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Thread: EXTREME PAIN - Nipples on fire

  1. #1

    Default EXTREME PAIN - Nipples on fire

    I have been nursing my son for 2 months without any problems, when suddenly I started to experience small chunks of skin missing from the side of my nipples. I initially used Soothies, since they had worked for me before, but they didn't help. I went to a doctor who wasn't sure if it was a yeast or bacterial infection, so she prescribed both Nystatin and an antibiotic. I have finished the antibiotic and nothing changed. After 10 days, the Nystatin doesn't seem like it is helping either.

    Despite the pain, I have not given my baby formula. When I can't nurse, I hand express which gives my nipples time to heal. However, when I return to nursing, the wounds open back up. Tonight I tried nursing and it felt like it was on fire. I don't want to give up, but it is getting so frustrating and is so very painful. Hand expressing is very VERY time consuming and I do not feel like my baby is satisfied unless I am nursing him.

    Has anyone else experienced what appear to be small chunks of skin missing on the side of my nipples? When I nurse, the holes grow bigger and sometimes bleed.

    I am so depressed about this and don't know how much longer I can go on like this. It has already been almost a month of extreme pain.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: EXTREME PAIN - Nipples on fire

    I went through the exact same thing with my first child, with the chunks taken out of the nipple and everything. I feel so stupid about it now, but when it first started, I just kept wincing through it because so i had heard so many times that nursing is painful in the beginning, so I just figured I had to suck it up and deal with it. Then it got really bad, then I got mastitis, which I didn't know what that was at the time either, and I just let it go until the infection seemed to take over. I wish I would have done something sooner. It is good that you went to see a doctor, but was it your OB, or someone that deals with things like this directly? I would def call the LC at your hospital or a local LLL leader. I do know after having mastitis soooo many times with my 2nd one that some of the antibiotics they prescribe won't touch infections of the breast. Maybe you need a different rx? Def call an LC since your nipples shouldn't be cracked, maybe they can help with latch issues. Anyhow, I don't have a solution, just wanted to tell you you're not alone and that mine did resolve. I wound up nursing my first for 14 mo, which had i known more at the time, it would have been longer, but that is another topic

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: EXTREME PAIN - Nipples on fire

    I'm so sorry! What you're going through must be excruciating. I second shannon75's suggestion: go see a LC or a LLL leader!!! What you describe sounds most like thrush to me- the burning, the fact that the onset of pain came after a trouble-free period... When you treated yourself with Nystatin and abx, did you treat your baby as well? If not, your baby may have re-infected you. Here are some other thrush tips which I think are worth a try:
    -Wash all bras, bra pads, nightgowns, etc (anything that comes in contact with your nipples) in HOT water with bleach and dry on hot in the dryer or in the sun.
    -Rinse your nipples with a vinegar and water solution (1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup water) after every feeding. Use a fresh cotton ball for each application and mix a new solution every day.
    -Some women add acidophilus supplements (40 million units per day) to their diet.
    -Some women find that reducing yeast and sugar in their diet helps. (Cut out the refined breads, pastas, and sugars. Read labels and look for hidden sources of sugar.)

    Hang in there! You're amazing for soldiering on through the pain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: EXTREME PAIN - Nipples on fire

    You could also try Grapfruit seed exctract mixed with water to help kill bacteria on your nipples. It can be addes to you laundry to help kill bacteria in bra's, clothes towels. If your lo uses a soother make sure you sterilize it every 24 hrs for 20 minutes. Dr. Jack Newman has a great site. here's his link http://www.drjacknewman.com/help/Candida-Protocol.asp
    Hope you feel better soon!
    born 03/24/11, and and
    born 03/21/08 Breastfed for 2 yrs, and still when needed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: EXTREME PAIN - Nipples on fire

    It sounds like trush. I had it for my first 6 weeks pp. The baby's Ped. refused to treat the baby b/c he showed no symptoms, so I wasn't getting better and I swore my nipples were going to fall off. I switched docs and within a week of treating baby, it started to heal. All of the home remedies that were suggested here I tried also. Pumping up the probiotics is key, I feel. I personally would stay away from soothies b/c they do slightly pull at the nipple and you don't need that. I would also sanitize everything. If you have been using a lanolin product, I would throw it out and get a new bottle. Start from scratch...Lots of whole grains, no sugar, lots of water...try to treat your breast and the keep your shirt off as much as possible. I wish you all the best!

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