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Thread: Wound on nipple HURTS so bad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Wound on nipple HURTS so bad

    I need help, please. Last week I had a nipple blister, which caused a plugged duct. I popped it with a needle (sterilized with alcohol). The plug went away and the spot on the nipple healed with some hurting, but I was able to nurse on that side the whole time. Well, for some reason, on Wednesday I got a plug again, same site, so I was scrutinizing my nip a bit to see if there was a blister again. Although it's hard to believe, I probably wasn't gentle enough, and/or the hurt spot last time hadn't healed 100%, OR it's this cold weather (which give me several cracks on my hand), the spot became open again in the form of a crack (no blister) (~ 2mm long, 2/3mm wide). The plug is now gone, and the wound on my nipple doesn't seem infected, but it hurts sooooo bad when I nurse on that side.
    So my question is, should I stop nursing on that side to allow the wound to heal? Or is it okay to keep nursing (even though less) on that side, and it wouldn't really affect the healing process? (It HURTS, but I would also hate to lose supply on that side through not nursing.)
    Also, I apply Lansinoh cream when I'm not nursing. Anything else (natural remedies preferred) I can do to help speed the healing?
    Thanks so much and I can't wait for some replies!

    First time, SAH mom to my precious daughter born October 2009
    Nursing 27 months and counting... I still love nursing so much and am SAD thinking the end can come anytime now...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Wound on nipple HURTS so bad

    Ouch, mama! When a blister breaks, what results is like a tiny crack. Usually these heal quickly, within a week or so. Yours may be persisting due to the cold, dry winter air, or you may have picked up an infection in that area which is preventing healing from taking place.

    Don't stop nursing on that side if you can help it. That could result in engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, or loss of supply on that side. You don't want to add those problems to a painful cracked nipple.

    Here are some things you can do:
    1. Moist healing. Keep the humidity in your house nice and high, if possible. Put lanolin on the crack.
    2. Before latching baby onto the hurt side, immerse the cracked nipple in a shot glass of warm water. If there is a scab in the crack, hydrating it and softening it will allow it to tear open less painfully.
    3. Use a mix of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on the crack to combat inflammation and infection. Use a pea-sized amount, mixed and applied with a clean finger.
    4. Try varying your nursing position. Recurrent blisters and persistent cracks can be a latch issue, often coincident with teething.
    5. Nurse on the unhurt breast first. Babies tend to nurse most aggressively at the beginning of a feeding. If you fill your baby up on the unhurt breast, she may be a bit gentler on the wounded side.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Wound on nipple HURTS so bad

    mommal already suggested it, but let me reiterate-pay close attention to latch and think about new positions that would allow your baby some room to get a good latch. I have seen over and over, moms with older babies or toddlers, continue to nurse in a cradle position whcih causes babies chin to be tucked and it causes shallow latch &/or teeth rubbing and all the attendant issues.

    Your nurseling is almost two years old, correct? If so, I don't think a break of a day or two on one breast would hurt your supply, but mommal is right it could cause engorgement. So if youfind you cannot heal while still nursing, or it is too painful to nurse, you could try not nursing on that one side for a couple of days but instead hand express as needed. (As long as you can do that and do it comfortably.) Pumping is another option but all to often pumps just continue to injure the nipple in such cases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Wound on nipple HURTS so bad

    If you back off nursing on that side, and nurse only a couple times a day, it might help it heal while still helping you avoid engorgement. I second the recommendation of hydrocortisone/antibacterial ointment (I use polysporin antibacterial ointment). It really does promote fast healing, and the hydrocortisone helps relieve the pain.

    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.

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