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Thread: Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to quit

  1. #1
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to quit

    my litlle girl is 8 days old. I was having problems nursing her in the hospital and i asked the nurse for help. All i got was well that looks pretty good. By day 2 my nipples looked like lipstick with a big sore on the side that was pointed. Found out a few days ago that my lo sucked in her bottom lip and she wasn't getting enough boob in. My right nipple is fine, just a little sore from nursing wrong for so long but no cracks, scabs, or bleeding. My left one is another story. It has a large chunck of skin missing that always bleeds while i nurse her and has a crack forming at the base. Nursing on that one side is horrible. It always ends up with me crying because it never stops hurting. It shoot pains up to my elbow. Ive tried the football hold and that seems to help a little bit. I have been pumping that one side and nursing off of the other at every feeding. I only have to give her the pumped milk about 1-2 times a day, in the evenings when it seems like she nurses constantly. I feel like giving up because it hurts so bad. the bottle is looking better and better by the feedings.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to qui

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! I'm so sorry you're having a rough time so far, and kudos to you for not just giving in and quitting like so many women do!

    Cracked nipples are very, very painful. Been there, done that, and I can totally understand why bottlefeeding seems appealing right now. The best thing you can do is to get yourself to a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) for hands-on help. When you're struggling with a newborn and her tiny mouth, nothing beats in-person help from a professional!

    When you say "it never stops hurting", do you mean that the pain continues throughout the feeding, or that it persists even AFTER the feeding? And do you notice any changes in the skin of the nipple aside from the crack- things like the tip of the nipple turning white, or perhaps bluish-purple, before returning to a normal color? How about shiny, dry, flaky skin, or a nipple that appears very red or pink? Any sensations of itching or burning?

    Tips on healing cracked skin in the nipple area:
    - Moist healing. Use a lanolin ointment or gel pads on the crack, and keep the humidity in your house high (difficult in cool, dry weather, I know!).
    - Use a combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on the crack to combat inflammation and infection. use pea-sized amount, mixed and applied using a clean finger.
    - Practice good hygiene- wash your bra and change any nipple pads frequently.
    - Experiment with different positions. Your baby may latch on better in one position than another, and varying your position will allow pressure from baby's mouth to fall in different positions on the nipple, which should reduce pain.
    - Try pumping for a minute or two before latching the baby on to the cracked side, in order to draw out the nipple to its maximum length.
    - Google "nipple sandwich technique" for a description of a method which may enable you to get maximum breast into a tiny mouth.
    - Give it time! Newborns have tiny mouths and that makes it difficult for them to achieve an optimal latch. But babies grow and usually grow right out of their latch issues.

    Tips on dealing with pain:
    - Immerse the nipple in a shot glass of warm water for about 30-60 second before nursing or pumping, to hydrate the scabs. Moistened, softened scabs tear open less painfully than dry ones.
    - Go bra-less/topless as much as possible to reduce chafing to sore nipples.
    - Give it time! As baby grows, her latch will improve!
    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: Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to qui

    The pain never really goes away. Sometimes it hurts more than others but it is more like a burning achy pain. I have been using Earth Mama's natural nipple butter to keep my nipple moist for the scab. I wasn't very fond of the stuff the hospital gave me. my lo didn't like it very well.
    Wife to Jon - 1/07/2012
    Mum to Emmaline Grace- 10/4/12 7 ibs. 13 oz.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to qui

    Hi mama! I don't have any advice, just want to share that breast feeding isn't as easy as we hope it would be. I also started off with cracks and blisters. I found that as Mommal suggested, using lansinoh constantly helped a ton. It was WAY less painful when my son nursed and my nipples were already moist. The difference in pain was substantial. Please also look into an IBCLC as Mommal suggested. She will be able to help you with the latch and possibly identify any anatomical reasons for what sounds like a poor latch. You can do it mama. Those first few weeks postpartum are so hard. Getting by on little sleep, healing fromwe the birth, crazy hormone changes, being responsible for a little one AND trying to master breast feeding . That's a lot, but you can do it. You just need to get some hands on help. Please keep us posted.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to qui

    Burning, achy pain can be indicators of the following:
    - vasospasm (common following compression of the nipple, which is what the lipstick shape you're seeing is) http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/moth...ple-blanching/
    - thrush (a yeast infection of the nipple and/or breast, and baby's mouth, more common after a course of antibiotics) http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/thrush-resources/
    - a bacterial infection (common when there is broken skin in the niple area) http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/

    All good reasons to see the IBCLC!
    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: Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to qui

    emmysmum, is this your first baby? I am going by that assumption....

    first, so sorry for the terrible pain. and so sorry that you did not get better help in the hospital.

    my oldest child was born nine years ago. i had terrible latch pain on both sides, nipples bleeding etc. plus i was told that baby was not gaining well and that i had to pump to build supply, (neither of which turned out to be true but anyway-) so i was nursing every two hours around the clock and pumping after every nursing session. oh and it would take about 45 minutes to even get my baby to latch at all. so nursing took over an hour every time.

    by the time baby was about three weeks old, i was happily nursing him pain free, and with great relief stopped pumping! i nursed my baby for a good long time and nursed my next baby without incident.

    i now have a 2 month old daughter. in the early weeks with her, i again had excruciating latch pain-like you, mostly on one side. her latch was so poor she could not extract the milk well. i developed mastitis and an enormous plug. this time, i wanted to pump in order to relieve the pressure, but the pump was even more painful than the baby. fun times!-not.

    Again, by a few weeks in, i was nursing my baby happily and pain free. That is why my punctuation is lacking-I am typing one handed while my baby nurses-on what was the horribly painful side!

    i share these stories not because they or i am unique or special, but because such stories are so common-really, run of the mill. many many moms have similar tales to tell with the same point- pain and even injury in the early weeks do not necessarily mean the end of breastfeeding.

    every mom is different and has different paths. you know yourself and your baby best. i do suggest you become as informed as you can about whatever choices you make. good breastfeeding resources are lll, breastfeeding usa, kellymom.com, as well as this forum. there are others that are good of course, but there is also alot of really bad or simply outdated info out there. so be careful. also, what works for one mom may not work for another. get informed, but also play around to find what works best for you and your baby.

    here is how I got past my problems-1) I got competent help from a board certified lactation consultant. 2) I got support in my desire to nurse my babies 3) I educated myself about breastfeeding. In my case, the best resource was the book the womanly art of breastfeeding 4) I decided that if there was a way to make breastfeeding work, I would find it.

    please feel welcome to pm me, if you cannot find local lll help I would be happy to talk with you about your latch issues if you like. I am in California, USA.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Bad sore and crack at base of nippple Bout ready to qui

    I'm so sorry, mama. I have an 8 week old and I had many of the same issues you had, also on the left breast. He always got a decent latch on the right side, but the left one is inverted, so it was really hard for him (and myself) at first. I was missing a chunk of the nipple, which bled every time he nursed, it was cracked, blistered, you name it. I also ended up with thrush in the very early weeks. So yeah, not fun times. I absolutely dreaded nursing him on the left, and I had a bit of an oversupply problem which made it all worse since that flattens the nipple even more so than it already was... Ugh. Just talking about it makes my nipple hurt.

    Anyway, I would second (or third, or fourth) the idea of seeing an IBCLC to help you with latch. Nothing beats getting hands on help. I can also completely understand why you want to pump that breast and not nurse, but when you're dealing with latch issues, giving a bottle isn't the best idea. She will learn to latch properly quicker with each time she does it. If you latch her and it hurts, unlatch and try again. I also would recommend pumping for a minute or so to draw the nipple out. That is what I found helped me the most with the initial pain of his latch (other than being treated for the thrush). And I will also say that I exclusively pumped with my first son for a year after a month of trying to nurse because I just didn't have the right help, and it was brutal. Pumping for baby is much, much, much harder in the long run and many women who attempt it don't last and end up formula feeding.

    Good job to you for pushing through mama, I know you can do it. Get yourself some help though, you don't have to suffer. It WILL get better.
    Mommy to L - May 7, 07' , B - February 7, 09' , and R - August 18, 12'

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