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Cracked Nipples

(32 Posts)
StrangeTown Sun 25-Oct-09 16:40:06

DS2 is 5 days old and I have had cracks in both nipples since day 1 which are not healing at all. Latch and position have been checked by midwives and BFC and both seem fine.

After each feed there seems to be a 'frill' of blisters vertically down the centre of each nipple which then cracks and scabs. DS also has big sucking blisters after each feed. BFC felt DS was just a very fierce feeder with a strong suck.

Night feeding is awful, he is cluster feeding at night and I am not sure I can continue to BF - feel hopeless and last night ended up with tears streaming down my face in agony during each feed.

I just did some searches on here and people recommended the silverette shields, but they seem to be sold out.

Does it get better? How? Do your nipples just toughen up?

Any info and experience appreciated.

duke Sun 25-Oct-09 16:51:03

Yes they do toughen up. The first 2 weeks can be really tough. Check and check again that they are latched on properly. When they have finished feeding cover the nipple in breast milk and let them air dry. Good luck. Don't worry most new mums spend a at the very least 1 night in tears over feeding!

ib Sun 25-Oct-09 16:59:53

It did get better. Lansinoh saved my life, I highly recommend it!

skymoo Sun 25-Oct-09 17:21:22

i had camilosan (sp?) about 20 years ago...not sure if you can still get it, but it is made with natural ingredients and does not affect the baby

rubyslippers Sun 25-Oct-09 17:36:37

you need lansinoh ASAP

i blistered really badly during my first 2 days breastfeeding - turns out DD's latch was poor and she was nipple, rather than breastfeeding

pain was horrendous - like daggers

best thing to do is unlatch your DS and try to get him latched on again and see if his latch improves during the feed

DD's latch is now perfect and no blisters

cece Sun 25-Oct-09 17:38:52

One word; lansinoh

MrsMotMot Sun 25-Oct-09 20:10:54

So sorry to hear how sore you are, made me wince in memory...

Silverettes IMO are ony going to hep speed up heaing. So if your DS is still causing trauma they won't do much, IYSWIM. I agree with the other posters, re-latch if you have the slightest feeling he isn't on well, even though I know it's agony. I had one side that was worse and so I'd start DS out on the less-sore side to get those first powerful sucks out of the way, then switch him to the cracked side.

Lansinoh did nothing for me, neither did Kamilosan but many on here do recommend them. I know it's not what you want to hear but it might just be a question of your DS getting a bit bigger and better at taking in more than your poor nipples.

I used the silverettes because I fet the latch improved but the pain and crack persisted- it turned out I also had very stubborn and persistent thrush which took a lot of time and effort to shift. So the thrush was inhibiting healing. I literally had the crack for weeks. Once I'd got the silverettes it was gone in a week. Bloody miraculous!

You are doing a marvellous job in bf when it's so sore, btw. I found it worse than giving birth and never thought it'd be pain free. But it got so much better. It will for you, too. I am bf my 11mo as I type and it's bliss.

sanfairyann Sun 25-Oct-09 20:17:39

I doubt the latch really is ok if you are getting lines and blisters after a feed. can you go and see another bfc (one trained by nct/lll/abm rather than a mw or hv who's done a few days training and might or might not be any good at spotting a poor latch ). has anyone checked for tongue tie?

lansinoh and lots of fresh air on nipples will help with healing between feeds but persist in asking for help in rl - is there a baby cafe near you?

sazlocks Sun 25-Oct-09 20:18:52

Only other thing I would recommend is to put plastic tea strainers over your nips to keep them aired and not touching your clothes and lots and lots and lots of lansinoh. I know plastic nipple shields not great but they might help in the short term ?
Good luck smile

StrangeTown Sun 25-Oct-09 20:19:40

Thanks everyone - I have the Lansinoh and it is keeping the cracks soft, but I don't know about healing them.
I have breastfed before without this pain. DS1 is nearly 2 and I fed him for over 8 months without having anything like this. I do think his latch is OK - my midwife has been again today and checked and thought his latch and position were perfect. She did suggest shields temporarily which she said may offer some protection - but I know they can interfere with feeding/milk so am not sure if I would just be creating a new problem?

Am dreading tonight already...

sanfairyann Sun 25-Oct-09 20:26:34

what did the mw say about why you are getting the marks on your nipples after each feed? am still v suspicious about latch/or tongue tie. have you tried phoning the bf lines?

MrsFlyingKebab Sun 25-Oct-09 21:09:24

I am just emerging from the first two weeks of BF troubles. My dd2 was causing similar problems on both my nipples - the midwife suggested that she wasn't taking the nipple to the back of her mouth properly and it was getting squashed in the wrong part. we think this was due to dd2's inexperience (they have to learn too), and the fact that newborn have small mouths and she wasn't opening it wide enough. What shape are your nipples after a feed? Mine were flat, and they should generally be rounder. They were also a bit lopsided suggesting that I didn't have her raised high enough and she was pulling them downwards.
What saved me was lansinoh, a few more cushions and some simple nipple shields. I only needed to use them for a couple of days and they helped two fold - 1) healing could get going and 2) being a bit bulkier, they encourage baby to take the nipple deeper into the mouth and not squash the end of the nipple against the palate. i know nipple confusion and a reduction in supply could be issues, but I didn't need to use them for long - you can always alternate a feed with and without. (Midwife said if I was still using them weeks later it would be an issue) I did the same for dd1 and totally stressed about using them but it wasn't a problem then, and it isn't now.My thoughts were it was better to BF with them and keep BFing than to risk giving up because I couldn't cope with the pain.
Now I am in a totaly different place than last week and in no pain whatsoever - just that little ooyah! when she first latches on and draws the nipple into the back of her mouth. Then it just kinda tickles grin

Sorry for long post - but I was where you are not so long ago and want you to know it will get better!! Good luck!!

StrangeTown Mon 26-Oct-09 03:05:02

Midwife just felt the marks were from over eager sucking. I am now wondering if I have mastitis as my left breast is painful all the time. It is lumpy and hot on one side and underneath. Argh...

GhoulsafraidofVirginiaWoolf Mon 26-Oct-09 07:30:26

Poor you - that must be agonising sad

Your midwife is wrong. You do not get cracked nipples from an overenthusiastic latch. It is either a poor latch or there is something like tongue tie going on. Ring one of the breastfeeding charities NCT, La Leche, Association of Breastfeeding Mothers or Breastfeeding Network. You need some help quickly especially with the mastitis. That is another indicator that the baby isn't draining the breast properly. See here for more info.

Are you taking anything for the pain? On the bright side, if you see someone today and get the latch sorted your nipples heal very quickly, a day or so. It is a myth that nipples "toughen up" by the way.

Good luck smile

StrangeTown Mon 26-Oct-09 16:33:16

OK - someone from the Breastfeeding team supporting my area has just done a home visit and confirmed that latch/position etc are all very good. She doesn't know why I am getting the blisters!

Feel like nowhere to go now - not doing anything wrong, so nothing to change to improve things.

Still got blisters on both nipples, one came off in the shower today, but other is still scabbed. Hope they are healing underneath...

sanfairyann Mon 26-Oct-09 21:54:42

did she check the baby as well for tongue tie etc? how are the feeds going now? do you still have the blisters after each feed?

StrangeTown Tue 27-Oct-09 00:14:19

No,she said to check with the midwife on Weds about tongue tie.

New issue now is that milk is dripping from babies nose when he is feeding...never seen this before - should I be worried?

MrsMotMot Tue 27-Oct-09 14:20:21

Milk is dripping from baby's nose? Tell the midwife tomorrow- I don't think you need to be worried but his palate should maybe have the once-over just to make 100% sure it's not related to that. Hope your poor nips feel better soon.

lal123 Tue 27-Oct-09 18:13:25

Oh I sympathise - my DD is 2 weeks old today and for the first few days I had blisters down centre of my nipples, which scabbed up too for the first few days. MW left me some lanisoh, I went out and bought more and just my luck nips healed up before I had a chance to use bought stuff.... I don't really have much advice I'm afraid - I think my sore nips were due to over eager feeding - once my milk came in and DDdidn't have to suck as hard things got better really quickly.

Agree that you need to discuss the milk coming from nose thing with your midwife. Hope you're better soon

JetLi Tue 27-Oct-09 19:24:40

My terribly sore, cracked nips were eventually cured by whisky - apparently a very old fashioned remedy, which was recommended by a midwife at my local BF drop-in. You apply externally grin
I dabbed it on with a cotton wool ball after each feed and wiped it off before the next feed with water and cotton wool. I was significantly less sore within 24 hours. I think anything with a similarly high alcohol content would be as effective. I expected it to sting like buggery when applied, but it wasn't too bad. HTH

smallorange Tue 27-Oct-09 19:47:11

Oh it's awful and exhausting.

Do get them to check for Tongue tie- it caused terrible cracked nipples for me. If you are dreading feeds and need a break, can you express and give a bottle? It bought me some rest when my nipples were really sore.

Otherwise lasinoh and jelonet on prescription helped me, also a shower to soften nipples and get the milk flowing. Don't let the cracks dry out and scab over - you are aiming for moist wound healing so slather on the lansinoh, use breast pads, keep area clean.

MadameStripes Tue 27-Oct-09 19:53:08

I had cracked nipples too and it was agony for the first 2-3 weeks, but it did get better day by day til I suddenly noticed I wasn't crying/hyperventilating/wincing at every feed... so it will get better.

Moist healing with Lansinoh worked for me. As did changing position on the worst nipple- I used rugby ball. Here are a few more tips from Kellymom. Hope they get better soon.

smallorange Tue 27-Oct-09 19:53:33

I also bf my first two with very little problem and was agony with dd3. And everyone was telling me the latch was perfect - until one midwife checked for Tongue tie.

Also I found that antibiotics and ibuprofen sorted my mastitis and I felt much bêtter within hours.good luck.

hairymelons Tue 27-Oct-09 20:08:44

Brings tears to my eyes remembering my poor, cracked nipples. DS had a tongue tie which was fortunately spotted on day 2.

If latch really is fine it may well be tongue tie. Has anyone checked for thrush? Hopefully your midwife can check all this tomorrow.

In the meantime, could your OH nip out and get any old nipple shields from Boots/ late night supermarket, just to get you through the night? And, can you take painkillers too?
If you start to feel unwell with the mastitis, call the out of hours docs.

If you are feeling really miserable, try the LLL helpline 0845 120 2918. They are lovely and will have some practical tips to help.

It seems like a bit of a trial by fire at first but it gets LOADS easier, honest. Best of luck

StrangeTown Wed 28-Oct-09 09:25:59

Thank you everyone. Still struggling on at the moment - midwife is coming today so will ask about tongue tie, although a pead checked him over in hospital prior to discharge - do they not routinely check for this?

Think I will phone LLL if no answers from the midwife.

Otherwise it might be the whisky...

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