Q: My nipples are raw and cracked. What can I do?
A: Painful, cracked nipples are most often caused by an incorrect latch, Morton says. So when you breastfeed, make sure your baby is positioned properly: on her side, with your bellies touching. Also ensure that she takes your entire nipple and a good portion of the areola in her mouth. If adjusting your nursing style doesn’t help, consult a lactation expert ASAP; visit the International Lactation Consultant Association at ilca.org for a referral. In the meantime, try applying a touch of expressed breast milk, medical- grade lanolin (unless you’re allergic to wool) or an all-natural ointment such as Motherlove Nipple Cream. Wearing “breast shells” in your bra to expose your nipples to air and prevent fabric from rubbing against them can also help; ask a lactation consultant.