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Thread: Bloody nipple

  1. #1

    Default Bloody nipple

    Hi all, I'm looking for some words of wisdom. I have a call in to a local LC, but I expect they'll get back to me tomorrow. My son is 9 days old and I've found some success breastfeeding using a nipple shield. I went to nurse him this evening and my left nipple was just bleeding all over. I have at least two cracks and what kind of looks like scabbing. I've been using lanolin after every feed but I'm fair-skinned and the LC's in the hospital recommended that I use the shield. A few days ago, I tried to alternate feedings with and without the shield, but I guess it was a little early. This is the second time my left nipple has bled and my son screams when it does--I'm assuming the taste is different. So, for the next couple of feedings until I can get in touch with an LC, should I just keep feeding him off my right nipple--will I have enough of a supply on the right breast if I feed him every 3-4 hours? If I pump on the left, do you think it will do more damage to the nipple? Any help or encouraging words would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Bloody nipple

    So sorry you're having such a rough time! I had horrible cracks when I started out, and 2 years later I still wince just thinking about them.

    Most moms can make plenty of milk using just one breast. (Think of twin moms- one baby per breast!) So I think you should be okay so long as you feed on demand, even if that means feeding every 20 minutes. 3-4 hours between feedings when using just 1 side, after 9 days of using 2, seems like a pretty long time to go between sessions. Just watch your baby closely when embarking on single-side feedings.

    If you're not nursing on the cracked side, I would definitely pump or hand express. There are two reasons for this: first, pumping will help you maintain the milk supply in the unused breast, and second, if you're already having problems with cracks on that side, you do not want to risk adding engorgement, plugged ducts and/or mastitis to the pain you're already having.

    Are you having pain when you are pumping? If not, I would not worry about damaging your nipple worse than it is already. The cracks may reopen when you pump, but you can minimize the pain by soaking your nipple in warm water for several minutes before pumping and softening the scabs.

    Hang in there! I'm so glad you're going to see a LC- I cannot tell you how helpful mine were to me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Bloody nipple

    You did the right thing by calling an LC! Your latch probably isn't correct if you are having cracked and bleeding nipples, and as pp said, if left untreated it can lead to horrible mastitis.

    I actually feed my LO exclusively from my left side, so it can be done! For now though, I would also recommend pumping the bleeding side to prevent engorgement and to keep up the supply.

    You are going a great job! Hang in there!
    EDD 6/21/10
    BF Madeline Grace since 2/5/2008
    Blake 9/23/00
    Cole 7/16/03
    Alex 9/19/04

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