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Conceding defeat

(25 Posts)
JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 10:38:14

Have finally come to the conclusion that my right nipple is so painful that I can no longer feed on the right hand side. I have a crack measuring 8mm by 3mm and about 2mm deep. I can't deal with the pain anymore. Have seen various HVs, doctor, spoken to BFCs to no avail. I just can't get this to heal and it's so sore I can't cope with feeding anymore.

Off to another doctor this afternoon. I think we're now at the stage that rather than trying to rescue feeding on the right, we are trying to rescue the skin on my nipple. It appears to have been in permanent vasospasm today and I'm quite concerned that the skin's going to struggle to grow back, even if I stop feeding.

Feeling seriously depressed this morning and can't stop crying. DS now 14.5 weeks and EBF.

ExpatAgain Mon 01-Aug-11 10:45:06

poor you! That sounds v painful. You've done well so far and could carry on by expressing on that side/feeding from the other?? Just a thought, if it helps.

JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 10:47:02

Thanks expat. I can't even express (with the pump) on the right anymore without being in heaps of pain. I think that was the final straw. Going to try hand expressing this afternoon, but I don't ever manage to get much when I hand express.

RitaMorgan Mon 01-Aug-11 11:43:30

Some people successfully feed just from one side if that's what you want to do (think twins with one side each!).

Just an idea, but could it possibly be thrush? I've heard that can cause cracks that won't heal. Keeping the cracked side moist is important too - jelonet is supposed to be good for moist wound healing though I don't have personal experience.

Mollcat Mon 01-Aug-11 12:35:31

I've heard that thrush can prevent healing too (now I know we've prob had it all along it might explain why my cracked nipples took ages to heal too). There is a bit of a balance though between moist wound healing with Jelonet/Lansinoh and the fact that moist dark places are just what thrush likes. So if there is thrush, you might want to ask whether to lay off the Lansinoh.

Lizzun Mon 01-Aug-11 12:40:58

Just a thought... I had an open sore on the side of my nipple that healed up completely whilst DD & I had treatment for thrush, unexpected side effect! I was using over the counter canesten cream...

Kveta Mon 01-Aug-11 12:47:12

just wanted to second (third?) the thrush suggestion. if you go to the BFN pages they have a leaflet on treating thrush too, so you can waggle it in your GP's face until they are willing to prescribe you an effective treatment. my GP was helpful when I showed him the leaflet, and gave me the right drugs.

lansinoh didn't do much for my cracked nipple - I ended up doing a lot of 'air drying' and feeding in weird positions so it didn't hurt so much - rugby ball hold was the best for us, but cross-body hold was excruciating (DS was a bit of a barracuda in the early days and fed ferociously but with a bad latch!).

best of luck.

orchidee Mon 01-Aug-11 13:01:20

Re: hand expressing - there seem to be a few ideas around. The Jack Newman and Marmet technique videos may help. I suspect that similarly to latching on, different techniques and adjustments in position suit different people.

JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 13:19:28

Thank you, all.

I have been using jelonet for the past week and there's no obvious change - it is now far more painful though. Before that I used mepitel (dressing) combined with hydrogel for two weeks, again with no improvement. Before that I tried expressing for 48 hours and it was slightly better after that, but just opened up again when I latched him back on. Before that I was on just mepitel for a week, and before that lansinoh.

My nipple has been a strange grey colour most of today. Not good.

Will read up about thrush and hand expressing. Thank you again.

JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 14:14:52

Well, thrush looks like a distinct possibility. Why did someone not spot this before?!

Kveta Mon 01-Aug-11 14:16:11

they never bloody do Jolly - unless you get a very on the ball HCP. thank god for MN!!

Thandeka Mon 01-Aug-11 14:21:57

Huge sympathies- I had same it was agony. If it won't heal IRS almost definitely an infection. Make them take a swab before treatment. I was treated for thrush for weeks to no avail til finally a swab showed a bacterial infection. A week of antibiotics and it was massively better. Google kellymom for a saline nipple heal soak. I did that with a smidge of tea tea and that helped (though pbv make sure all washed off before a feed). Have you got nipple shields as they may help reduce pain whilst healing? It's agony- I used to max out on painkillers sometimes but finally by 16weeks we had painfree feeding (feeding was painful from day 1 for lucky old me!)
good luck!

jimper Mon 01-Aug-11 18:28:05

Oh - poor you. My DD is only 7 weeks and I am in the same position. I have awful cracks on both nipples (one looks like it is about to fall off) and they are so painful sad I have been expressing for 4 weeks and even that is agony. This week I am admitting defeat also - moving to formula. I feel so guilty and sad, but the whole process is getting me down and I think it is more important to enjoy my beautiful baby.

TruthSweet Mon 01-Aug-11 18:42:32

I'm obviously not diagnosing you but could it be something like a staph infection? This study talks about fissures and nipple pain.

Could your GP do a swab to see what (if anything) is lurking in your wound?

Apologies if this has already been done/suggested.

CountBapula Mon 01-Aug-11 18:54:23

Just to add that my DS decided at around 12 weeks that he preferred my left boob and hardly fed on that side for ages and the supply dropped quite a bit. I just mainly feed him on the left and offer the right once in a while if he wants a 'snack' grin - he's 10 months now. So feeding on one side worked fine for us, though my norks are decidedly lopsided now sad

CountBapula Mon 01-Aug-11 18:54:53

I mean he hardly fed on the right for ages.

JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 20:01:30

hi all

GP did as you have all suggested and swabbed me to check for infection but in the meantime prescribed cream for thrush. I'll get the results on Thursday.

That's a really interesting article, truthsweet

Managed to hand express 35ml at 2pm and a further 70ml just now, using the Jack Newman technique, orchidee , so I'm at least getting something.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I may end up lopsided too countbapula!

JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 20:05:30

And jimper, big un-MN hugs to you. It's crap. Well done on getting to 7 weeks though - expressing is a nightmare!

twinklegreen Mon 01-Aug-11 20:23:46

jolly Sorry you're having such a hard painful time.

If it is confirmed as thrush you need to make sure you are perscribed the correct treatment, this leaflet is what you need. It is designed for mothers to take with them to the GP.

If it is not thrush... I have come across many mothers who have fed from one side only, so it is completely possible smile

JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 21:24:42

Thanks, twinkle. I have been prescribed the right stuff, but don't know what ds is getting as he's too young for the gel which GP prescribed. Getting fresh prescription tomorrow.

RitaMorgan Mon 01-Aug-11 21:27:54

Is it daktarin gel? Although it says not for babies under 4 months, that is due to the choking risk if you squeeze a glob of gel into their mouth. The obvious answer to that is, don't squeeze a glob of gel into his mouth grin

Just put a dab of gel onto a clean finger or cotton bud and smear it round his mouth. My ds had this at 11 days.

twinklegreen Mon 01-Aug-11 21:32:50

I imagine it will be Nystatin, which can be effective too.

I am impressed with your GP smile

fantagrape Mon 01-Aug-11 21:48:58


My sympathies! I know the feeling, my nipple opened up in a similar way to what you describe.

I used lansinoh for a few weeks - it did nothing. Once I stopped using it and exposed it to air as much as possible it began to heal.

The wound needs to scab in order to heal. Hand express in the meantime.

Lansinoh is for cracks and skin soothing only IMO

Hope it heals soon.

JollySergeantJackrum Mon 01-Aug-11 22:17:06

Ah, Rita I did wonder by the wording if it was something to do with it being a choking hazard.

We'll see what ds gets prescribed tomorrow and I'll make a judgement call about which to give him.

twinkle I am impressed too, but she did take advice from the hv.(The hv who I have spoken to numerous times over the last 8 weeks and never mentioned thrush. angry )

japhrimel Mon 01-Aug-11 22:55:41

Our GP gave DD gel after discussing the official advice and making sure I knew to use teeny amounts smeared on a fingertip for her, not a blob.

You may well need a 10-14 day course of flucanozole to shift the thrush if it's been there for a while. And probiotics.

FWIW no one seems to spot thrush until a Mum goes in and points out all the classic symptoms. It's hell. hmm

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