Breast-Feeding and Nipple Problems: Bumps

Any woman can experience sore bumps on her nipples from breast-feeding -- no matter how many children she has given birth to or how much experience she has breast-feeding. Irritated nipples can be painful and make feeding time difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to manage many of the conditions that trigger it.

A woman is holding her young baby. (Image: FamVeld/iStock/Getty Images)


Bumps on or around your nipples as the result of breast-feeding vary from mild to extreme. Additional symptoms include itching, a burning sensation, small cracks in the nipples, shininess, redness and tenderness. Pain can shoot deep into the breast while you are feeding your baby or after the feeding is complete. In some cases, your baby will exhibit symptoms as well, such as cottage-cheese like patches on the inside of the lips, crying during feedings or a rash.

Possible Triggers

Improper feeding techniques will trigger bumps on or around the nipples. For example, the position that you feed your baby in may trigger soreness and bumps. The condition also may develop if your baby does not latch on properly while feeding, bites or chews on your nipple or continues sucking as you remove him from your breast. Some conditions, such as thrush, will also trigger bumps on or around your nipple.


Apply olive oil or a lotion or ointment that contains lanolin to the affected area several times a day to alleviate pain and soreness. Give your baby a cold wash cloth to chew on before feeding and in between breasts to numb her gums and dissuade her from biting. Take 600 mg ibuprofen if pain is deep or intense. A doctor will prescribe an antifungal medication for conditions like thrush.


Wash your hands and sterilize your baby's pacifiers, toys and your breast pump attachments for at least 20 minutes following every use or feeding. This will help kill any bacteria or fungus and prevent infections that can trigger nipple soreness and spots. Do not wear bras that are made out of synthetic fabrics, especially if you are breast-feeding. These fabrics can trap sweat and fluid, irritating your nipples.

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