Help!!!--Large Nipple Wound - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-31-2009, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All.

I'm new to the forums and spent a long time today reading through old threads. So many of you seem so smart about breastfeeding and I'm hoping that someone can help me. I'm desperate.

My son was born just about a month ago on 12/31. We ran into some issues with a bad latch initially which turned out to be caused by my inexperience, a moderate lip tie and a mild tongue tie. I do believe that we've corrected to root of our problem (although it's not perfect), but I'm left with a horrible wound on my right nipple that isn't healing.

I'll try my best to describe....

It's on the side of my right nipple and is a little over a centimeter in length, about half a centimeter in width and a couple of millimeters deep. I could call it a gash, split, hole, missing piece... It runs opposite the length of the nipple. It looks like I broke into a different kind of skin/tissue. It's shiny and white inside---not pink nipple skin. I don't think it actually ever bled. The 3rd lactation consultant we saw, who is also his new ped, told me to pump it (and not nurse from it) until it heals. I don't know how long to expect. What will healing look like? Has anyone ever had anything like this? She didn't have any answers for me. I'm wondering if I need a specialist.

I'm so upset about this and am scared that it's not going to heal, or that I haven't found a professional who has seen anything like this before. I have APNO ($55 a tiny bottle!!!) and lanolin and put it on liberally all day. I started covering it with a band-aid to ensure that the goop stays put. I haven't seen any change in weeks.

Thanks for reading. I'm so grateful for this forum...
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#2 of 9 Old 01-31-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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Instead of pumping, I would just try a different nursing hold. By what you describe, I would assume you've been nursing the the typical cradle hold- try nursing that side in the Football hold position (that was just the first decent image that came up when I searched- hope the site isn't horrible).

And never under-estimate the power of breastmilk! I would try squirting some onto your nipple after feeding and let it air dry or cover with a bandage after applying and drying a few times to keep all that good stuff there and working.

Kelly Mom is another great resource that many mamas from here visit for info.

Best of luck!!

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#3 of 9 Old 01-31-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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Someone with experience in wound healing may help. I know that there is research happening in nipple trauma healing, but I don't think anything has been published yet. But a health care provider with knowledge about would healing should be able to help.

it sounds painful!

ps Where are you located? Mamas may be able to point you in the right direction if we know the location. For example, if you are in Ontario, Jack Newman's clinic is pretty awesome, and in Quebec the breastfeeding clinic at the Jewish General Hospital is first rate.
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#4 of 9 Old 01-31-2009, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post

ps Where are you located? Mamas may be able to point you in the right direction if we know the location. For example, if you are in Ontario, Jack Newman's clinic is pretty awesome, and in Quebec the breastfeeding clinic at the Jewish General Hospital is first rate.
We're in Philly. What kind of dr. specializes in wound healing? UPenn has a chronic wound clinic, but I'm not sure if that would be the right place.
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#5 of 9 Old 02-01-2009, 08:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinaD View Post
We're in Philly. What kind of dr. specializes in wound healing? UPenn has a chronic wound clinic, but I'm not sure if that would be the right place.
It may be worth giving them a call. The principles are the same no matter where the wound is. From what you described it sounds like quite a large wound for a nipple to have, and you've had it for a while. It may benefit from some more sophisticated wound care. Sorry I don't have any experience of breastfeeding clinics or doctors that may be able to help in PA.
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#6 of 9 Old 02-05-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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sounds very similar to what I had when dd was that age. I stopped nursing on that side and pumped for 4 days, then nursed her, split it open again (but less so) and then pumped for another 4 days and it healed (although there is still a very noticeable scar some 14 months later).

I was freaked out about not nursing on side, but my supply was fine. Sometimes you just have to keep the tissue untouched and for me it was key to keep it dry and give it a bit of time.



It's really frustrating and painful, but it will heal. . . really!

finally midwife mama to my home-birthed nurslings: Noemi Sakura 16.10.07 & Seder Pádraig 13.7.09 and partner to their lovely daddy
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#7 of 9 Old 02-06-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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I've been there, but had the wounds on both sides. I know exactly what you're describing. The wounds were about the size of my pinky fingernail, and several layers of skin deep.
It was also due to tongue tie, and very painful. This all went on for WEEKS. My doctor said the shinyness was granular tissue and promptly referred me to a LC.

I didn't try the prescription strength APNO, but had been using the homemade version.

Here's what helped:
-I stopped using any ointment (I wonder if the hydrocortisone was slowing down the healing?)
-I started using lansinoh again
-I nursed him on the "better" side and pumped on the other and bottlefed every other feeding.
-I took a two week course of diflucan (I doubt I had thrush slowing it down, but maybe it helped)
-I took vitamin C like crazy

Number one thing was getting DS's tongue clipped. THEN I started to heal. The wounds closed up like ice on a pond.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Good luck.
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#8 of 9 Old 02-06-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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The thing to remember with an open wound on your breast is that you want to KEEP A MOISTURE BARRIER ON IT! It does not help to let it dry and scab over, because then it just rips open and healing has to begin again.

I would alternate Lansinoh and Neosporin Plus Pain after every feeding or pumping, whichever you've decided to do on that side.

Definitely don't let him continue to injure it. Use a different position or pump on that side.

Keep us updated!
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#9 of 9 Old 02-07-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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Hi Nina,
Don't know if you are checking back. I have a ds that is 17 months. When he was born I had problems on one nipple that preceded my pregnancy. Early on I ended up with the same thing as you are describing, I think. If a nipple were a raspberry, a big chunks of those round buds were gone, so there was like a big hole.
I did go in to my ob's office and saw one of the nurse practioners in the first month or so (had a midwife for birth, but ob's office worked the nipple problem before pregnancy). The nurse practioner said breasts and nipples can look all sorts of ways when nursing...
I continued nursing and took ipuprofen for pain. I choose not to put anything on my nipples (I am vegan so no lanolin). The wound did heal with a normal scar, slightly faded and not like the raspberry buds. I still nurse successfully on both sides. From what I understand now those wounds come from "trauma" ie an eager baby learning latch when newborn. My two cents, take some kind of pain relief (ibuprofen or what is recommended by your health care provider) and settle in. This too will pass!

HW (40) DH (46) DSS1 (14) DSS2 (11) DS (3) DD (5/5/2010)
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