feeding (unless the time between nursings is less than 2 hours, then you might feel more comfortable wiping off excess grease with a piece of cloth).
    Some people also use raw, pure wool for healing purposes, even diaper rash. Just put a thin layer of raw wool in your baby’s diaper. The wool wax has a soothing effect on the skin, and the wool stimulates the capillaries and regulates body heat. I haven’t tried using it for diaper rash (luckily my daughter hasn’t had any problems in that department), but I can attest to the healing powers of lanolin used as nipple cream.

    • Yep! Tried it. Didn’t work as well for me as this concoction 🙂

      • Genevieve, how do I tag someone so they see the reply? I wrote a reply to Melissa, and would love to learn her tips on raw oats as I’ve been battling recurrent thrush in myself and my two month old! Also, how long did it take for your thrush to go away with your method, did it come back? My doc gave us nystatin which didn’t work and then genetian violet, but I wanted to heal it naturally! We’ve been using coconut oil, and praying for a full healing in Jesus’ holy name! Thank you for your time and advice!

        Abby and baby Timothy

    • I thought lanolin was great until I realized after a couple days that I was having a reaction to it and it was part of my discomfort (I have a hard time wearing anything wool too). I found that Boob-ease and Motherlove Nipple Cream (same ingredients) work better for me. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  34. Brilliant concoction! I use coconut oil and Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple cream and am usually pain free after an hour or two if I catch it fast enough. The apple cider vinegar is an awesome addition! And now I know what to do with all the probiotic powder I have lol.

    Thanks!

  35. Thank you so much for post. I have been looking for probiotics for my 4 month old. I do something similiar but have been using my probiotics then rinsing my nipples before each feeding. I keep the coconut il on top of my dvr so it is in liquid form. This way it is easier to mix with probiotic. Is there a reason you specify it to be in solid form? I do not having a problem with it adhering to my nipples.

    • I recently discovered that my son has an upper lip tie, he’s already 11 months sadly. 🙁 My beginning with him sounds a lot like yours, no clue how I made it out alive and we have nursed this whole time. Anyway, I’m looking to get it lasered because there’s have been new issues crop up, any advice? Wish I’d known when he was younger. It’s also highly probably my almost 4 year old also has one. She has trouble pronouncing some letters and it gets irritated and bleeds quite often. Nursed her for 2 years tho and never had one issue. Anyway, any advice on having lip ties lasered on an 11 month old and a 3.5 year old? Want to post a blog on your experience? 🙂

  36. Are the probiotics mainly for baby, or do they help with soreness/discomfort? I’m due at the end of May, so I’m gathering up all of these ideas so I can be ready when I need them! 🙂 So thankful for your blog, by the way. I’ve learned SO much from you!

  37. I’m thinking of trying this concoction for a yeast diaper rash we have been battling, think it will help? Any reason I shouldn’t?

    • Using the vinegar may burn if baby has any open sores from the yeast rash. But other than that, the rest should work!

  38. Struggled through nursing both babies with vasospasm, systemic thrush, lip tie and tongue tie and one baby who bit me hard every time he nursed (drew blood on more than one occasion and had once incident requiring stitches) til the week before he turned one. I can relate well. Unfortunately for me nothing natural worked very effectively at getting it better and KEEPING it better so instead I used pharmaceuticals and then detoxed. Which did work permanently. come July I will have been nursing for four years without a break.

    • I MUST know how you kicked the thrush permanently. Please do share because I appear to be battling it yet again 🙁 on like day 15 of diflucan!

    • Melissa, I’m going to try this. Where did you get the oats, and how often did you drink it? Or did you apply topically to baby’s mouth and your nipples? Thanks!!

  39. How often do you do this? After every feed? It’s nice to find a thrush solution that you don’t have to wash off before the baby nurses again. It can be hard to wipe off all the cream when you’re rushing to your screaming starving baby!

    • You can do as often as you need. When I have pain, like recently when Paloma pinched my nipple hard, I use after every daytime feeding. You can do a few times a day as preventative.

      • Thanks so much!

      • Is this good for cracked nipples as well? Today is my first time using coconut oil so I think I may try adding the infant probiotics. I usually clean with saline but do I need to use the apple cider recipe?

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