Re: Sever breast & nipple pain - no help from Doctor
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! And congratulations on toughing it out with breastfeeding despite the crack and the severe pain. BTDT, and I know that you're not kidding about how much it hurts. There were days where I would rather have stuck my finger in an electrical socket than nursed my baby on cracked nips.
Based on what you're describing, I am thinking 2 things. First, I think that despite the latch looking textbook on the outside, it's still poor on the inside. That's really typical, and I hate it when LCs just shrug and say "it looks good!". Lipstick nipple + crack = latch issue. The good news is that the crack is healing. Once it heals completely, the pain should be much reduced. Usually time takes care of latch issues, if you can just be tough enough and patient enough for the baby's mouth to grow. Until then, here are some things you can do to cope:
- start nursing sessions on the uninjured side- babies often suck most strongly at the beginning of a feeding
- moist healing- keep the humidity up in the house, use lanolin ointment on the crack, try gel pads
- hydrate the crack before nursing by immersing nipple in a shot glass of warm water- wet cracks reopen less painfully than dry ones
- use combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and bacitracin antibiotic ointment on crack to combat inflammation and infection. Use pea-seized amount, mix and apply using clean finger.
- See another LC, preferably an IBCLC- each one has slightly different tricks and may pick up on an issue the other missed
- make sure your baby is checked for a tongue tie and high palate
- talk to the LC about the "nipple sandwich" technique- often useful for cramming maximum breast into tiny mouth
- experiment with different nursing positions- one may work better than the rest. I nursed my first in the side-lying position because that enabled the deepest latch. Many other mamas have more success with the football hold.
The second thing I am thinking is that you might have thrush, in which case you want to not use any moist healing techniques. Breast pain, particularly deep pain + cracked nipple can indicate thrush. So make sure you talk to the doc and the LC about that possibility, and do your own research (LLL has great info, as does kellymom.com). Many docs and LCs do not realize that thrush can be present even without the classic symptoms, or that both members of the nursing pair must be treated even if one is asymptomatic.
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!"