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Thread: Nipple pain - ouch!

  1. #1
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    Default Nipple pain - ouch!

    My almost 5 month old has never given me much latch issues. But over the past week, things have been very painful. My right nipple is now looking pretty bad and is horribly painful.

    I am trying to squirt milk on it and let it air dry as much as possible, and also use lasinoh cream. Anything else I should do to heal it?

    Should I be nursing thru the pain? I am trying to just get thru it, but it is very painful the whole time. I assume it is just hurting because I am bleeding and I just need to deal with it.

    I can't figure out the problem either. From the outside, his latch looks perfect. Could possible teething screw things up? I don't know how to fix this!!
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex, born 2/27/11

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    When pain crops up after a long period of trouble-free nursing, thrush is a common cause. Do you see any symptoms of that? When you say your nipple "looks pretty bad", can you describe that for us? Are you seeing cracks, blisters, peeling skin, what?

    You should definitely try to continue to remove milk from the affected breast, preferably via nursing. If nursing is too painful, you may want to pump that side instead, but pumping doesn't remove milk as well as the baby does. You want to continue nursing because a) it will allow you to maintain your supply and b) it will prevent you from getting additional nasty problems like plugged ducts, mastitis, and engorgement, and c) if you have any sort of infection brewing in there, milk removal is key to preventing it from getting out of control.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    It looks like it's peeling after DS is done nursing, and it's kind of scabby from bleeding. The other side is kind of tender too, but it looks fine.

    A few days ago, I was boycotting that side (even tho I knew it was bad) and I got a plugged duct... so I'm being much better about suffering through the pain to remove the milk. I just wasn't sure if I should nurse or pump. I guess it doesn't matter?

    Thrush, huh? Hmm. I have been noticing some random pains throughout my breast every once in a while for the past day. That is a symptom too, right? Do I need to see my doctor for treatment? Fun.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex, born 2/27/11

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    What you describe definitely sounds suspicious. I mean, it doesn't necessarily scream thrush, but it is certainly suggestive of it. It could also be bacterial. I would see the doctor. Just a word of caution: some practitioners do not realize that thrush can present in a variety of ways. If your doctor just looks in your baby's mouth for white patches and then calls it a day, that's not enough. White patches in the baby's mouth are the classic symptom, but one or both member sof the nursing pair can be affected by thrush without showing that particular symptom.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    So do I see the pediatrician or my ob? I assume the ob/gyn, and then go to the pediatrician if it turns out to be thrush. Does that make sense?
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex, born 2/27/11

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    I think either one could conceivably diagnose thrush, and either one should be familiar with it. If this is thrush, you'll need to treat both yourself and the baby.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    with Mommal. What you're describing sounds a whole lot like thrush, and if it is, it probably won't heal on its own without treatment. One thing I would do is go get some infant probiotics for your baby, and give as directed. You can also dust it on your nipples. It's just "good bacteria" that competes with thrush (which is yeast) for food. It's commonly found in yogurt, etc. You can't overdose on it. You can use it in addition to any other medication and it can help prevent a recurrence by getting that good flora established in your baby's mouth and digestive tract.

    I also use OTC lotrimin ointment on my nipples. Your doctor my prescribe nystatin, which you will hear a lot of conflicting thoughts about - some people found it helpful, some not at all. One thing that your OB might be more likely to prescribe for you is Diflucan, and that can be quite helpful. Whatever you do, you should treat your baby as well, and you should use the probiotics to create a good balance of flora and prevent recurrence.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    w/ JoMo. Probiotic will help, and certainly can't hurt. In addition, you probably want to cut down on yeast-feeding foods in your diet (simple sugars and starches), practice very thorough hygiene (wash bras, towels, shirts, etc. on hot, sterilize pump parts), and let your nipples breathe. Yeast lives moisture, so air drying and not using lanolin are probably good ideas right now.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    Do you think your baby is teething? Has anything else changed? Pumping routine or nursing positions? Medications?

    A baby's latch can change if he's teething, and some babies will kind of chew on the nipple. Do you think that could be happening? Can you feel a difference in how he nurses?

    Scabs and bleeding sound more like nipple trauma than thrush to me. Although that doesn't mean you couldn't have thrush or bacteria complicating the issue. There was a study that concluded the symptoms most likely to indicate thrush are shiny, flaky skin on the nipple or areola and stabbing pain. Staph bacteria is also a very common cause of nipple pain, especially when nipples are cracked.

    Lansinoh is probably a good idea. Scabs can make it take longer for nipple trauma to heal, since they can be pulled off when baby nurses and then the process starts all over again, so you want to put on a thick enough layer of Lansinoh on to be a barrier for moisture in between feedings, so the scabs don't form.
    Karen
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Nipple pain - ouch!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*LLLKaren View Post
    Do you think your baby is teething? Has anything else changed? Pumping routine or nursing positions? Medications?

    A baby's latch can change if he's teething, and some babies will kind of chew on the nipple. Do you think that could be happening? Can you feel a difference in how he nurses?

    Scabs and bleeding sound more like nipple trauma than thrush to me. Although that doesn't mean you couldn't have thrush or bacteria complicating the issue. There was a study that concluded the symptoms most likely to indicate thrush are shiny, flaky skin on the nipple or areola and stabbing pain. Staph bacteria is also a very common cause of nipple pain, especially when nipples are cracked.

    Lansinoh is probably a good idea. Scabs can make it take longer for nipple trauma to heal, since they can be pulled off when baby nurses and then the process starts all over again, so you want to put on a thick enough layer of Lansinoh on to be a barrier for moisture in between feedings, so the scabs don't form.
    Nothing else has changed, except for the possible teething. He has been chewing on everything and drooling a lot. When he chews on my knuckles, it feels pretty hard. No actual teeth yet, but maybe he's trying. When he's nursing, it does sometimes feel like he's gnawing at me. That hadn't hurt until after my nipple started bleeding. He also has been distractedly popping on and off a lot over the past two weeks. That's why I had been thinking that it was more trauma from him.

    However, I am having stabbing-ish pains in both breasts now. I think that might have started on Friday evening, after my clogged duct resolved itself.

    My nipples are not shiny, nor really flaky. Sometimes they peel a bit (which looks like whitish moist skin), they are definitely bleeding and forming scabs, and the scabs also look a bit yellowish (infection???). They are not more pink than normal (I have very pink nipples anyways).

    I have been a lot more sensitive lately. When I was pumping at work last week, I could not turn it up as high as I normally do.

    I'll definitely give DS the probiotics. I have been meaning to anyways and I just keep forgetting to actually give them to him. I guess I'll call my ob/gyn tomorrow and see if he can see me. It's such a pain having to go to the doctor! I really like to avoid it...
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex, born 2/27/11

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