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Thread: Hydrogel Pad Usage / Breast Burns

  1. #1

    Default Hydrogel Pad Usage / Breast Burns

    Hi there,

    My DD is now 11 days old and I've been ebf. We had a shallow latch for the first several days; I met with a LC who helped me get the right positioning, but the damage was done. My nipples were (are) sore and cracked. She suggested I use the Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Pads. I've used them since Wednesday (it's now Monday). There has been some progress, and it's no longer as painful to nurse. However, the healing has seemed to plateaued. The nipples are still pretty raw but due to the moist environment, don't scab over like they did.

    So my question for you ladies is - how should I be using these pads? I've worn them all day every day (obviously not when nursing). I wash them each time in water, but basically put them right back on when DD is done. Letting my nipples be in the air has not really worked - it's a little painful, and they tend to get bumped or brushed by DD, which then really hurts. Does it work best to wear them all day? Should i be taking breaks from them? How long should I expect to need to wear them (I do have another pack ready to go since these are almost at the end of their life)?

    Also: In the last couple of days, there has been a bit of a burning sensation in my breasts. It's both on the ends of my nipples, and somewhat internally as well. Worse at night. My breasts are no longer engorged or anything (rather "empty" feeling) so I'm wondering if it's refill pain? Or... thrush? I sure hope not!

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,593

    Default Re: Hydrogel Pad Usage / Breast Burns

    I usually suggest to discontinue use of anything that is not working or possibly making things worse. While of course I have heard of them, I am not familiar with this product or what studies have been done on them, how long they should be used, etc.

    Years ago there was a study on purified lanolin that (iirc) showed it helped speed healing of injured nipples via moist wound healing. It must be applied regularly, after every nursing session. Lanolin in rare cases will irritate some mothers, and if a mother has thrush, it is not a good idea to use lanolin. Otherwise that is a pretty tried and true product.

    APNO is a nipple cream that requires a prescription and has to be compounded, Some mothers swear by it, other have found it unhelpful and again in rare cases, irritating.

    Breastmilk itself is healing when left on the nipples in many cases.

    Overall, nipples injured due to poor latch should continue to heal unless they are being reinjured. So if your healing has stopped, I would wonder if latch still needs adjusting. This would not be uncommon.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hydrogel Pad Usage / Breast Burns

    Thanks a bunch! I'm going pick up some shells tomorrow then switch back to lanolin. Before, even with lanolin, I'd end up sticking to the disposable nursing pads. No fun at all.

    Would you also suggest the saline dips in addition to lanolin? Just curious...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,593

    Default Re: Hydrogel Pad Usage / Breast Burns

    I know kellymom suggests salt water rinses: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipplehealing/ That is not something I have ever seen in LLL literature, however, Kellymom is very reliable and a "LLL trusted" source of info. So I see no reason not to try it. I have heard some moms on here say it has helped.

    IBCLC Catherine Watson Genna suggests washing injured nipples with soap and water to prevent/treat bacterial infection and consequently, speed healing. http://cwgenna.com/nhygiene.html Again, this is not something I have seen in LLL literature but CW Genna is certainly a reliable source of information.

    It's hard to give one specific suggestion as different mothers respond differently- I would also suggest talking to your IBCLC again and seeing her, if possible. Sometimes (often, actually) treatments need tweaking and (aside from you) she is the person with the most knowledge of your specific situation.

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