Help! Lacking milk supply and have very sore cracked nipples

Tasha - posted on 02/27/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




This is my third time around and should be experienced with breastfeeding but my son who is now 6 wks old and I are just not getting this down. First, it was because I had flat nipples so I used a nipple shield which helped bring them out and now we are without it but seem to have a huge latching problem. I continue to stop and try again with latching but he is used to using a bottle nipple (I think). I supplement him w/ formula because he is so hungry. Now, I feel my milk supply is not enough for him and my nipples are soooo sore/cracked. I want to end the supplementing but do not know how without starving my lil one.


Cassie - posted on 02/28/2009




Agree with the nipple shield. I used it off and on for almost 3 months. I also got a prescription for an All purpose nipple ointment that was anti-fungal and a steroid in it that was safe to use. It was suppose to help heal any infection or cracked nipples, plus strengthen them. It is sold only as a prescription. A lot better than lanolin.

Krystal - posted on 02/27/2009




Quoting Nicole:

Mother's Milk Tea and fenugreek help with supply, along with eating and drinking really well. However, nothing beats nursing like crazy.

I agree with the fact that nothing works better to increase your supply than nursing. It may get exhausting but after a few days your supply should be back to normal! put your son to your breast every 2 - 3 hours. I know it sounds crazy but i would even wake him up at night to nurse. use the nipple sheild if needed (you can stop using it once BF'ing is second nature to you and your son) . even if he only nurses for a few minutes it's better than nothing at all. plan on pumping right after he nurses. you may not get any milk but you're still stimulating your body to make it. you may think that he's not getting enough simply because he seems to always want to eat but remember that breast milk digests much faster than formula so it's normal for breast fed babies to eat more often.

also, another crazy thing i'd like to suggest, is to use tea bags on your nipples. while nursing soak them in hot water, then squeeze out the water so that they're not dripping. put them on your nipples and then leave them on for a bit (i would recommend using a pad so they don't leak/stain your bra and shirt!! :) ) it really helped to toughen up my nipples.

regardless, know that you are the only one who truly knows what is best for your baby. if that means you end up supplementing then so be it. Just try to stick it out for a bit longer - the rewards you'll reap from it are endless!

Good luck!!!


View replies by

Bernice - posted on 09/28/2016




I was admitted to hospital due to excessive bleeding after c-section and my milk supply almost diminished. When back to home, I tried latching my son, taking mother's milk tea and other remedies but very little milk came in. Then I started drinking Healthy nursing tea as told by a friend and found great results.

Andrea - posted on 02/28/2009




More Milk Plus will help increase your supply. It contains Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Fennel & 1 other herb. You can also pump for 10 minutes after each feeding which will tell your body to produce more milk. You might not get anything with the pump, but that's okay. If you keep supplementing your milk supply won't increase. If you supplement it should be AFTER you nurse, not before or instead. Eating oatmeal (not instant!) helps too.

The lactation consultant at your hospital should be able to give you some great tips to increase supply & help with the latch.

[deleted account]

I had traumatized/bleeding nipples with my son because we never really got a great latch.  I used a nipple shield for several weeks, and then worked us off of it after I healed and the pain lessened.  Now it's no problem!

[deleted account]

Mother's Milk Tea and fenugreek help with supply, along with eating and drinking really well. However, nothing beats nursing like crazy.

If needed yes, use the nipple sheild. Also consider doing cluster feeding to help satisfy him and increase your supply... nursing every hour for 4-5 hours, usually of an evening.

Also, make sure you use a lanolin cream on your nipples. It can be ingested. That will help w/the cracked nipples big time. I would actually suggest expressing a little milk at the end of the feeding that you coat your nipples with. Let them air dry and then put the lanolin on continually until they heal. I have used the lanolin on my lips, on diaper rash and cuts as well. It is great, natural stuff.

Here are links on cluster feeding, fussy periods to expect (a "calendar), and lanolin:

Cluster feeding:

Calendar, I swear by this calendar... nurse and hold your baby like crazy during these "fussy" periods:

Lansinoh Lanolin:

Carrie - posted on 02/27/2009




Could he be in his six week growth spurt?  I remember that one was a doozy, where it seemed like my son was never satisfied.  Have you worked with an LC or LLL leader?  It sounds like it might be worth pursuing. can help you find an LLL group in your area, and meeting with the leader is free unlike an LC (although the cost would be well worth it in the long run if it helps!)

Here's a link on how to decrease the amount of the suppliment you're giving him slowly so that your breastmilk can catch back up.

Serica - posted on 02/27/2009




Bring the nipple shield back until he is fully ready. My sister-in-law was just having the same problem. She has been drinking some kind of tea to help her milk supply and taking some pills her doctor suggest to bring her milk supply back. If the shields work and he was latching, let him use them and let him latch on for longer to help your supply. He is really the only one who can increase it. You should also pump in between feedings. And remember he can get out more than what you think and more than want the pump can do.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms