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Thread: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

  1. #1
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    Default Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    New mom and totally inexperienced BF'er!

    I am having serious pain in one of my nipples due to poor latch- can I pump that side and nurse LO on the other until the pain gets better? If I do pump on the painful side, will I produce enough milk out of the other side to keep him satisfied and avoid having to use a bottle? DS is only 6 days old and I don't want to have to use a bottle yet if I can avoid it. He is also a marathon gourmet nurser and I want to make sure he will have plenty to eat from the non-painful side for his 2-hour long eating sessions.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the brand-new baby!

    Before you get into pumping, I strongly suggest going to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help. Nothing beats it when you have a latch issue with a newborn.

    The reason I don't want you- or any new mom- to go straight to pumping is that the pump doesn't usually maintain supply as well as a baby, and ironically also because it is very easy for an inexperienced new mom to over-pump and end up with troublesome oversupply. And while it is often possible to feed a baby off only one breast, that is not always the case, particularly when baby is a slow nurser or has a poor latch, since a poor latch doesn't just hurt mom, but can also impede milk transfer. You're totally right to not want to introduce a bottle at this point- there's a very good chance that it would screw up breastfeeding even worse.

    Can you describe what you're experiencing on the painful side? Maybe we can help.

    Call the LC first, though.
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    One sided pain is often a positioning issue. Try laid back, biological nursing positioning and see if it helps. An IBCLC can show you
    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
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    Thanks ladies.

    When he latches onto my left side, it feels like a stabbing, pinching pain. I saw my doctor yesterday and she showed me how to improve the latch, so I have been working at it, but I think the pain comes from him not latching properly for the first few days. I don't want to pump yet if I don't have to (although I plan on it at some point), but I need some relief from this pain. I know it will go away eventually but in the meantime, any advice would help.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    Tips for coping with pain:
    - Go topless/braless as much as possible to reduce chafing
    - Experiment with different positions- you may find that one works better than the others
    - Moist healing- slather on the lanolin, keep the humidity in your house high (dry skin can exacerbate pain)
    - If you have cracks, try a combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin ointment (use pea-sized amount,'iced and applied using a clean finger)
    feedings more feedings on the good side- babies are more relaxed and may be more gentle by the time they get to the second breast
    - Try a nipple shield- but note that they have the potential to make a baby's latch worse and cause lowered supply, and therefore are supposed to be used only with guidance from a LC!

    When baby unlatches, is the nipple visibly misshapen? It might look creased, wedged, ridged, or like a new lipstick.
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    It's not really more misshapen than the right one...sort of just a little elongated and flattened out, but the right one looks like that too and I have no pain on that side.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    Flattened does point to a latch issue. Did the doc check your baby carefully for tongue tie? Can baby extend his tongue past the lower gum line?

    How long does the pain last when you're nursing- does it come only at the beginning of the feeding, or does it persist all the way through, or does it come on at the end?

    Also, any cracking or blistering on the sore side?
    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!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    His tongue extends below the gum line. I notice the pain much more at the beginning of a session and it typically subsides by the end. If he goes a couple of hours without nursing on that side (which only happens at night), the pain is gone within a minute or two. No cracking or blistering on that side- I've been trying to air it out as much as possible and leave expressed milk on it to help with the soreness. I ordered lanolin yesterday and it's coming today, so hopefully that helps.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    At night, do you feed the baby in a side-lying position? Sometimes that can allow baby to get more breast into his mouth, preventing the "30 second sizzle" that occurs at latch-on, as the nipple is sucked into the ideal position on the back of baby's tongue.
    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!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sore nipple - ok to pump one side?

    I love that position- it is the only way my husband and I get any sleep, since baby only falls asleep at the breast. The pain has started to subside a little, and my lanolin just arrived so I'm going to try that as well. Now my only issue is whether to introduce a pacifier, since I'm pretty sure a lot of his "eating" is just pacifying and comfort sucking.

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