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Sore cracked nipples, 10 mo, bf cafe can't help, any ideas?

(18 Posts)
KikiShack Wed 20-Aug-14 08:10:00

My nipples have been sore for a couple of weeks, dry skin, flaky, and now there is some occasional bleeding and cracks opening up which look red raw inside. The pain isn't too bad, but obviously this isn't right and I want it to stop and get better before it gets any worse.
One boob is always a bit worse, so I use the other one more for a day or two then the bad one switches sides which is very annoying and tricky to balance.
I am using Lansinoh and also applying drops of bm to the nipple, also trying to keep them out in the air as much as possible. HOwever when DD spies boobies she gets all excited and crawl sprints over and climbs on me so I can only keep them out in the evening or for a bit during naps.
Anyone got any clues about this??? I'm trying to pump a bit to keep supply going and also to give her more milk from a cup, but she loves the boobie snuggles, plus pumping hurts when I have cracks as it stretches them too.
I'm not ready to give up bf but more importantly nor is DD.
I went to my bf support cafe and they said my latch looked fine and advised me to try nipple shields - I'm sure you can imagine how shields went down with a 10mo boob monster who bottle and dummy refused! She bawled in anguish, lots. I tried a couple more times and same result.
So I'm a bit stuck.
I think she might have a bit of a shallow latch, but the bf supporter said it was fine, and I do try and force her to take a bit mouthful of boob, but the two times in the last fortnight I've fed her at ~4am (she normally sleeps through) when she's been sleepy have been the worse feeds, I think her latch was extra lazy then, so no more 4am feeds even if she wakes!

mygreeneyedboy Wed 20-Aug-14 08:17:59

I have a post roughly similar "breastfeeding and teething - I want to stop!" If you can see it there. People suggested the red soreness, cracked nipples might be thrush. Have you considered that? Good luck, hopefully the pain goes away for you!! Sorry I can't suggest more than that, I think I just gave up last night.

KikiShack Wed 20-Aug-14 08:32:36

Hi, thanks for the nudge to your post, it does seem similar. TBH I just don't believe it's thrush. I'm not sure why, thrush has been suggested for a couple of nipple soreness issues I've had in the past and they've always cleared up on their own and I'm sure this will too, I'm just pissed off with it and want it gone now! DD has nothing thrushy in her mouth, and I've had vaginal thrush and the pain is nothing like that. I just instinctively don't believe dry flaky nipples and slightly raw cracks are thrush.
DD does have 7 teeth and the 8th is coming through so perhaps it is related to that. It feels like she's got a little sandpaper cat tongue which is rubbing away layers of skin - when she comes off the boob there are often wet strands of nipple skin loose on the surface of my nipples. Nice...
I know I'm at risk of developing thrush but I really don't think that's the cause of the problem. HOWEVER I have thrush cream from a previous misdiagnosis so I suppose there's no harm applying that for a few days and seeing what happens.
I think the nipples just need a rest. I need to boob DD first thing in the morning and probably twice more during the day, I can give her ebm the rest of the time or fill her with yoghurt, so hopefully time will help. I'm going to another bf cafe today so hopefully the supporter there will be able to help more.
Sorry for the grumpy reply! I just want to give DD what she wants and I feel really crap I can't.

Tambajam Wed 20-Aug-14 08:33:26

I'd get down to the GP. Sounds like something like contact dermatitis, eczema, possibly a fungal or bacterial infection. A fungal or bacterial infection would fit with your description. Take baby to GP too so they can check in her mouth for thrush but even if she doesn't have symptoms, you'll both need prescriptions for treatment if it's thought to be thrush (take along the info from the Breastfeeding Network site). Ideally you'd start by getting a swab for diagnosis.

Tambajam Wed 20-Aug-14 08:35:21

Just read your post, might not be thrush. Bacterial infections can present like this too. I'd make an appointment with the GP as a BFC can't offer a medical diagnosis. They could only really support with positioning and attachment or suggest you go to the GP anyway.

KikiShack Wed 20-Aug-14 09:39:02

Thanks tamba , not what I wanted to hear but worth hearing I think.
Just occurred to me, I've got dry sore lips which suddenly erupted on Friday just gone for no reason, could it be related?

Philippalc Wed 20-Aug-14 10:13:08

I agree with Tambajam that you may have an infection by now as it has been going on a few weeks and as the nipples aren't healing despite being careful with latch and position. Your GP is best placed to help you here, you could share Marsha Walker's protocol with him/her which discusses best practice treatments in just this situation What Can I Put on Sore Nipples

Tambajam Wed 20-Aug-14 10:40:38

Yes. Lips could be connected. Sudden onset sore lips could be bacterial or fungal. Hope you get sorted soon.

KikiShack Wed 20-Aug-14 11:01:32

OK thanks all. I've just seen an IBCLC is registered pretty much next to my back garden so I'm making contact with her - I really don't rate my GP and want to get this sorted by an expert so this seems a good way to go. IN the meantime I'll try another bf cafe today as at least it'll give us a walk and make me feel like I'm doing something useful, and I'll book a GP appt for post-lactation consultant so I have something to walk into and ask for whatever the LC thinks I might need. I'll follow those Marsha Walker tips starting from today too...
I'm feeling happy and positive I have a plan - always cheers me up!!

AntoinetteCosway Wed 20-Aug-14 11:59:22

I just went to the GP for my v sore cracked, bruised nipples (from expressing though rather than BF) and she gave me novogel pads which are meant to be good healers-LC also told me not to let them air dry as they need to stay slightly moist to heal?

AntoinetteCosway Wed 20-Aug-14 12:00:01

(I've only been doing this a week though so am sure others' advice will be better!)

Tambajam Wed 20-Aug-14 19:55:15

Antoinette - you're right in the thick of it so your advice probably more valuable than almost anyone. You're right about moist wound healing. We know it's best to avoid drying out and formation of scabs that just continually get removed.

SociallyAcceptableCookie Wed 20-Aug-14 20:01:30

I'm in a very similar situation (down to the 10 month old baby!) and I went to the GP this morning. I was prescribed antibiotics. I think you should go to the GP, OP.

Itsmynamechange Wed 20-Aug-14 23:59:02

I've had red, flaky, sore nipples for about a week which started oozing yellow liquid from the wounds. An ibclc and I work through some ideas (hand, foot & mouth, thrush, eczema, etc) and we think I had an allergic reaction to my dd's new toothpaste (patch test on my arm went red) then staph bacteria got in. I've been to the GP and got antibiotics with the 'promise' of swabs if there's no difference in a week.

Hope you find out what's causing your soreness asap.

KikiShack Thu 21-Aug-14 16:05:32

Thanks all. I went to gp this morning and...surprise surprise she thinks it's thrush.
I have been putting thrush cream on since last night and it had calmed down a bit so maybe. I'll carry on with the cream and see how it goes. I'm still not convinced, don't know why. DD has no thrush symptoms but I'm treating her too anyway.
Thanks for all your help and I'll update If anything interesting develops...

KikiShack Thu 28-Aug-14 09:54:32

An update in case anyone else is struggling with something like this.
My lips have got worse, they burn all the time and are peeling a bit. Nipples fluctuate with use but no sustained improvement so I returned to the GP yesterday and got prescribed a steroid cream for both areas. I've only been using it half a day but things seem to be calming down so hopefully will heal without leaving big callouses! I'm bloody glad this is happening now when DD only feeds 4-5 times a day, in the pre 5 months era when she was feeding every hour during the day and 3 times overnight I don't think I'd have had enough time off for my nipples to cope and I'd probably have stopped feeding her. My lesson from this is go to the gp early and push them for alternatives to thrush!
I'm going to a LLL meeting on Friday so might get some more views there, something my fab gp was very in favour of thankfully.

Philippalc Thu 28-Aug-14 11:14:32

Thanks for the update KikiShack, I hope you enjoyed your LLL meeting! Great to hear your GP was supportive. How are the lips and nips?!

KikiShack Fri 29-Aug-14 14:48:53

LLL was fantastic, I think I'm going to join...
Nips and lips are both much better thanks,almost back to normal already. Yay for medicine.

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