Can I Give One Breast a Break & Not Lose Supply? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-15-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a cut in the nipple on my right breast that won't heal, and nursing on that side has become complete agony. This happened when my daughter was much younger (maybe 4 months; she's 14 months now), and it was painful then, but eventually it healed. I have a hunch that more frequent nursings contributed to the healing the first time, much as they do with sore nipples in the very beginning. This cut, however, shows no sign of healing, maybe because she nurses less frequently. I'm pregnant again, and while I'm not looking to wean, I have been reducing the number of daily and nightly nursing sessions. Increasing the frequency of nursing may help heal the cut, but it would also undo the work I've done to get to this point. I'm hoping for an easier answer.

Can I give the breast a break and allow the cut to heal without losing my supply on that side? I'm thinking it will take a week, maybe less.

I should emphasize again how PAINFUL this is!
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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Is pumping with well-fitted flanges less painful than nursing? Because the bottom line with supply is if you don't use it, you lose it. And if you stop nursing on that breast abruptly you may end up with equally painful plugged ducts or mastitis.
I would try the more frequent nursings.
I hope it heals soon

Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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How frustrating to have a cut on your nipple. YIKES! I agree with Megan73... it's a use it or loose it world when it comes to BFing. Hopefully frequent pumping will allow your nipple to heal while you do not compromise your supply. If you have a pump and it isn't comfortable, I'd contact a local LC and try out a few flanges to find one that doesn't hurt you......
Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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I recently healed a cut (due to biting!) by only pumping that side. I pumped while nursing on the other so I kept the same schedule and did not mess with my supply.

I hope it heals quickly! I hear you on the pain

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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Ooh, poor you! Presumably you've tried moist wound healing (pure lanolin) and experimenting w positioning to try to get less "pull" on the cut? I'd stop feeding as a last resort; after a day or two you could likely get your supply back up within the same no of days w lots of feeding, but more difficult after a week. Plus as pp says, you'd really need to be careful about plugged ducts/mastitis. I'd definitely want to express during a break; maybe hand expressing? Can probably put less stress on the cut than w a pump? Good luck, and hope you heal quickly!
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I forgot that pumping was part of my recovery strategy the first time. I'll try that. I'd been using my sister's pump but had to return it because she had another baby (which is probably why I didn't consider it as an option this time). Now that our babies are coming in such rapid succession, pump sharing doesn't seem very practical anymore. Anyway, thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Hi Mama,
If you need your own.... Avent has a great hand pump for fairly cheap... the Avent Isis. It's very comfortable to use.
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