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Thread: Cracked nipples and baby's upper teeth!

  1. #1

    Default Cracked nipples and baby's upper teeth!

    Hi all. My 11 month old is getting his top teeth in and they have started to irritate the side of my nipple. Yesterday the skin officially cracked open and it stings very badly when he feeds. I must admit that the little one has gotten into the habit of having a poor latch. He can only nurse if he tugs my nipple and uses his arms to push my chest away. I've tried to correct this but the little guy is quite stubborn.

    I've tried switching nursing positions, which decreases the pain, but he doesn't enjoy the different positions. At the end of the nursing session I make sure to rub a bit of breast milk around the nipple and air dry. It gets better, but then it's time to nurse again and the wound opens up again.

    This morning when I first turned on the pump at work the wound opened up and started bleeding. I had to stop quickly, blot it up, waited a few minutes, then resumed pumping with no problems.

    Any suggestions how to handle cracked nipples while nursing and pumping? It just seems impossible to heal up since nursing and/or pumping happens every few hours!
    DS born 11/23/11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Cracked nipples and baby's upper teeth!

    I think the first thing to do is to determine if this crack is the result of a poor latch or of something like thrush or bacterial infection. Older babies do get difficult when teething, and sometimes their teeth will break the skin- but if you've had months of trouble-free nursing you have to at least consider alternate explanations for the cracking.

    Tips on dealing with broken skin in the nipple area:
    - Vary your nursing position.
    - Use a combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on the crack to combat inflammation and infection. Use a pea-sized amount, mixed and applied using a clean finger.
    - Hydrate the crack before nursing/pumping, by using a wet washcloth on it or by immersing the entire nipple in a shot glass full of warm water. Scabs tear open with less pain when they are softened by water.

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