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Thread: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    My friend's son was born October 12 and she has been EBF from day 1. Her son has a perfect (textbook) latch yet her nipples are so sore and horribly cracked. She is in a lot of pain. She is lathering up with Lanolin before and after each feeding but they are not getting better. She has been checked for and does not have thrush. Any ideas? She is asking for my help and I'm stumped this time...I did not have cracked nipples at all with Peter.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    Could be caused by severe dry skin, eczema, or soap, detergent.

    Is she pumping?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    No, not puming at all. I think she just has sensitive nipples and developed the cracks during the first few days of nursing as her nipples were not used to it. And, they just haven't had a chance to heal yet...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    my LO is now 1 month, but I was in the same position as your friend at about the 2nd week. My baby was gaining weight, latching on right, and still I was getting sore, cracked, bleeding, raw nipples. It's definitely gotten a lot better but still sore. Tell your friend not to give up even though she may feel like it..coz i know I did. I cried and I felt pain, but I was determined to continue. I used Soothies instead of the Lanolin for a while to ease the pain and b/c it was so raw and painful I went on nipple rest for about 72 hrs and pumped. I know that seemed like a long time not to nurse but it definitely helped me get back to strictly BF my LO. At about the third and half week nursing felt better and my nipples looked a lot better, I call it my nursing miracle...I just continued to hang in there knowing and believing i'm doing the best for my baby.

    Just want to say that after a while, just as long as LO is latched on right, nursing felt better and better every day. So, tell your friend, don't give up! She will have her miracle too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Smile Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    Nipple pain that appears after several weeks or months of pain-free nursing is usually thrush.

    Ice on your nipples before a feed will help with the pain a great deal.

    If you haven't dealt with thrush before, let me tell you about it, and honey can I ever tell you about it! LOL Me and my 2 month old had it from week 2 to week 5 really bad and still have a little thrush-but no longer painful. There were several days where I screamed at latch on and cried the entire time he nursed.

    Candidiasis, commonly called yeast infection or thrush, is a fungal infection.

    Symptoms for mom: not all have to be present
    *Painful nipples after being pain free for weeks or months
    *Itch-nipples or deep breast itch
    *Burning nipples
    *Red, shiny, flaky, rash on nipples and areola
    *Cracked nipples
    *Intense tingling or sharp shooting pains in the breast during or after feedings.
    *Deep breast pain
    *Craving sugar/sweets/yeast/bread (sounds weird but it’s true! It helps the yeast to grow when you eat these things)
    *Vaginal yeast infection or vaginal itching

    Symptoms for baby: (the baby does not have to have thrush for you to have thrush)
    *White patches in mouth
    *Yeast rash--In diaper area. bright red, raised rash that doesn't get better after 2-3 days treatment with diaper rash cream.
    Here are some links to pix--the 1st shows diaper rash and yeast rash-the 2nd is the best quality pic of yeast rash.
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/T081401.asp http://dermatlas.med.jhmi.edu/derm/I...4407index.html

    Causes of thrush:
    *Thrush in the 1st 2 weeks of life, is usually due to your baby coming down the birth canal when you had Candidiasis present in your vagina
    *you or your baby have recently or are taking now antibiotics, steroids, hormonal birth control (pill, patch)
    *your nipples are cracked or damaged from bad latch, leaving a perfect entry point for fungus, especially if you wear nursing pads.

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    out of my right mind

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    I had this exact same thing, for like 10 weeks (probably made worse by pacifiers and bottles used to give the "girls" a break) I went to an LC and my latch looked perfect, but the pain would come and go as DD was nursing. I think it was just that her mouth was too small to really take enough of my nipple in, and that she would sort of "pinch" me with her mouth because my milk let down too fast for her to handle otherwise. I can't say for sure what the magic trick for us was, but I'm so glad I hung in there. I would pump and give bottles when I couldn't stand it, and nurse her when I could. Like I said, it just seemed to work out when she hit 10 weeks - could it be that I switched bottles then (to Playtex NaturaLatch), that she just finally got big enough to latch on deeper, or that she finally was able to handle the flow and didn't need to "pinch" anymore? I don't know. You said she has cracks and bleeding - are her nipples flat when she gets done nursing? Even if the latch looks perfect, if she has that "lipstick" look to her nipples, it's not deep enough. I feel for your friend. I know it's no fun!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    Thanks everyone. I know it's definitely not thrush. When Henry stopped feeding yesterday I was shocked at the state of her nipple. It looked like it had split into three parts - the cracks are deep! I don't think there is any bleeding yet. Thanks for the tips and encouragement - I'll definitely pass your comments on to her!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    Thanks Abby - I had not seen that article. Printng it right now to give to my friend

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    Has the baby been checked for tongue-tie? I had the same situation with injury to my nipples despite good latch, and it took a while to sort out the issue, because he was able to transfer milk so well and I'm a first-time mom, and we weren't sure what was causing the problem. We finally figured it out, and only after we got the tongue-tie corrected at 6 weeks has breastfeeding stopped causing bleeding cracks and pain. If there is any doubt, I really recommend having the procedure - it isn't a big deal and it makes such a difference!!

    I hope this helps!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Friend's 2 week old: cracked nipples yet perfect latch - help!

    I really agree with Kelly. Sometimes it can look like the perfect latch but not be getting enough breast tissue into the mouth. My sister deals with this with her son (small mouths run in our family...no comments LLLadies ). Dr Newman's videos of the assymetrical latch are really helpful in showing how to get more breast tissue in the mouth. Its nice to have an extra set of hands and lots of pillows in those newborn days, so she is so lucky to have your support.

    Here is a link to the videos:


    Sometimes just switching positions is key to getting baby to open wider.

    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

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

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