Sore, damaged nipples and the pain suffered by the mother can shake the mothers confidence in her ability to breastfeed and interfere with her relationship with her baby because every feeding is an agony, rather than a loving time together. Painful nipples can also inhibit the let-down (milk ejection) reflex.

As the mother becomes more tense a vicious circle begins, and it often leads to early weaning. We should offer the mother the most up-to-date measures of symptomatic relief and accelerated healing to prevent early weaning. A good counseling of the mother is imperative.

Most important is the correct positioning and latch-on of the baby to prevent one of the main causes of nipple pain. When the baby is not correctly latched-on and the baby therefore only takes the nipple into its mouth the nipple will get damaged from rubbing against the frontal palate of the baby.

However for the mother with damaged nipples the most pressing issue may not be the time it will take for her nipples to heal but how quickly she can get relief from her pain.