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Thread: inverted/cracked nipple

  1. #1

    Unhappy inverted/cracked nipple

    Hi all, I am so glad I found these forums, lots of good advice here. I am a first time mom to a baby girl who is 2 weeks old tomorrow. We had a great natural labor and delivery and baby has been exclusively breast feeding since day one, and she is doing great, gaining weight, lots of poopie/wet diapers, but I am not..... My left nipple is inverted/flat, and my right one is normal. We got some help at the hospital from their LC with latching on the left, (she latches great on the right), and she has been able to latch on to either breast fine since day one. I have been having nipple pain on the left only since about day 2. My left nipple developed cracks and scabs/bleeding. I attributed it to just the irritation of that nipple being drawn out. I did have my Bradley instructor, who is also a LC come over when she was one week old and evaluate our latch, and since then I have been extra careful and diligent about always getting a deep latch. It is still a struggle to get a deep latch on the left at times, especially since I have really large breasts and a small baby, and it often takes several attempts to get her latched on, but once she's on she'll feed for 15-20 minutes. I noticed a slight improvement in the pain after about 2 days of really paying attention to the latch. I have been treating the cracks with breastmilk and lots of lansinoh. The past few days things have not improved at all and seem almost a little worse again. The pain is most severe at the beginning of breastfeeding, when she first latches on and lasts about a minute, then it becomes more tolerable, but it is never totally pain free like with the right breast. I can tell some of the cracks are healing, but there is still a deep crack, that bleeds sometimes right at the tip that has not gotten better, but the pain doesn't seem to come from the big crack but is more at the base of the nipple and about 1cm of the surrounding area. The whole nipple/areola area just seems to ache more. I am managing to get through feedings with lots of ibuprofen and a few tears here and there, but it is getting depressing. I want to love breastfeeding but I don't, and that is what I cry about more than the actual pain.

    Other women out there who have dealt with inverted nipples, it is always this bad, or could it be something else besides my faulty anatomy that is delaying the healing process. Do I just need to exercise patience? How long did it take for you to breastfeed pain free with an inverted nipple? Any advice is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    In Peace

    Default Re: inverted/cracked nipple

    Could it be thrush?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sunny Florida

    Default Re: inverted/cracked nipple

    I've had the same experiences. My left nipple is inverted but the right is not. For probably the first 4 weeks it was soooo painful to nurse on the left side. I would cringe, groan and shake my legs when she would latch on and it would ease after a few minutes, but still hurt. It also took longer for the cracking to go away on the left (I had some cracking on both sides in the beginning). What helped me is I would draw the nipple out with my fingers before she would latch on - it still really hurt when she latched but not as bad if I drew it out first. I also took Tylenol sometimes before feedings to help with the pain. I would start my nursings on the right side since their intial sucks at the beginning of feedings are the strongest, and then switch to the left after her sucking calmed a little.
    Now at 7 weeks, my nipple is actually not really inverted anymore - its always out. Its still more tender then my right side but no real 'pain' now. And its sorta funny cuz my LO prefers my left side now since I think the flow is a little faster than on the right side.
    It should get better for you - sounds like you are doing the right things. It should ease up in another week or two - just keep an eye out for infection. Use a new nursing pad every time to keep the nipples dry, touch them with only clean hands, and try and walk around topless if possible.
    I'm a proud first time mommy , born 10/19/2010 and a wife to an amazing husband

    Birth 10/19/2010: 7lbs 3oz
    3 days old 10/22: 6lbs 6oz
    2 1/2 weeks old 11/05: 6lbs 14oz
    4 weeks old 11/17: 7lbs 15oz
    8 weeks old 12/15: 10lbs
    4 months old 2/28: 14lbs

  4. #4

    Default Re: inverted/cracked nipple

    Thanks for the responses, I did go by my Doctor's office today and had them take a look at my left nipple and they did not think it looked infected, but just normal cracking for what I am dealing with. They did culture it just in case. It's funny just having someone tell me it looks ok, and knowing there is an end in sight, it actually feels slightly better today. I am planning on going to my local LLL meeting next week too. Thanks ladies.

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