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Thread: Cracked Nipple - Help Please

  1. #1

    Default Cracked Nipple - Help Please

    My new baby girl is five weeks old and I have been breastfeeding exclusively since birth. She had some latching problems early on, but I believe she is now latching properly. The problem is that one nipple began to crack when she was still not completely doing it right and has never healed. It is not cracked completely down the middle about 1/4" deep and it cannot heal because I am still nursing. I have tried Lansinoh, and it helps, but it still does not heal. The wound gets reopened everytime she feeds. I am taking acetominiphen now to lessen the pain, but the first few seconds of latch are excruciating. I have tried pumping the breast first so she doesn't have to suck so hard to get the milk in the beginning, and it helps but not much. Is there any other way to get the crack to heal as I have been trying to let it run it's course for a few weeks now with no success.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Cracked Nipple - Help Please

    I am curious to see what the response is from others. I have the same problem, although the crack doesn't hurt now . It doesn't look to bad before a feeding, but by the end of a feeding it's opened wide again and pink.

    Have you tried APNO? I have been using that, and I think it has kind of healed the skin in the crack but not closed it (if that makes sense). The only reason I say that is because it hardly hurts now.

    they also say rubbing some milk into it then air drying is good- but I think that is just an antibacterial thing, it doesn't really heal it.
    they also say to nurse on the other side first- not extremely practical, and if you have to do it for a long time, it could play with your supply.

    One LC told me that I could hand express on that side and give bottles with that expressed milk for 48-72 hours (or until completely healed) and nurse normally on the other side. If you've already introduced a bottle and your LO takes to it, you could try that. I didn't start with bottles yet, so I've been hesitant to do so.
    Mari
    Mohamed 6-9-06
    Jad 11-27-08

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cracked Nipple - Help Please

    I read about APNO and am interested in trying that. Where can you get it? I haven't seen it in any of the stores I checked for remedies besides Lansinoh. I just started pumping since I go back to work soon, and am about to try the bottle for the first time, so that may help. Mine looks exactly like what you described.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Cracked Nipple - Help Please

    The All Purpose Nipple Ointment is a perscription. In my area, I can only get it at the hospital pharmacy since its a compound medicine that they mix on the premises. You can have your ob/midwife call it in for you. However, before you fill it I would ask what the charge is because some insurance companies won't pay for compound medicine. They paid a total of 34 cents toward my $50.34 perscription- I was totally shocked when she said it was going to be 50 bucks- I was only expecting to pay the usual $10.00

    But, it has really helped and I think it healed the skin from withuin the crack without ever sealing it back up. Not sure if the crack will be permanent, but it's not painful, it doesn't ooze anything, so it's really kind of healed without actually being closed back up.

    I, too, go back to work soon and will introduce a bottle sometime this week. I just hope that when I go back to work and LO has bottles all day that he's not super excited to be at the breast when I get home and suck too hard and cause more problems...but time will tell!
    Mari
    Mohamed 6-9-06
    Jad 11-27-08

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,891

    Default Re: Cracked Nipple - Help Please

    If you've really fixed your latch, your nipple will heal. It might take some time, though- I had awful cracks on both sides and it took 4.5 months for them to go away. For me, healing was ultimately a matter of waiting until my baby had grown big enough to latch on really deeply. I know that's sort of a horror story, but I'm telling it not to scare you but to reassure you that you will eventually heal, even if it takes longer than you ever wanted to imagine. Hopefully your cracks will heal a LOT faster than mine did!

    Here are some things that I found really helpful while I was dealing with the cracks:
    - Humidity. I feel that dry air makes cracks a lot worse. My cracks finally healed when I went to stay with my parents in their un-airconditioned house, during a blazingly hot and humid July.
    - Moist healing. Slather the crack with Lansinoh.
    - Go braless and topless. There's no point in further abrading a painful crack if you can help it.
    - Use a mixture of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on the cracks to fight infection and inflammation. Mix a pea-sized amount and apply with a clean finger. My LC said the mixture did not have to be wiped off before nursing, but I always did.
    - Much of the initial pain of latching on a cracked nipple is caused by the dry scab tearing open again. Hydrating and softening the scab before nursing can make this less painful. My LC recommended the following trick: fill a shot glass with warm water. Bend over and lower the cracked nipple into the shot glass, and then bring the shot glass up to form a seal with your skin so that the glass won't leak when you straighten up. Hold the shot glass over your nipple for about a minute, allowing the scab to get really soft.

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