Peer Reviewed
Clinical case review

Nipple soreness and swelling during breastfeeding

Gayle Fischer
How should a breastfeeding woman with nipple soreness and inflammation be treated? Is it eczema of the nipple, a response to an allergen or something more serious?
Key Points
    Case scenario

    Anna, a 30-year-old mother, was breastfeeding her 6-week-old son. Soon after she started breastfeeding, she developed swelling and irritation of the skin at the periphery of her nipple areolae. The area was constantly swollen, weeping and sticky and very uncomfortable, especially when her baby started sucking. She had breastfed her two other children with no problems.

    Anna was in the habit of giving her baby ranitidine just prior to each feed but the problem persisted even when she changed the timing of the ranitidine. What has happened and what can be done to help Anna?

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