Help me heal my ruined nipples!(21 Posts)
My DS is four days old and had a tongue tie snip today. We came home from hospital yesterday and I started an AIBU thread about how awful the bf support was whilst I was an in-patient, which has lead to my poor nipples being basically completely shreaded.
His latch is definitely getting better now his tongue is more mobile, and I am working on making sure he latches well at each feed. But, both breasts have blisters and sores that are aggravated at each feed whatever, and it brings tears to my eyes.
I know something about moist healing. I've slathered myself in Lansinoh and tomorrow intend on having my boobs out in the open all day. But is there anything else I can do? I haven't tried to express yet, and would rather avoid this at the moment if I can. It's not that practical as I have a two year old to look after too. I'm also pretty determined to do exclusive bf this time too so don't want to introduce any formula.
So, what other tips do people have?
Time, lansinoh and analgesia. I was in the same predicament but once the tongue tie was snipped I healed up in about 48 hours. Hang in there and don't underestimate the benefit of regular paracetamol.
Thanks! I'm on co-codamol and diclafenac as I had a c section on Sunday so I'll just make sure I keep up the doses! I've got a tendency of letting them slide now they aren't just plonked in front of me at regular intervals. I'm off for my co-codamol now!
Lansinoh, drugs, gritted teeth and more Lansinoh. I fixed the worse of my two shredded nipples by expressing on that side for a week and feeding naturally from the other one - if one of yours is significantly worse than the other then you might want to try that while your DP is still on paternity leave to help with the extra burden of expressing (if that's relevant to your situation).
Hope things get better soon. My baby fed more effectively and slept better after the division so I had more time between feeds for nipples to heal. Fingers crossed it will be the same for you.
My boys tongue tie wasn't divided until 5 weeks and feeding was slow to improve so I had a big hole in one nipple and blisters on the other for another 2 months- don't worry, this is unusually bad but I am bloody minded and got through it. I was crap at expressing so had to grit my teeth and feed through it. Use loads of Lansinoh, take as many painkillers as you can, vary feeding positions. If it doesn't start healing then ask GP for topical cream e.g. fucidin as wound infection can slow healing. I was told if that didn't help then you might need oral systemic antibiotics too.
Oops, posted too soon- keeping the broken skin clean is v important to prevent any infection e.g. be careful to always have clean hands when applying cream and change breast pads and bras really regularly.
Also I saw a lactation consultant who helped me try nipple shields. They didn't work for me but with the right support might be an option.
I was shredded and bleeding with dc3, worse on my left side than my right. I didn't find Lansinoh to work, but dh bought me a balm called Bio-Fem from the pharmacy, which worked better for me.
I fed him exclusively from my right side for a couple of days, but felt awful from the engorgement on my left side. Every night I ran a very hot bath, and just squeezed my left side until the milk had flowed out into the bath (too painful to even express).
Also, keep your boobs out in the air, if you can.
Hope it gets better soon - I healed very quickly and suddenly, but for a few days I thought it would never happen.
Personally I didn't find open air helpful as it dries them out. I used jelonet in-between feeds, cut into little squares. Your hv can get you a prescription. I also expressed and did some bottle feeds so they could rest a bit.
Hang in there, you are doing really well!
Another vote for jelonet here. You can get it from the pharmacist if you don't have time to wait for a prescription
I am in Australia and have recently found 'Rite Aid' gel breast pads. They feel cold when you put them on your nipple and have done wonders for me, more so than the usual creams etc. Hopefully you can get them where you are!
I had my friend, who is a herbalist, make up some pure beeswax with chamomile and something else for my nips (also had a tonguetied DS, snipped at 2w, agonised nips) - it worked beautifully. Because it was beeswax, it didn't dry out; and it was safe for DS to ingest if he needed to feed shortly after an application.
You could also try expressing every other feed or something, give your nips longer to heal - when one of mine bled, I was told to only feed off the other side for 3d, and express from the bleeding side. That worked ok.
Good luck - they will suddenly get better, I don't know how, they just do!
Also don't forget that hand expressing is much easier if you have sore nipples. There is no vacuum on them so they get pretty much left alone as the pressure is on the ducts rather than sucking your nipples into a pump.
Get a LLL supporter on the phone. They are amazing. DON'T GIVE UP!!
I have been less sore this time around (DC3) but prepared myself and bought Bio-Fem balm, which is good, but my best recommendation would be another product by Bio-Fem - they also do something called breast compresses - which are just little gel impregnated dressings which I have worn alongside an ordinary breast pad. I think they are brilliant and very soothing. I got mine at Boots - they seemed pricey (£10 for 12) but have been worth it. Hope things improve soon! MPD
The thing that helped me most, apart from the lansinoh, was changing the feeding position. I had a couple of really nasty cracks (undiagnosed tongue-tie for three weeks), and changing to using a football hold every time I fed, so that the pressure was in a different place, was the thing that seemed to make a real difference. It did take a couple of weeks for them to heal completely once I started that, but I could see them starting to heal after a few days.
Wow thanks ladies, so much advice! I now vaguely remember having Jelonet before for DS1 (TT not snipped until 5 weeks) but I actually don;t remember my boobs being this bad with him, they hurt but I'm sure I didn't have this type of sores on them.
Lovely image, but I'm sitting here now with them out in the open covered in Lansinoh. They do look better today but it still really hurts to feed. We did find that he fed less last night, which was good, but on the flip side my milk is really coming in now so I'm quite engorged which leads to it's own challenges. I think I'll at least steralise my manual pump. It's a good suggestion to do the expressing whilst DH is at home, I need to make the most of his help!
I'm definitely not going to give up. There are a lot of things for me to try before I throw in the towel and I'm only at stage one at the moment.
Right, off to send DH to the chemist for some Jelonet...!
What helped me most is sleeping with no bra or top on at night - I slept on a towel. After a month of cracked nipples they healed in two days this way.
Breastmilk, after a feed just squeeze out a bit extra and rub it in.
Jelonet can work, or just use clingfilm and some skintape (with lots of lanolin-based cream on your nipples first).
Open air helps dry out your nipples, which doesn't help, really. (Although it's better than putting on clothing or a breastpad, which will a) soak up the lanolin and b) often take bits of your nipple with it when it comes off.)
Air-dry nipples after feeds, then Bio-fem. Be careful about breast milk+ Lansinoh+bra: the dark, moist and sweet environment is an ideal breeding ground for candida (speaking from experience)...
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