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When will my nipples heal??

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mskalinin Posted: 05-11-2011 9:17 AM

I have cracked nipples and am breastfeeding, but it seems like they are never going to get better! I have tried to improve positioning and latch, I think we're making progress but my nipples just look terrible. One has no skin left in the middle and the other looks like it is forming the beginnings of a scab (that yellowish oozey stuff that comes first). Sorry tmi, but I just can't stand it sometimes, and am hoping I am not making things worse.

Any advice? I have been letting them airdry with milk on them, then wearing breast shells.

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beandance replied on 05-11-2011 1:53 PM

Hang in there! If you keep a good latch going forward they will heal. My third baby's latch was so bad I had chunks missing too. It was horribly painful. I met with a lactation consultant and the peplum was my baby simply wasn't opening wide enough. I would recommend being patient and waiting for your Baby to open very very wide and then bring the baby to your nipple, fast. If the latch feels painful, detach and try again. When my baby finally latched on correctly it actually didn't hurt! Even with my injured nipples, it didn't hurt. I couldn't believe the immediate relief. I'd say it took a few weeks after that before I was totally healed, but as long as her latch was good it didn't hurt. If you haven't already done so I'd recommend meeting wit a LC. Good luck!

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dbprof replied on 05-11-2011 3:54 PM

I would see a LC or LLL leader ASAP to make sure that your LO is actually latched properly.  That being said, my DD had a "textbook latch" (exclaimed by my LC), but my nipples were still pretty sore and had some skin coming off until about 1 mo PP. It took about 3 mo for there to be no soreness whatsoever- be patient.  For me Lansinoh (although some people have problems with thrush when they use it), putting tea bags on my nipples after nursing (decaf ones), and using nipple guards when DD wasn't nursing were what really helped me. 

GL hon!

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arrtf replied on 05-12-2011 8:56 AM

Hang in there mama!

You have been given some great advice by the PPs.  Definitely see an LC to make sure your DC's latch is okay.   In my experience, bfing wasn't totally painless until DD was about 7 weeks old.   I had cracked, bleeding nipples too and a friction blister to boot. Like dbprof said, even though DD had a good latch I still had soreness (almost as though her little mouth wasn't big enough).

Lansinoh is great, but I would also recommend looking into Dr. Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment.  It saved me.  It is a combination of an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic that the pharmacy will mix for you.  It does not need to be wiped off before nursing.  You will likely need a prescription to get it (here in Ontario you do).  It really helped my cracks/ blister heal.

Good luck to you and hang in there!

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piper replied on 05-12-2011 4:09 PM

With my DS he gave me cracked bloody nipples and they took like 10 days to heal!!

With DD we started with a bad latch and  she cracked them - they were both scabby - I met with the LC and she fixed the latch and like a PP noted even with them cracked it didnt hurt when she nursed.  For me, I went around the house topless (and braless) so they got LOTS of air and applied APNO - they healed in a few days.  My LC had me make my own APNO by mixing equal parts of hyrdocortisone, monistat 7, and triple antibiotic cream

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JojoC replied on 05-13-2011 8:34 PM


Hang in there mama!

You have been given some great advice by the PPs.  Definitely see an LC to make sure your DC's latch is okay.   In my experience, bfing wasn't totally painless until DD was about 7 weeks old.  

This exactly! They started feeling better for me at about this time too. I experienced my first cracks at 5 months - crazy!  I went to see my family Dr. and got a prescription for Dr. Jack Newman's Oinment too.  It definitely worked.  I used it for about 2 weeks and am finally better!

Keep up the good work! It defintely will get better!

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mskalinin replied on 05-14-2011 9:02 PM

I have seen a LC three times. She has definitely helped with the positioning and latching but its still a work in progress. I had gotten to the point where it hurt to nurse the entire feeding, now it only hurts when he first latches on. Baby doesn't have a tongue tie but he does have a recessed chin (slight) and we have been doing a little physical therapy to try and get him to stick his tongue out past his gums and to get him to open wider while latched. He opens wide to latch on now, but once on clamps up. We have to force his chin down, he is very strong and very stubborn. I have to constantly adjust him while he is feeding.

My nipples have been looking better between feedings the past few days but  he always breaks open the scabs when he gets back on. I hope he starts improving soon. I also have the added worry that he hasn't really gained any weight in a couple weeks. Ped and LC both think he is fine and may just be a slow gainer, because he looks good in every other aspect. Right amount of poo and pee, good skin tone, alert, vigorous. I guess I'll always find something to worry about! Thanks for the input, I guess I am just going to have to wait till things improve ;__;

Oh yeah and he basically only wants to eat in football hold! Every other position, he falls asleep almost immediately.

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sweetlexie replied on 07-05-2011 3:52 PM

So, I know it's like two months later, lol, but I wanted to see how you're doing!  I've heard rave reviews about the breast shells and wish I'd tried them with DS. He cracked me open and then gave me thrush. So if you're still having trouble getting them to heal, ask the pediatrician if there's any indication of thrush in your little one.

DS and I passed it back and forth for 7 months before finally figuring out what was going on. And it was only then that my nipples were really able to heal. My gyn is the one who figured it out b/c my nipples were not only cracked, but super red and peeling too.

Hope you're all better!

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