Please help my poor left nipple - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-09-2013, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Breastfeeding was very rocky for us in the beginning- DS was taken away from me immediately after birth, and I wasn't allowed to see him for several hours. He lost a TON of weight in hospital (we were there for a week, with him in the NICU- I pumped and syringe fed him the whole time, as he would not latch), and in the week after we were released. After working with an LC at home (the hospital provided ones were terrible!) I finally got him latching. Thankfully, our family doctor was not worried, told me not to supplement under any circumstance, and to just keep him on the breast as much as he wanted and things would work out. And they did! At almost 11 weeks, DS weighs 13 pounds, and loves to nurse. 


HOWEVER! Mama is not loving it so much... in the beginning, his latch was truly awful, and he did some damage to my left nipple, which is still not healed, 11 weeks later. I have the Newman's All-Purpose nipple cream, and use it a lot and use gel pads sometimes. There is a pretty deep hole/crack that just won't heal and it makes nursing SO painful on the left side. The left just so happens to be his favorite side, of course. 


Can I use Neosporin or something? Will washing off the nipple get all traces of it, so baby doesn't ingest it? Should I only pump on that side for a while? I want to take care of this so badly, because were it not for the pain on the left side, feeding him would be so blissful now. Thanks for any advice you can give. 

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#2 of 4 Old 10-12-2013, 11:22 AM
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Not seeing you, it's really hard to know the extend and cause of your severe nipple abrasion. It sounds awful! Poor Mama. :HugI see this in my clients from time to time, and it is almost always an unresolved latch problem.


You need a Private Practice Board Certified Lactation Consultant. (As you said, often the hospital supplied ones are overworked and some aren't even Board Certified.)  Some good hospitals keep lists of good LCs in the community (and they know we're usually better at "home from the hospital stuff" than the in staff LCs are) but if they can't help, you can look online, call a local midwife, see if your community has a Doula service, they may even have one on staff (that's what I do, work with a consortium of Midwives, Doulas and Lactation Consultants for an agency that employs us all in one place.)


My guess is a tongue issue tongue tie, (ankyloglossia) lip tie (tight labial frenulum) a high palate or something else. Pediatricians miss tongue tie about 75-90% of the time, and tight labial frenulum nearly ALL the time, (they just weren't trained to see it) or it could be something else, like bacteria settling into the nipple sore, not allowing it to heal (which would require both oral and local antibiotics) You would need to see a good Board Certified Lactation Consultant to find out what is going on and for help with a treatment plan.


It must really hurt. guilty.gif I hope you get some help soon so you can heal.


As for your question, NeoSporin is used regularly in nipple pain (we use it as part of Dr. Newman's Triple Ointment if that's all Mama has in the house and mix it with cortisone ointment) Just wear a nursing pad disposable are best if you think you have an infection, as some strains of staph can survive even high temperature washing) and it will wear off. If the pain is too much to even wear a bra, just GENTLY pat the nipple (don't rub) and apply the next treatment after the next feeding. By the next feeding most of it will be gone. The little that is left is not known to cause any problems.


But it does sound like you need to be evaluated by an IBCLC. Something isn't right with the latch or his mouth if you have this kind of sore after this much time.


Blessings and healing thoughts :goodvibes

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#3 of 4 Old 10-16-2013, 02:18 PM
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I had serious nipple pain on my left side for weeks and I've never figured out why. I saw a lactation consultant who gave me some suggestions but for the most part said it looked like we were both doing everything right. I used lanolin for the first month to keep it healed up--it did help. Now at 3 1/2 months, I never experience any pain! Haven't had any troubles for the last two months. The problem somehow resolved and nursing is pleasurable on both sides now. Seeing a lactation consultant is definitely a good idea. I just wanted to offer you hope that it will get better!

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#4 of 4 Old 10-24-2013, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry I'm just now seeing these responses. 


I did see an IBCLC. She said he does have a mild tongue tie, and recommended cranial sacral therapy. We have gone twice now. The therapist also says he has a very high palate, and is working on bringing that down, I guess. I don't really know that I understand or believe in what she's doing (because it doesn't seem like much!) but it's like $10 a session due to my insurance, so we're giving it a shot! :)


The LC also told me to stop using the all purpose ointment because after using for a long time, it can actually thin the skin and make things worse. Sure enough, after switching to coconut oil, things are starting to heal quite a bit. 


I feel like we're at least part of the way to fixing the issue!

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