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Thread: My breast is being mauled...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default My breast is being mauled...

    I noticed recently that baby (8 months old) is scratching and pinching me while nursing, but I noticed too late - it started hurting and when I looked at the underside of my breast, I was shocked at the mass of red wounds! I can't even call them scratches,they're so big. They looked almost infected when I noticed them. So I've been trying to hold her hands still, but then she gets uptight and sometimes even has trouble nursing to sleep if I'm holding her hands still and/or away from my breast. I guess I let her get really accustomed to pinching at me because it didn't hurt at first. Oops.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm thinking maybe a nursing necklace, but what about at night? I can't wear a necklace to bed, and it's just as much of a problem at nighttime.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: My breast is being mauled...

    try diverting her hands to your elbow folds, they are always there They feel i think similar (soft and pliable) and my son kneaded them instead with a passion and still does on occasion for comfort (without nursing, he is almost weaned, he is now four). The advantage is they injure less easily (for a while they still looked like the cat scratched them but it was not as painful). It took a while but it was worth the trouble. Every time he pinched/scratched I moved his hand to my elbow folds and said to him to knead here instead. I started this when he was about 7 or 8 months I cant remember exactly what age but in spring so he must have been at least 6 months). At night it is harder when you are both half asleep but eventually it took on, i think it took almost all summer.

    I should add it depends on your nursing position of course, and your size and baby's length if it works. You need to position your elbow so that the folds are relaxed and there is enough skin to grab.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: My breast is being mauled...

    I've got a similar issue. My baby (7 months) grabs and squeezes with her fingernails (ugh), pinches, etc-oh yeouch. It's not just when nursing, she is in the super grabby stage so faces, noses, ears, anything 'loose' gets it.

    Here is what I have tried- Cut her fingernails as short as I dare and use an emery board on them to file the edges.
    Give her something/somewhere else to squeeze. I have given her my hands and toys, but I may try giving her other skin, good idea.
    do breast compressions as at least some of the squeezing seems to be kneading to get the milk to flow. So I try to do that for her with the breast compressions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: My breast is being mauled...

    Thanks ladies! I'll try the elbow folds or a soft toy I think. And keep those nails short!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: My breast is being mauled...

    just wanted to add, i agree with PP it must be to do with getting milk t flow, also for a while at that age he used to head butt my boobs or pound them with his fist, and until I saw lambs doing this with ewes (head butting not fist pounding obviously) i used to think it was something psychological

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    366

    Default Re: My breast is being mauled...

    If the mauling is primarily between letdowns, you could do compressions to give her help.

    Otherwise, you could redirect to a nursing necklace or small plush toy. Failing that, there's always mittens.

    I would also gently start introducing a statement like "we don't scratch, it hurts Mama" when you redirect her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: My breast is being mauled...

    I had this problem recently with DD and like you i just ignored it for awhile. Eventually I couldn't take it anymore because I started to dread nursing her to sleep (primarily when she would scratch) and I had multiple scratches on each tricep and on my chest.

    I started to gently but firmly press her hand against my skin if she scratched too hard and say "No scratch" She would complain and pull her hand away but it would prevent any additional wounds. I had to say it firmly and be very consistent and it improved in a matter of days. Sometimes she still scratches but most of the time she will just run her hands along my skin or dig in her fingertips.

    It never helped to just clip her nails because in a day they would be long enough for her to do some damage again and she would just get antsy if I held her hand or tried to divert her attention with a toy

    Good luck
    Amber

    Mommy to Baby Sage: 6lb, 19in, born on 5/20/12

    love: hotsling AP, bumgenius diapers, ergoBaby
    loving fiancée to SAHD

    visit us at: mommy & sage

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: My breast is being mauled...

    Thanks ladies! I am going to get a necklace this week, and in the meantime I find I can pin her lower arm down under mine (gently) and hold her upper hand with my other hand, or try to get her to hold onto a soft toy with it. I just have to make sure I pin down that lower hand or it sneaks up and starts scratching before I notice. It has kind of become a rash that has spread up around the areola as well, but I think that's just because all the scratches got itchy and I couldn't help scratching it myself a bit Maybe I need a nursing necklace for myself too, haha! Thanks again.

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