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Is my nipple cracked?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I realize that as a woman that has been nursing for 32 months I should know the answer to this question but I really don't. My daughter has been nursing with a terrible latch for a year now (I lost my milk three months pregnant with her brother and she comfort nursed throughout the pregnancy...and never lost her comfort-nurse latch despite my best efforts to re-teach her).  My nine month old has been power teething and there have been several bites that have made me yelp *and* my pump recently died, after turning my nipples purple for several weeks.  (As I write this I cringe at how silly this all sounds).  Things are not any different than they have been for weeks if not a few months.  It hurts to nurse both kids and to pump. There does appear to be a crack but it doesn't bleed or get better....I am just lost.  And tired.  Short of flashing the women at LLL how do I find out for sure? With tandem nursing and pumping a little for the baby to have at "meals" or in a cup if we are in the car there is not much time to heal, if a crack is the problem. I tried a breast shield awhile ago and my toddler promptly chomped down on it, so I am hesitant to try that again.  I have started a renewed effort to use lanolin several times a day....but if anyone can read through this mess and help me I would appreciate it.

post #2 of 10

I don't have much advice to offer but wanted to commiserate with you! I have a 'crack' in one nipple that has been there since I started nursing my now 18mo old. She weaned at a year when I was 5 mo pregnant and now that her sister is here the crack is being re-aggravated. It never went away even though no one was bothering it for 4ish months. 

So sorry I can't be of more help!

post #3 of 10
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have not tried the ointment--does someone need to call that in?  I will look into it, as the lanolin doesn't seem to be doing much.

post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by sunfish21 View Post

I have not tried the ointment--does someone need to call that in?  I will look into it, as the lanolin doesn't seem to be doing much.

yeah, it is prescription and needs to be compounded... however the ingredients are all over-the-counter, I think.  I like Newman's take that it treats everything at once because mamas don't want to wait to see if one ingredient will work when they need their nipples for nursing!

post #6 of 10

Wow. That's indeed a lot going on at once. I wonder...if your pump was turning your nipple purple...if the root cause of all of this pain is a too small flange on the pump, combined with teething...It just seems like if a crack was the problem you would know that you know that you know...When pumping perhaps you could check and ensure that your nipple isn't rubbing on the sides of the tunnel, there should be space b/w the tunnel and your nipple tissue..if not, going up a flange size may solve much of your pain. (PS, don't rule out complicating factors like thrush, etc as you investigate) It may be worth asking if a local LC could do a brief exam/history, or baring all to your LLL Leader :) Good luck~

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  I think it is time to get an appointment with someone and have them take a look and/or call something in. It would be nice to get a 'professionals' opinion on the pump fit as well as the baby's latch AND whatever is going on (crack, mild infection or yeast).


I have wondered about the pump--I just got a new one so hopefully it will fit me or just work better.  Maybe since the motor was dying on the old one that was affecting the way it worked?


Thank you all--this was just the nudge that I needed!

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Update: I was able to get int with a LC today and she had a few things to say which I will post in case they may help others:


she thinks my nipples are pretty pink/red and that there may be a mild yeast issue


she thinks my nine month old has a terrible latch and is gnawing on the end of my nipple


she thinks I have a small crack or two


she thinks the suction on my pump was way too high and wants me to turn it down


she suggested vinegar rinses and using Motherlove nipple cream


she thought I could try a nipple shield, which neither of my kiddos went for


she suggested letting the baby use his cup more during the day (he nurses a ton at night; he is super distractable during the day) since when we are both half asleep he is either latching on better or it hurts me less  :)


hope something helps...

post #9 of 10

Good for you! Even if the ns isn't something that will work for you, treating a yeast infection and correcting the pump suction while still working w/little bit on latch should help! You're doing a great job!

post #10 of 10

I had persistant crack and pink/itchy nipples due to thrush. I went on a sterilizing/cleaning/washing everything in vinegar rampage.


I made just at-home all-purponse nipple cream and it helped so so so so so much, but lanolin did pretty much nothing for me (maybe it helps to prevent problems, but not so much to cure them?)


Equal parts lotramin, neosporin, and cortisone ointment. I also wiped my nipples with a clean cotton ball dipped in diluted vinegar water before/after feedings, then put on the APNO after the rinse had dried after the feeding.

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