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Thread: Cracked Nipples

  1. #1

    Unhappy Cracked Nipples

    My baby, now 5 days old, is #4 for me, and I have breastfed all of them. This is the first time I've really had any problems with breastfeeding. While in the hospital I did see the LC, but we both thought everything was going well because she was eating frequently and seemed to be getting plenty of milk. What neither of us noticed then is that she had a shallow latch, and now my nipples are blistered and cracked from the way she has been feeding. I have gotten lots of tips for improving her latch, and we are getting better in that area, but now I don't know what to do about the cracked nipples. The LC suggested Lanolin after every feeding, and that helped one side, and I am able to nurse on that side with just a few seconds of pain when she first latches, but the other side is so painful I want to cry every time she starts nursing on that side. The pain continues the entire time she's nursing. This morning I've only been nursing on the one side and expressing by hand out of the other side to keep it from getting engorged. I'm continuing to coat it in Lanolin every time she nurses, even though she's not actually nursing on that side. Any other suggestions for healing it quickly so we can get back to nursing normally? I'm worried that if I continue to nurse only on the one side that the healing we have seen so far will reverse and we'll just end up going back and forth from one side to the other every few days.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Cracked Nipples

    What about expressing some breastmilk and applying it to the nipple when you are done nursing?

    Have you tried some of the kellymom solutions? They have a saltwater rinse recommended, followed by breastmilk.
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Cracked Nipples

    If the problem isn't the latch and is just giving your nipples time to heal, let your nipples air dry for a few minutes after feeding. Lanolin is great, but I found that it would rub off on my bra, and also my bra would distort my nipple. So I put lanolin on and then nursing pads (I still using lansinoh disposable pads to this day to avoid embarrassing leaking at work ). If you are able to give your nipples some air while sleeping that will help too.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Cracked Nipples

    lanolin, breastmilk, all purpose nipple ointment (a compound that you LC may know about) may all help speed healing, but if your nipple continues to be reinjured by a shallow latch, it's not going to be much help. If you liked the LC you saw and can see her again, I suggest that. It may help to have someone else watching while you nurse and see what they think. If an LC is not available, you can try to see if a local LLL leader can help. Often things change once the milk comes in so its not unusual to see sore nipples crop up a few days later.

    I hate to mention it but when nipples have been injured it can set the stage for thrush or a bacterial infection. Not all that common, especially this early, but something to look into maybe if the nipple does not heal pretty quickly.

    I'm worried that if I continue to nurse only on the one side that the healing we have seen so far will reverse and we'll just end up going back and forth from one side to the other every few days.
    If latch is feeling OK on the one side, getting reinjured even if nursing frequently is less likely, however, if it is still hurting, this is definitely something to watch out for. So keep on top of this. You also may want to have your baby looked at for tongue tie if she continues to be unable to latch comfortably with positioning changes and various latch techniques. I usually would not suspect that at all this early, but since you are an experienced nursing mom its obviously not simply inexperience. So I wonder what is different this go-around.

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