While it is normal to have some soreness in the first few days, persistent pain is a sign something is not right.
Sore nipples are a very common problem for breastfeeding moms, and sadly a reason many women stop breastfeeding. Transient soreness is entirely normal. This is pain with initial latch that lasts about 20-30 seconds. This peaks around three to six days after nursing has begun, but gets better after that and is normal. Any pain that lasts for an entire feed or persists beyond that first week is a reason to get help quickly — something is not right (such as a shallow latch, tongue tie, etc) and needs to be fixed before any nipple damage occurs! Be sure to contact your local lactation consultant if you are having these issues, so they can get you the assessment and help you need.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, March 2020