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Tea bags – a quick natural remedy to deal with sore nipples when breastfeeding

Suffering from sore nipples due to breastfeeding? This natural remedy using tea bags can help!

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : June 10, 2016 9:35 AM IST

Even though most women are aware of the health benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the infant, some opt for early termination of breastfeeding. One of the key reasons is the severe nipple pain due to sore breast muscles and discomfort caused due to it during breastfeeding. Also, the use of medications to relieve pain is not recommended as the chemicals might pass through the breast milk and harm the baby. However, not many women are aware of the fact that tea bags can be used as a natural remedy to treat nipple pain at home. You may also like to read about 4 common breastfeeding problems and their solutions.

How does it help?

A 1997 study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing [1] revealed that application of tea bags provide effective relief to sore nipples while breastfeeding. Tea is known to contain tannins, which is an astringent in nature. And hence, applying tea bags soaked in slightly hot water not only relieves the pain but also improves blood circulation, thereby causing the anti-inflammatory compounds to ease the pain and aid in healing the breast tissue. Also, tea bags can cause the nipples to toughen up, thus helping you to deal with the pain. Hence, hot water and tea bag compress when used for nipple pain during breastfeeding provide effective relief. Moreover, tea bags are inexpensive and are easily available and this remedy is very quick. Here are tips for successful breastfeeding that will help you!

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The tea bag remedy

Dip tea bags in slightly hot water and apply it on the nipple every 2 3 minutes for 5- 10 minutes to ease the pain. After application of tea bags, wash the nipples with warm water to remove traces of tannic acid (if any). In some cases, even lack of proper latching can lead to sore or cracked nipples during the early postpartum period. And hence, positioning your baby correctly (which might take few days or week s time) is the key to preventing sore nipples. Also, read about these ways to heal cracked nipples due to breastfeeding.


  1. Lavergne NA. Does application of tea bags to sore nipples while breastfeeding provide effective relief? J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1997 Jan-Feb;26(1):53-8. PubMed PMID: 9017547.

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