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question about nursing with "thin skin", cracked nipples

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My husbands cousin is pregnant with her 3rd child. She attempted nursing with her first two, I think for a few months each. She had c-sections with both, and I know with the first she had a really bad latch that was never successfully corrected. Anyway, she didn't have success the second time either, I think for the same reasons, plus inexperience and the girls were only 13 months apart. Anyway her experience is that nursing is really painful, she had terrible cracked, bleeding nipples, and as I said I think she never got her kids to latch right. But despite the latch, which she worked with an LC to correct the first time around, she really thinks that it is her "thin, fair skin" that caused the problems with such severe cracked nipples. She has expressed regret at weaning early with her older ones, and she wants to nurse successfully this time, but I know she is pretty much expecting the worst. I'm just wondering if with a proper latch, are fair skinned women still going to have problems like this? It doesn't seem right to me, but I don't know. It also doesn't help that my MIL, her aunt apparently had the same problem, and has been really discouraging to her. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 2
Sounds like it's probably just the latch - both mommy and baby have to work at it and it is hard work. I'm no expert, but I'll say what I know from my personal experience.

I'm not sure what all she tried, but what's helped me so far is finger training - whenever the baby gets fussy, mom or dad can offer their finger, nail down, tip at the roof of the mouth, and pushing down slightly to force the baby's mouth to be more open. She could ask a nurse about that.

Did she express milk before getting the baby to latch on? Sometimes babies will suck super-hard, trying to get the milk to let down - once it starts flowing, the suck should turn into a soft pulling. The pulling that the baby should be doing won't have enough of a pull to blister or crack the skin (hopefully).

There are a lot of things that lactation specialists can miss - I went through a few nurses while in the hospital and all of them missed that the cause of my sore nipples was the simple fact that one had been pierced, so there was scar tissue making it more prominent, while the other one was fairly flat and it was causing issues for my baby knowing how to latch properly. I had to get that pointed out to me by a Lactation specialist afterwards, but then had to do some online research to find out how to resolve it.
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