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Thread: Nipple cracked at base - intense pain :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Update: Nipple cracked at base

    My little girl (two weeks old now) has had troubles latching (shallow latch) from the very start. Some of it is due to torticollis (stiff neck/jaw), and we are addressing that with an osteopath; some of it is due to her small size (which I've been told by my LC is just a matter of waiting till she grows a bit bigger in a few weeks).

    Unfortunately, the nipple soreness has been getting steadily worse for me and now I have developed a crack at the base of one of the nipples. It hurts intensely when I try to breastfeed (even with ibuprofen).

    I'm really discouraged and spent the last few hours crying... I'm really not ready to throw in the towel, but I just don't know what to do. My husband is out on a walk with her and when he brings her back she is going to want to eat. I shudder at the thought of the toe-curling pain I'm going to feel when she latches on.




    Update: after renting a hospital-grade pump (and pumping on the injured side for 24 hours) and then using a football hold for a few days (to reposition LO's voracious jaws ), plus copious amounts of lanolin, the crack has healed without a trace.

    I've also been using the "sandwich" technique to compress the breast during nursing and lo and behold, my nipple soreness is gone too. Having to do it means that I have both hands occupied and makes it nearly impossible to NIP. LO is 3.5 weeks old now, how much longer do you think I'll have to do this until she is able to get a deep enough latch on her own?
    Last edited by @llli*luckypixie; November 2nd, 2011 at 04:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    hi mama! a craked nipple is painful

    i used to slather my nipples in the lansinoh cream all day. i kept it in my bathrobe pocket to stay warm.

    i wore a very loose tank top i didnt care about getting the cream on, but also wore no top when i could.

    you can try expressing some milk and putting it on the area too.

    you are doing a great job. deep breaths mama.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    If you have to, express the one side and nurse on the other. Start with the better side so baby isn't starving. Try a different position so baby's mouth isn't right on the crack.

    Hydrogel pads will really help that heal up. Neosporin will also help.

    Watch your latch. Be really careful with it on that side.

    You can get through this!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    When you say you have a crack at the base of the nipple, it makes me wonder about thrush. Cracks from a poor latch are often on the nipple, on the tip or perhaps just underneath the tip of the nipple. But cracks from thrush may show up in the crease between nipple and areola, and may radiate onto the areola. In addition, cracks from latch issues tend to be wound-like whereas thrush cracks tend to be more slit-like. So, your cracks: slits or wounds? On the nipple or at the juncture between nipple and areola?
    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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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    Thanks to everybody for encouraging words.

    mommal, the wound looks like a slit, it's right at the at the juncture between nipple and areola and the way it's positioned makes me think it was caused by the latch (it's right where her upper gums/jaw must have been landing).

    I just don't think there's anything I can do to improve the latch not even the LC was able to get her to latch much deeper, her mouth just doesn't open wide enough




    My husband went out and rented a hospital-grade pump for me, since I just can't bear the though of feeding from my left side, it hurts too much. I pumped, and was only able to get a meager 0.7 ounces out of the left breast. Am I going to lose my supply? I also worry she'll be hungry

    This is just so difficult
    Last edited by @llli*luckypixie; October 22nd, 2011 at 08:08 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    Sweet momma,
    Don't give up I know it hurts! My DD will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and the pain is so great when he is nursing I get nauseous but I am determined to not give up. This is baby number 4 and I gave up wth my last 2 bc it hurt so bad and I regret it so much! It helps me to get him latched when my husband holds his lower jaw open while I get him on. Newman's Nipple Cream is Rx cream my MW gave me in hospital it helps! Just pump on that side and don't give up!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    Keep pumping. It takes time to learn how to pump, and a pimp is not as good as a baby, but it's better than nothing. In the AM, call your midwife and get a prescription for an antifungal, and see if she will get you a script for All-purpose nipple cream. It is also antifungal, but it is also anti-bacterial and has a steroid in it to help with pain. It is perfectly safe for breastfeeding. Call uour ped for treatment for the baby too. And then give it some time; keep nursing (and with the pump in the picture, you have to consider that too for cleaning). As she grows, her latch will improve. There are quite a few moms here who have BTDT.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    108

    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    aprilsmagic, I've been trying to pump, but either because I'm so new to all this or because I'm really stressed out, no matter how long I pump, I just can't get a letdown so I'm getting very little milk out (less than an ounce).

    This, of course makes me more stressed out, which is not helping.

    I basically spend all my time crying Do you think her latch improving is a matter of a few weeks? I just don't know how much longer I can carry on like this...


    Do you think it's SAFE to nurse on the injured side if I can stand the pain or could I be making things (the crack) worse to the point of no return? After 24 hour of not nursing on that side, even with the pumping I'm starting to get engorged, so I gotta nurse there.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    Try using a position where her gums don't contact your wound.

    Try some hand expression and reverse pressure softening to loosen things up first

    You may not feel a letdown to a pump. And believe me, I know how hard it is to pump. I have to EP for my fourth, after very successfully nursing my older children and overcoming many obstacles along the way. And I had a very hard time pumping for the first month! Just getting the milk out was an ordeal, and I had to usually try to feed the baby and manage my other kids at the same time. Are you sure the horns are the right size? Wrong size, and you might not get anything.

    You will get your supply back. It will work out. And your baby will grow and it will work better.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    108

    Default Re: Nipple cracked at base - intense pai

    bumping up: update in the first post...

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