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Thread: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Default Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    Hi ladies,

    I have a 17 day old baby boy. BF has been rough..but we're working at it daily. My nipples have been very sore. The left is finally ok and the right is still a problem. There is a crack that is simply not healing. I put APNO after every single feeding and have started each feeding with the left side. I walk around braless quite a bit. About 3 days ago, I fed him on the left side only and pumped the right for 24 hrs. It got a bit better, but once I put him back on it, it kind of opened up again.

    Latching is so painful and it's a bit better through the feed, but it's not pain free. I dread every single feeding time and it's making me feel a bit depressed. What do I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    9,280

    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    Congratulations on the new baby! I'm sorry you are having pain. I had pain for the first few days of nursing but it was more a stretching I think of the skin. Any sort of injury to the nipple is a sign that something is wrong with the latch. Have you seen a lactation consultant or LLL leader? Having some hands on help might help troubleshoot a latch issue. You're treating it exactly as you should with the air and APNO. Are you looking for wide open mouth, chin in the breast, nose further away, baby close and snug to your body? I am Sorry you are having pain. It can be really frustrating. You will get past this hump and it will get easier!
    Lyn
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes


    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*diemme View Post
    Hi ladies,

    I have a 17 day old baby boy. BF has been rough..but we're working at it daily. My nipples have been very sore. The left is finally ok and the right is still a problem. There is a crack that is simply not healing. I put APNO after every single feeding and have started each feeding with the left side. I walk around braless quite a bit. About 3 days ago, I fed him on the left side only and pumped the right for 24 hrs. It got a bit better, but once I put him back on it, it kind of opened up again.

    Latching is so painful and it's a bit better through the feed, but it's not pain free. I dread every single feeding time and it's making me feel a bit depressed. What do I do?
    That acclimation period is tough. I went through this for many many weeks until we got the latch down. I studied latching - scoured the Internet for guidance, videos, diagrams and got 'The womanly art of breastfeeding' for my iPad. I like the digital version because you can do keyword searches. I was told breastmilk is actually a good treatment so when DD was done nursing and asleep I used to squeeze a little out and treat the sore spots and let it air dry. Seemed to help but overall it was patience, time and getting the latch down

    I assure you, you can get through it. 10 months now and I feel like a BF pro!
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    Kellymom has a good article with more healing tips (like salt water bathing) that you don’t see everywhere. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipplehealing/ I also think this is an interesting article about healing improved after mom washed nipple with gentle soap (not usually recommended in general but now more typically suggested when mom has nipple injury.) http://cwgenna.com/nhygiene.html Please read the linked articles before trying these ideas.

    Nothing against APNO, but if you are using it and using it without result, then it may be time to try something else as well.

    But ultimately healing will only happen if latch is not causing re-injury. If one side still hurts, that suggests there is still a problem with latch at least on that side. What have you tried for fixing baby’s latch?

    Many many moms here have worked through severe latch pain and injury to go on to happy breastfeeding relationships with their baby. I am one of them, I had trouble with two of my kids! Latch pain is probably the most common breastfeeding problem and it is almost always solvable. But I agree with pp, sometimes a breastfeeding helper is vital for helping mom fix latch.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I have seen 2 different lactation consultants and both say latch is ok (although I don't agree). I figure if it was good, then there would be no injury to the nipples. At least, in the beginning there definitely was a problem..I think it's improved quite a bit, since the left side is great now and he latches really well. Is it possible that he latches well on one side and not the other? I can't tell now if its the latch that's causing the pain or the cut on the nipple (looks more like a hole)

    Oh, and can the cut create pain in the actual breast? The tissue feels sore.

    I'll definitely read the articles...willing to try anything to get this healed asap! Thanks so much!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*diemme View Post
    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I have seen 2 different lactation consultants and both say latch is ok (although I don't agree). I figure if it was good, then there would be no injury to the nipples. At least, in the beginning there definitely was a problem..I think it's improved quite a bit, since the left side is great now and he latches really well. Is it possible that he latches well on one side and not the other? I can't tell now if its the latch that's causing the pain or the cut on the nipple (looks more like a hole)

    Oh, and can the cut create pain in the actual breast? The tissue feels sore.

    I'll definitely read the articles...willing to try anything to get this healed asap! Thanks so much!!
    If you're not able to nurse well on that side and the tissue feels sore it sounds like there's milk that needs to be expressed you don't want full and sore to evolve to plugged duct to evolve to mastitis so you need to get that side empty through some means. Hand express, pump, etc.

    One more idea for a balm - pure organic coconut oil. Nice thing about coconut oil is since it's edible you don't have to wash it off if baby does nurse (assuming no allergy issue).
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    I have seen 2 different lactation consultants and both say latch is ok (although I don't agree). I figure if it was good, then there would be no injury to the nipples.
    I think you are absolutely correct. Pain and/or injury certainly indicates latch is not 'ok.' Were either of the people you saw board certified (they would have the letters IBCLC after their name) and was either appointment similar to what is described here? http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html
    What explanation did they have for the pain if it was not a latch issue?

    Is it possible that he latches well on one side and not the other?
    Yes entirely possible. This happened in the early days with my third baby who is now 9 months. Dreadful painful latch in one side, fine on the other.

    One thing to try would be to try to position baby exactly as baby is positioned at the left breast-so when you switch sides, keep baby at the same angle rather than 'flipping' him. Does that make sense? I am struggling with describing what I mean...

    I can't tell now if its the latch that's causing the pain or the cut on the nipple (looks more like a hole)
    If latch is better, you should see healing begin to happen. Scabbing over, etc. And the pain should be gradually lessening.
    Oh, and can the cut create pain in the actual breast? The tissue feels sore.
    Yes- BUT.as debbers says...an injured nipple and/or a poor latch can also lead to mastitis. So please keep aware of how you are feeling, keep getting milk out of that breast via nursing or pumping, and rest as much as you can.

    jic mastitis info. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf
    With mastitis, You will feel sick. You may need antibiotics. KEEP NURSING (or pumping.)
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 11th, 2013 at 03:41 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    I had the same issue as you did. Good latch but extreme pain and cracking at first. We were checked by a professional at my local birth center and I did loads of research, but my daughter was doing it right by every measure. The problem is that I have very sensitive, thin skin on my breasts. (It's so delicate that I have gotten splinters from hair that was trapped in my bra.) So there was an agonizing toughening up period that went on far longer than anyone indicated. Sometimes it's really not a latch issue in spite of the reams of advice you see that tells you to check your latch! For some women, even a correct latch causes severe pain!

    I ended up using a nipple shield on the injured side to alleviate the worst of the pain. It didn't cause confusion because I used it sparingly, sometimes even just for that initial latch on period that hurt so bad I would be tearing up and pounding on the arm of my couch. I also took OTC pain killers and used a prescription ointment. If your problem is like mine was, you may just have a little while longer before your breasts can deal with the rigors of breastfeeding.

    At about 3 weeks, the worst crack - which seemed almost terminal - started to close. This was without changing anything. At my baby's 1-month checkup, everything was going great. Now, at 7 weeks, breastfeeding does not hurt anymore and I actually look forward to that close, relaxing time with my daughter.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    Thanks again for your replies! I think I now have plugged ducts. I've been nursing on the injured side constantly, but the pain in the breast has gone from a bit painful to 'I can't touch it' at all. I've been massaging it, applying warm cloths, and it's not going away. So, not only is the nipple still cracked, now this. Ohh...the joys of Breastfeeding! I'm just praying this doesn't turn to mastitis

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Nipple pain is driving me crazy

    I hate to say this, but what you describe sounds like it could be starting to tip over into mastitis. If you start feeling generally yucky, having aches and pains, seeing red spots or streaks on the skin of the breast, or running a fever, it's time to see the doctor.
    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!"

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