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Thread: Cracked, painful nipple on ONE side only! LO is 11mos. old

  1. #1

    Default Cracked, painful nipple on ONE side only! LO is 11mos. old

    Dear fellow mamas,

    HELP!

    I am BF-ing my 3rd child (currently 11 mos old), and 2 days ago my left nipple started to gradually feel more pain while nursing, to the point where it's the most pain I've experienced from breastfeeding ever. The pain is most intense during initial latch). I have had the usual nipple soreness/cracking in those early days of nursing all my LO's, but this current pain is the WORST yet. I have to brace myself while baby is on the breast not to yell in pain. Not only does it hurt while nursing, but the nipple also hurts when it's rubbing against my bra/clothing when not nursing. There is a crack under my nipple that looks deeper than the ones I have had in the newborn days (which is probably why it hurts so much more!). My right side is completely fine. My babies never had latch issues, but this LO I'm currently nursing has bit me a few times here and there (she's got a bunch of teeth already) and I'm guessing a particularly hard bite several days ago is what caused the crack nipple. In terms of emptying the breast, I'm having no problems (besides bracing myself in pain from the cracked nipple), so I know it's not an improper latch. In the morning, I find that the nipple is starting to heal up, and when I nurse her the first thing in the morning (after 8-10 hours of not nursing at night), it seems to not hurt as much.. but then throughout the day (I'm still nursing every ~4hrs during the daytime), the crack starts to open up again and it's a vicious and frustrating cycle. I do not own a breastpump, and since I have always just breastfed exclusively, my breasts unfortunately do not respond to a pump anyway, the milk just won't letdown unless baby is sucking. I've tried hand-expressing and can't get the letdown that way either. I do not want to wean now and I know I can't go more than 8-10 hours without feeding baby otherwise I risk engorgement or dip in milk supply or worse, mastitis/infection...

    What is the best way to heal up my nipple QUICKLY (other than just not nursing on that breast for 2 days, haha)? I air it out when I can; I've tried lanolin (Lansinoh brand), pure coconut oil, expressed breastmilk... any other tips? At this point, my #1 concern is not so much minimizing the pain, but to get that nipple healed FAST!

    Has anyone ever tried nursing an older infant with a nipple shield? I've only heard that it helps with improper latch and inverted nipples etc.. but mainly for newborns. Would wearing a nipple shield actually help minimize the pain from the cracked nipple and/or promote faster healing? I've scoured the internet and read articles on LLL and Kellymom, but now I'm looking for any newer or tried-and-true suggestions at this point.. THANK YOU!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Cracked, painful nipple on ONE side only! LO is 11mos.

    Have you considered the possibility that this is thrush or a bacterial infection? It would match well with the pain which occurs post-feeding, and also with the crack at the base of the nipple. Latch cracks tend to be at the tip of the nipple, whereas thrush or bacterial cracks tend to be at the crease where the nipple meets the areola- maybe that microenvironment is just the tiniest bit more hospitable to microorganisms.

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