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Thread: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    9

    Exclamation help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    I've been nursing since my son Caleb was born June 1. The nurses say his latch looks fine. Yet, I have had these huge gashes/sores on my nipples and they just won't heal. Doctor gave me cream that is supposed to be antibacterial/antifungal to kill anything in case I have an infection or thrush. Using it religiously to no avail. Cream is Vittorio Nursing Cream Fougera if that helps anybody. Been nursing through pain for QUITE a while. Still on perscription for Ibuprofen 800 from the hospital. Have been since I had him. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it seems like the meds aren't doin a darn thing. Hoping somebody can help! I dont wanna hurt no more! :/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    14

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    You can try using a nipple shield (which you might get for free from a LC or buy at Target for like $7 i think) to just relieve the pain or discomfort temporarily but try not to rely on it too much for too long as it may interfere with your nipple becoming stronger (your sore nipples will eventually become stronger as long as you nurse, and before you know it you don't feel them anymore like soreness was never a problem). Both my nipples were sore in the beginning but one of them was so painfully sore that I was recommended to use the shield. I kind of depended on it too much too long so when I stopped using it I nursed in pain on one nipple and had to put it through the "learning process" so it'll become stronger and I would be able to nurse painlessly, I decided to stick it out considering the fact that the soreness on the other nipple went away after awhile. HTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    hang in there! it took us 10 weeks before we got it, so I know how you feel. is there another lc you could see? perhaps some fresh eyes might be able to help pinpoint the problem for you. you're doing so great, and i'm sure you two will get it all worked out soon and then you'll be so glad and proud you stuck with it! *hug*

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    9

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    got a shield but it doesn't stay on good. not sure if maybe i'm not using it right? and it still hurts even using that...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,157

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    Ouch!!! What you describe reminds me of what I went through with my daughter. Huge gashes for 4.5 months, even with antibacterial cream and working with 2 LCs to develop a better latch.

    When your baby comes off the breast, are the gashes on the tip, the top, or the underside of the nipple? The ones on the undersides are apparently the hardest to heal. Also, when your baby comes off the breast, are your nipples symmetrically shaped like cylinders, or slanted like the end of a lipstick? If the answer is slanted like a lipstick, then the baby is not latching on deeply enough, and that's causing /perpetuating the damage you have.

    Here are some things that helped me. First, moist healing. If you have air conditioning, turn it off! Extremely humid, warm air really helped me turn the corner. Second, work on your latch. Get the baby on as deep as possible every single time. Third, pain control. A lot of pain is caused by the scabbed-over gash cracking open when the baby latches on. A moist, warm washcloth or a shot glass full of warm water (lower your nipple into the glass, then bring the glass up to your skin, forming a seal so no water dribbles out no matter what position you're in) will make the scabs supple and decrease latch-on pain. Fourth, and this was the big one for me, time. Your baby will grow, and his mouth will grow, and he will be able to latch on more deeply. Once that happens, I am sure your cracks will heal. Hang in there until then!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    89

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    I was in a *lot* of pain as well and was close to throwing in the towel until I saw my LLL leader and she helped me to latch on. (The nurses also told me my daughter was latching on fine, but she really wasn't.) I can't say I didn't have pain ever again but it was very manageable afterwards -- night and day! Momma1 has some great ideas, so in addition to that I would only offer that a leader might be able to help you. Time has also been the biggest help for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    791

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    We also experience pain in the first 10 weeks- first due to engorgement and then thrush, but I also believe my son was doing something "funky" with his tongue that we couldn't see from the outside. Everyone said his latch was good. Now that I have the benefit of hindsight, I believe I have a strong let-down reflex and he was doing those funky things with his tongue to slow down the milk flow. Over time he got better at handling the flow. Hope some of the suggestions others have offered help!

    It definitely sounds like a latch issue and all I will say is that if you can make it through this and get everything sorted out, breastfeeding gets SO Much better and is really, really awesome.

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    207

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    I had thrush for the 1st 2 months!! I"d SCREAM when he latched on and cry the entire time he nursed

    what finally helped me was cutting out sugar and gentian violet

    cleared right up and hasn't come back since

    check with your doctor or LC 1st but here is info on it

    To Treat Thrush:
    *gentian violet -- OTC medicine--ask your pharmacist
    it works almost always, and relief is rapid. It is messy, and will stain clothing, but not skin. The baby's lips will turn purple, but the purple will disappear after a few days. Gentian violet is available without prescription but is not available at all pharmacies. Call around before going out to get it.

    1. About 10 ml (two teaspoons) of gentian violet is more than enough for an entire treatment.

    2. Many mothers prefer doing the treatment just before bed so that they can keep their nipples exposed and not worry about staining their clothing. The baby should be undressed to his diaper, and the mother should be uncovered from the waist up. Gentian violet is messy.

    3. Dip an ear swab (Q-tip) into the gentian violet.

    4. Put the purple end of the ear swab into the baby's mouth and let him suck on the swab for a few seconds. The gentian violet usually spreads around the mouth quickly. If it does not, paint the inside of the mouth to cover as much of the inside of the cheeks and tongue as possible.

    5. Put the baby to the breast. In this way, both the baby's mouth and your nipple are treated.

    6. If, at the end of the feeding, you have a baby with a purple mouth, and two purple nipples, there is nothing more to do. If only one nipple is purple, paint the other one with the ear swab and the gentian violet. In this way, the treatment is finished in one go.

    7. Repeat the treatment each day for three or four days.

    8. There is often some relief within hours of the first treatment, and the pain is usually gone or virtually gone by the third day. If it is not, it is unlikely that Candida was the problem, though it seems Candida albicans is starting to show some resistance to gentian violet, as it is to other antifungal agents. Of course there may be more than one cause of nipple pain, but after three days the contribution to your pain caused by Candida albicans should be gone. Do not continue the gentian violet if no relief occurs after 3-4 days of treatment. Instead, get more information.

    *If that doesn’t work your doctor can prescribe Oral Nystatin for baby. Usually 1ml in each cheek 4 times per day--but since yeast grows back in 1 1/2 hours, it will be more effective if you give half the dosage twice as often. I use 1ml 8 times per day and also find it more affective to put the Nystatin in a small cup (I use the little measuring cups that come with children’s liquid medicine) and dip Q-tips in the Nystatin and coated my sons mouth with the medicine
    instead of just using a dropper.


    Give medicine after a feeding and don't let baby eat or drink anything for at least 15 minutes.

    Nystatin ointment for baby's rash-3-4 times daily

    Either Nystatin can be used on your nipples, I personally prefer to put the ointment on my nipples as it is not as sticky but it does need to be washed off before each feeding.



    Other measures to take to get rid of yeast:

    *Wash all clothing and towels that come in contact with you or baby in HOT water with bleach and dry on hot in the dryer or in the sun.
    *Rinsing your nipples with a vinegar and water solution (1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup water) after every feeding and Use a fresh cotton ball for each application and mix a new solution every day. (This changes the pH balance of your skin and inhibits the growth of the yeast)
    *Using the same vinegar solution for baby’s bottom instead of wipes at diaper changes helps. Put the solution in a spray bottles and wipe of with a fresh washcloth or cotton pad each diaper change. Store bought baby wipes can actually help yeast thrive.
    *Eat a lot of garlic (If your baby can tolerate it) or take odorless garlic capsules
    *Take Echinacea (3-4 pills per day) for 10 days, then off 3 days, resuming for 10 days, etc.
    *Apply plain yogurt to your nipples after each feeding
    *Apply breastmilk to nipples after each feeding.
    *Allow nipples to air dry between feedings.--go without a bra when you can wear a loose cotton t-shirt to allow air flow to your nipples
    *Change nursing pads frequently
    *Add acidophilus supplements (40 million units per day) to your diet.
    *Reducing yeast and sugar in your diet helps.
    *Eat a yogurt everyday
    *All artificial nipples that the baby uses should be boiled daily during the treatment, or well covered with gentian violet. Consider stopping artificial nipples.
    *After thrush has cleared mother should dispose of her deodorant (stick, gel or roll-on)
    *Rinse with each diaper change with vinegar/water solution (1T. white, distilled vinegar/1C. water.) Apply anti-fungal ointment. (prescription Nystatin or OTC monostat cream) Do not use baby wipes, as they nurture the yeast. Use clear water for clean-up of bowel movement, then rinse with the vinegar solution.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    thanks everybody for the help. i just hope i can get this fixed soon. so sick of pain...*sigh*

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: help! nursing for 2 months now and still in pain!

    Do you nipples itch or are they red? If you or the baby do have thrush, you both need to be treated, not just you. If you are only treating yourself, then the baby will be reinfecting you every time he nurses. When he latches, be sure that he open his mouth wide before you actually let him latch on to the nipple. Also make sure that once he is latched, his lips are flanged outwards like a fish. If possible, express some breastmilk on your nipples and let that air dry without a bra or shirt. That should help heal them some as well. HTH A big to you! Sore nipples are no fun!!
    Betsy
    mama to:
    N 5/03
    J 6/07

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