Breastfeeding issues...still! — The Bump
March 2015 Moms

Breastfeeding issues...still!

I'm still struggling with very painful breastfeeding and huge cracks five months in, so I figured I would post to see if anyone had any tips.
My baby is gaining weight well, it's just killing me to feed her (one side only, the other side finally healed up after two months of exclusive pumping to close the wound).
My left nipple has a huge gash in it that won't close.
These are the things I've tried:
-two different lactation consultants (both said the latch looked good?)
-tongue and lip tie releases
-cranial sacral therapy
-lanolin, APNO, medi-honey, special wound dressing
-herbs plus domperidone to speed up milk flow

I feel like I've tried absolutely everything to get it to heal and can't get it to work. I haven't given up breastfeeding yet because I had serious trouble with the other side and it has finally healed up and feels fine now, so I know there's hope!

Sorry for the super long post...if anybody has any ideas, I'm all ears!

Re: Breastfeeding issues...still!

  • I don't have any advice but I wanted to say you sound like super woman. I couldn't imagine keeping up with it if I had this much trouble. I really admire you, mama!
  • Aww, thanks! I think "super stubborn" is more like it, but I'll take it! Ha
  • I have gone through the exact same thing! One side has finally healed but I have a huge hole basically on the other side. I got this Dr. Newman prescription nipple cream from my OB that helps with the pain, although it hasn't helped with healing. Maybe you can try that? I'm going to start weaning at 6 months and am proud of myself for even making it that long. You sound like an amazingly strong woman for sticking with it! Good for you!!!
  • Sounds like you've been doing all the right things and it just needs a chance to heal. The latch may have improved but your nipple can't heal. Maybe try a nipple vacation for a few days. You can breastfeed from your good side and pump from the other. If you can do it at the same time you'll get a better let down(it's tricky though). It may only take a few days of that for it to heal. I had a baby with a tongue tie and had to use a nipple shield and pump after every feeding to supplement. You could try a nipple shield only on the injured side ( but read up on it and maybe talk to your lactation consultant). A few weeks ago baby took off the shield and her nursing has been great and my supply got way better. When my nipples were bleeding and scabbed early on I did a breast soak. Make a bowl of warm water and put a few scoops of Epsom salts and lean over a table to soak for maybe ten mins. It was very soothing.

    Some random tips:
    Start each feeding from the good side.
    Try different positions to change where she'll irritate you. Laid back or football hold are good.
    Put breast milk on it and air dry ( as much air time as possible).
    It the pump irritates you try different flange sizes.
    Here's some more advice.
    Good luck mama! Hang in there I know it's really hard!
  • I had a ton of problems with breastfeeding from the beginning - won't go into it now - but I decided to exclusively pump. I can't say it's easy but I was/am determined to give my babe breastmilk and pumping is just the best way for us.

    As far as nipple pain goes I did not have any success with lanolin. I tried two different brands and they both didn't work and stained all my shirts and bras. I found calendula nursing balm by mambino and I absolutely love it. I haven't had any issues with soreness or cracks since I started using it and I used to get blisters a lot which hurt!

    Breastfeeding is not easy! Good luck!
  • Omg. Nipple shield!!!!! They are literally sent from heaven. Target sells medela brand for about $10. I used them the entire time I breast fed with my first and I started with my second (20 weeks old) and not he doesn't use it but I have no pain WHATSOEVER! It's worth a try! I wish you the best of luck! Breastfeeding is so rewarding but SO hard sometimes!
  • I agree with PP, maybe a break from that side so it can heal? If you are worried about losing milk supply, you could hand express. I had to hand express with my first because I HATED pumping, it was not kind to my breasts. Good luck!
  • Hey, just a lurker here but thought I'd chime in. A nipple shield sounds great if possible, I used one for 3 and a half months until I stopped dragging my feet and got to a lc to help get a better latch. If a nipple shield doesn't help and you've exhausted all other options do you think it would at all be possible to just nurse on one side. I've heard of a lot of women who just nurse from one side with tremendous success. Whatever you try I hope you find a solution to this painful problem.
    Me 26 DH 31. Off oral contraception since 1/2012. Actively TTC # 1 since 4/2012. CD3 bloodwork, hsg normal 6/2013. SA performed 7/2013 - low count, low motility. First RE appointment 9/4/2013. Were told SA not good enough for IUI. Repeat SA and additional bloodwork ordered. RE suggests DH see a urologist.
  • Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for some great suggestions!
  • Try the Honest Company's nipple ointment for your cracks and soreness
  • Could it be thrush? I've been dealing with it since Lo was 3 weeks old and I wanted to wean at 6 months but he won't take formula at all.
  • In Addition to all the great advice from PPs, there are also some wool breast pads on sale here-

    The wool is soft and has an antibacterial effect which helps with any nipple issues. Mine were feeling really sore and cracked and I was applying creams with these tucked in and I noticed they healed alot faster and the creams didnt ruin my bras/shirts. 
  • I don't know if you are still having issues but I would check for thrush too. We have had it twice and it can make your nipples really sore, and they can crack and bleed. It can be difficult to get rid of but once you do you can start healing. Hope you get it figured out and feel better soon! Good luck!
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