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Thread: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    3

    Default Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    This has been going on for 2 weeks now (left breast) and the pain is almost unbearable. My baby is 2 months old and I can tell he's not latching on well (not opening his mouth wide enough) when on my left breast, but it just seems like nothing I try to do helps! He does great on my right one, so I'm not sure why he can't do the same on the left. I've contacted my local LLL leader and she spent a long time with me over the phone, giving me tips on how to help him latch on better...but to no avail. I keep trying to get him to open his mouth wider and sometimes he does, but after 2 minutes on the breast, I can see his lower lip move back up really close to the nipple and the more I try to take him off and start again, the more upset he gets.

    I'm at a point where I don't know what to do anymore. My nipple is cracked and I can see some very slight yellow crust in there when it dries. Could this be an infection? The pain is so bad, I cry the entire time I nurse on that side. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    sometimes it takes cracks a while to heal.. do you have any buring pain?
    that might be thrush.
    How are you treating the crack? heres some info on treating the crack:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...lehealing.html

    heres what it says about when to call the doctor
    Contact your health care provider if you notice:
    Fever, inflammation/redness, swelling, oozing, pus, or other signs of infection. It is possible to have multiple infections (both fungal and bacterial).

    If the nipple is obviously infected, then talk to your health care provider about the possibility of using an oral (systemic) antibiotic. One study indicated that topical antibiotics and good breastfeeding techniques might not be sufficient if infection is present. (See Livingstone V, Stringer LJ. The treatment of Staphyloccocus aureus infected sore nipples: a randomized comparative study. J Hum Lact. 1999 Sep;15(3):241-6.) See also Oral antibiotic use for sore, cracked nipples.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    855

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    I had a cracked nipple when my lo was about that age. It hurt very bad when she latched on, but the pain would eventually stop during the feeding. Have you tried putting lanolin on it after nursing? It keeps it moist so that it heals faster. It also keeps that crust from forming that hurts. I too could see a yellowish crust when it dried, I don't think that is infection, just an excretion from your skin. As long as it is not oozing, smelly, or you have a fever. Mine eventually healed in about a month. I have read where some women pump on the affected breast (pumping is supposed to be easier on the breast) until it is healed. I did that several times a day when it was really bad, but I never completely stopped actually nursing on that side. Hope this helps.. Definatley try the lanolin. It is all natural and your lo can nurse with it on there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    I have had the same problem - Mine is also on the left side, but is getting better FINALLY. My lo has a harder time latching on to my left side for some reason as well, so I understand your frustration, just keep working at it and try different positions to relieve some of the pain. I've been applying moist heat before and after nursing and also using Lansinoh. Be sure not to keep your nipple too moist though, that makes it worse...trust me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    12

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    I have had the same problem and my LO is two months old. My LO has a really hard time latching on to my right side because my nipple is a lot larger/flatter. I feel like I spend the whole time she's nursing on that side pulling her chin down to try to get her to take in more breast tissue. I haven't had any cracks in it for a while, but when we first came home from the hospital I had several. My doctor gave me a prescription for bacitracin (a topical antibiotic) to avoid infection. The cracks also had little yellow scabbie things on them, but they eventually went away once it healed. Just keep a close eye on it, because having open sores like that leave you susceptible to infection, ie, mastitis. I actually had to pump and bottlefeed while mine healed because it was just too painful. Like you, i cried everytime she latched on. The lanolin cream really helps with the healing too. I load up on it after everytime she nurses religiously and I haven't had any new cracks since the first ones healed. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    Wow, you just gave me a very painful flash back. I used Lanolin and rubbed expressed breast milk on my nipples.

    I remember that pain and cringing every time by LO fed. For me the pain stopped when my DS was 5 weeks old.

    I feel for you! Hang in there ... this too shall pass.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    my nipples were in awful shape for the first two and a half to three months. from my experience i found that keeping my nipples moisturized with lanolin on between feedings really helped. at firs i was told to try and always let them dry in the air between feedings but that led to big scabs forming that ds had to break at each feeding. ouch! after trial and error i think that letting my nipples dry off after a feeding, then applying lanolin and putting my bra on worked best for me. also i used vitamin e, capsules, on them before ds had a long patch of sleep and that seemed to really kick start healing.

    in regards to the latch, i would sugest that you try to meet with someone in person. maybe it could be easily fixed but there is a breakdown in communication some where.

    me and my ds send love and support.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    713

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    Sorry to hear about the cracked nipples, I know from experience with the first one. They sell these things called "Soothies" and what they do is keep the moisture in to reduce cracking and drying of the nipples. I put mine in the fridge and then put them on, it feels so, well, soothing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Sore and cracked nipple - HELP!

    I am so happy to see this post. Not happy that you're in pain - just happy to read some experiences/solutions! A little discouraged to read it can take a full month to heal, though! I've got a sore on my left nipple, too. I think it was a milk blister that popped & then just opened up. Ouch. I'm glad to hear that my cringing & tears are not just me being a sissy - that it really does hurt this bad for other people! I'll be sure to reaquaint myself with my little tube of Lanolin!!! Thanks!

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