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Thread: input on pumping to heal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    266

    Question input on pumping to heal

    Ok - I know I've posted bits and pieces of this problem in some other posts - but looking specifically for input on pumping just so my nipples will finally heal.

    DS is 7.5 weeks old, and I have had cracked, bleeding nipples since week 1. Sometimes they start to heal, but they never fully heal and currently they look like Crater Lake the crack is so big.

    I have tried APNO (two full prescriptions), Lanolin, air drying, I only wear cotton sleep bras with no underwire, Gentian violet (while being treated for possible thrush), different positions, and pumping for 24 hours and giving him my milk in a bottle.

    It's back to the point where it is excruciating and I just need them to heal. I know I probably need to work on his latch again - but it hurts SO bad that the thought of trial and ERROR is unbearable.

    Considering EP for the next couple of days to see if they will heal. I know it's a lot of work, and it wouldn't be permanent...just until they stop bleeding and the cracks heal. I am determined to make breastfeeding work for us, and am willing to put in the effort. As long as I have as much milk as I do, and as long as DS is gaining weight (4 lbs. since birth) - artificial milk isn't an option. I just don't know how else to get them to heal?

    Just wondering what some of you experienced mommies have to say about this?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    I had the same thing, horrible pain, thrush, bloody cracked nipples and mine was due to a shallow latch, I second the visit to an IBCLC. I went about 6 times before we finally corrected the latch. Although your supply seems high right now, it will regulate and dip to suit babies needs so you really want to BF as much as possible. I did use a nipple shield on the side that was the worst. It has a lot of disadvantages for sure but I needed it to heal my nipple while continuing to nurse.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    I have met with several IBCLCs - our hospital has an excellent program for new moms - and they call weekly to check on us. One called today and when I told her what was going on - she agreed that I should pump until I heal, and then if it still hurts after they heal, we will meet again and work on his latch.

    The hardest thing for me is the emotional part of not being able to bring him to my breast and satisfy him that way...she suggested I hold him in the same position, still do skin to skin and feed him in that position. The last time I tried to pump for 24 hours to let my nipples heal, even after eating 5 or 6 ounces, he would peck around on me, so I would eventually let him latch, and all he would do is latch, roll his eyes back (in satisfaction) and fall asleep. I'm hoping they heal quickly, because I don't know if I'll be able to stand not directly breastfeeding him...

    *sigh* Thanks for your input, always appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,962

    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    When I was having very similar problems- major crater-cracks- I did EP for a few days in order to give my poor nips a chance to heal. It had pluses and minuses.
    On the one hand, pumping was much less painful, I did get a little bit of healing to happen, and that break from pain gave me some of the strength I needed to go on. But on the other hand, the moment I resumed nursing full-time, the cracks went back to being just as bad before, and I risked my BFing relationship for what was for me a very small amount of gain.

    I did very little true EPing. I always nursed at night, because it was the one time of day when I had enough milk for her. I believe that nursing part-time helped my daughter avoid nipple confusion, so that's one avenue you could pursue if you decide to try EPing (or mostly EPing) for a few days.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    yup and I think I would aviod the bottle if possiable and use another form of feeding... lots of info here:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html

  6. #6
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    Default Re: input on pumping to heal


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    49

    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    i second what a pp said - i tried exclusive hand-expressing from one breast (the side that hurt the worst) for A WEEK and the only benefit from it was getting a little break. as soon as i started nursing on that side the cracks opened up again. in the meantime my supply on that side decreased a lot. so i wouldn't recommend this unless you really really need a break, but don't hope it will fix things.

    my baby is now 10 weeks and i STILL have open cracks and pain but it's slowly getting better. they have healed quite a bit the last couple of weeks. in my case unfortunately, the only thing i can do is suck it up and wait for it to get better and you of course should work on the latch if that's where your problems come from.
    Baby girl born 10-15-2010

    with tongue tie - hardest thing i've ever done, and the most rewarding. Also , and

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    with PP. You def need to get the latch good to fix the problem or you will keep getting cracks even if you have a day to heal.

    Have you checked out these videos on this site? Scroll all the way down to the bottom to the latch videos. These really helped me in the beginning. Make sure that every time you feed you get a good latch and unlatch your LO if its not good. http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman.shtml
    For cracked nipples, I used a ton of lanolin - I mean, I really globbed it on after every feeding. I also only used the Lansinoh breast pads because they didnt stick to my scabs. After my LO was 3-4 weeks we finally got the latch right (after I watched the videos) and my cracks started to heal.
    I would consider calling another LC if the one you talked to just told you to pump - you really need help with the latch and pumping wont solve the problem, just give you a temporary fix.

    You'll get it down - so dont give up!
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    266

    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    Thanks for your input everyone! Update: I pumped for 48 hours exclusively, and two nights ago starting nursing at night (when he was sleepy & wouldn't fight my guidance) with a nipple shield. I am going to pump during the day and nurse at night for another night or two because I am seeing huge improvement in my nipples.

    I bought a new nipple shield yesterday, a contact one & a smaller size, and he seemed to do much better with it. I didn't realize the one they gave me in the hospital was too big - I thought it seemed weird that it was SO much bigger than my nipple and would flip off whenever he latched. We couldn't really work on his latch before with the old nipple shield because it was drastically bigger than my nipple.

    The IBCLC I spoke with just suggested to pump through the healing process - and actually suggested we meet again next week when nipples are better to really work on the latch before I get damage them again. When he would latch a few days ago, it drew bright red blood every time - so I really needed some time to heal.

    I noticed that the last 2 nights he latches great on my left side, but fights the right side and approaches it with a closed mouth, won't stick out his tongue and tries to clamp the nipple. I'm pretty sure this is because I have OALD on the right and he is anticipating it. I'm wondering if I keep using the nipple shield on the right, and pump a little bit first, if he'll realize it's not so bad and start to latch better on that side.

    Again - thanks for all the input...it's so nice to be able to "talk" it out on here and get stories & opinions from other mommies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: input on pumping to heal

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jennygal View Post
    I noticed that the last 2 nights he latches great on my left side, but fights the right side and approaches it with a closed mouth, won't stick out his tongue and tries to clamp the nipple. I'm pretty sure this is because I have OALD on the right and he is anticipating it. I'm wondering if I keep using the nipple shield on the right, and pump a little bit first, if he'll realize it's not so bad and start to latch better on that side.
    That's a good plan. Let us know how it works out!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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