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Thread: Cracked / bleeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Cracked / bleeding

    Hello all.

    I managed to breastfeed my first son for 3 weeks before I had to stop because it was so painful I couldn't bear him or a pump to go near me.

    My second son is now 3 weeks old and we're still breastfeeding but I'm getting the same problems as last time. My nipples are cracked, bleeding and very sore (I'm using lansinoh in between feeds to try and heal them but every time he feeds he pulls open the cracks again). Both nipples are a very odd shape after a feed, sort of like the top of a new lipstick - pinched and pointy.

    I'm sure this is due to bad positioning but no matter how I try I can't seem to get it right. Any suggestions?

    (Midwife at hospital when asked said "You're fair skinned, breastfeeding will hurt. Make a decision - either put up with pain or use formula." I am determined not to use formula this time but I don't want this pain every time I feed - I'm dreading every time he feeds when instead I should be enjoying this closeness with him.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    I remember being in the same position and having the pain in the beginning. I think I just had a bad latch, but make sure you don't have thrush. I don't have a lot of advice, but I can say that I'm glad I just dealt with the pain and made it to 9 months so far. It eventually went away...if it didn't...i would have stopped too. I know it's hard. It helped me to rub milk on my nipples, right before a feeding. I guess it just depends on how painful it is for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    in flip-flops

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    I had painful nipples but not near as bad as yours sound. Don't know if it will help you but I think what did it for me was nursing DD while laying down on my back. Someone else here called it "Biological Nurturing". It must somehow make the proper latch easier to achieve. Good luck!

    BTW, that midwife sounds like a *&%#^!

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
    Learn about the prepuce before you have a boy.
    Dental issues? Find out how to Cure Tooth Decay.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding


    heres a link for healing tips..
    if your nipples are looking like lipstick something is going wrong.

    heres some stuff on latch;

    do you have a local leader you can call?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    Have you been to see a lactation consultant, preferably one with the initials IBCLC (International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant) after her name? There is no substitute for hands-on help when you are having problems with your latch. Nips that look like new lipsticks after nursing are a classic sign of the baby not latching on well. The baby is probably not on deep enough. His tongue is rubbing against the underside of the nipple, causing damage. When a baby is latched on correctly, the tongue moves against the elastic areola, and the delicate nipple is far, far back in the mouth.

    Here is a trick that helped me when I was in a very similar situation. (Lipstick-tube nips, deep cracks, excruciating pain.) Before latching your baby on, cup your breast with your fingers positioned just behind the areola, thumb on top, fingers on the bottom. Now, use your hand to compress your breast so that the areola's shape alters from circular to oval. (Try this in a mirror to get a better view of the changing areola shape.) While squishing your areola, latch your baby on. It should help him get on deeper. My LC called this her "sandwich technique." Imagine you are biting into a big hoagie sandwich. If you want to get as much sandwich into your mouth as possible, you have to squish it into a flatter profile, right? Same with a baby, only your areola and nipple are the hoagie!

    I hope this helps some. But please, please see a professional! It is what saved my daughter from being bottle-fed. 22 months on, she's still nursing. There is hope!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    Get your LO as high as you can! I had the same problem... lipstick nipples LOL... I laugh now, but it hurts AWFULLY bad! Make sure your LO's nose is lined up with your nipple... and you are sitting straight up. Keep relaxed (shoulders down etc.). Even if you think your LO is too high, they probably are not. I seriously have 3 bed pillows stacked AND my boppy on top. Once I started this my nipples were able to start healing withing a few days. Good luck!

    DS 12/13/07 nursed exclusively 15 mos!!

    with DD Due April '10 - Looking forward to and DS having a new playmate!

    ~ Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. ~

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    Quote Originally Posted by healthymama View Post
    BTW, that midwife sounds like a *&%#^!
    this link was helpful because it actually has video http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman.shtml I had the same latch problem with my son (5 months) and from everything I read it was nipple compression which is a bad latch. It took us this long for my Challenger to get it together and he still gives my right breast a run for the money on most occassions.
    Mom to Malachi Xavier 9-07/25/1999, Nursed Exclusively,
    Nicolas Daniel 2yrs old-07/28/2007, Nursed Exclusively & Still Nursing Periodically But Sure To Come To An End Soon~Tear
    Married to Dear Husband 15yrs but together 25yrs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    and congratulations on your new baby!

    I am also fair skinned (redhead). My nurse said that it would be hard for me too. I worried, because no other woman in my family has ever given breastfeeding a fair shot.

    I did have cracked and bleeding nipples. I swore under my breath every time DS latched on (especially the left side! ) and stomped my feet until he started drinking. Lansinoh was my saviour. I applied it right after EVERY feeding for the first couple months!

    I kept worrying about my latch. I just kept trying to get my nipple in as far as I could, seemed to hurt a little less then. Looking back I probably had some "bad" positioning too... but they say, use whatever works. And whatever works now might need a change in a few minutes. Some days the baby arcs and twists and other days they seem to just snuggle up in the right spot.

    As I went through this experience, along the way, I remember thinking, "No wonder so many women stop - it must be just at this point when it really hurts and you think, how can I go on?" My mantra was simply, "ONE MORE FEEDING, ONE MORE FEEDING..." And all of a sudden it's easier... then it's really easy... and when you think this is easy, it gets easier. Both you and the baby have become pros . Keep educating yourself on the proper latch, ways to relax, drink your water and get plenty of rest.

    And your advice to others would be... just get past that stage and it's a truly beautiful relationship.

    You can do it mama!!! (You can even borrow my mantra!!)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    I am so proud of you for sticking with it! Don't give up, whatever you do.

    I dealt with the same thing, and it will get easier. I honestly think that if someone told me it was going to hurt as bad as it did, I would have been more prepared in dealing with it.

    Keep using the lanolin and try this : get some ketchup packets and or something similar, put in fridge for a couple hours and place on your nipples before your lo latches on. It makes your nipples cold and they won't hurt as badly.

    Keep going at it, it's going to get better, don't worry!
    Last edited by elisabeth8705; January 5th, 2008 at 11:36 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Cracked / bleeding

    I feel your pain. I had cracked nipples for like the first 6 weeks and this is with the hospital's LC's help. If you can (it's hard in the early weeks) try to attend a LLL meeting. You'll meet other nursing moms and see how it should be done and how natural it is, and you can get one on one help from a leader in a more relaxed setting. This is what finally helped my latch. Once that latch is fixed, your cracks will start to heal up.

    Other things that help hasten the healing:
    1. saline soak
    2. keep your nipples exposed to the air **weird, but really helps**
    3. take baby steps, whether that's one feeding at a time or setting smaller goals. My o.g. goal was 6 months, then with all the problems it became 2 weeks, then 4 weeks, etc. Once I hit 3 months my DH took me out to dinner .

    We're approaching our 11th month and I'm a living testament that it DOES get easier. Hang in there momma. You're doing the best for your baby

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