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Hello, I'm relatively new here and need some help for sore nipples. It hurts badly nursing my five month old dd on the right side. My nipple looks really red, and cracked, sometimes looks chapped. I have tried leaving breast milk on it to dry, but it's getting more and more painful to nurse her. Any suggestions, don't want to go to the dr. unless it's absolutely necessary. Thanks for any information or suggestions!
 

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It could be thrush. Cracked nipples and thrush often go hand-in-hand (some sources say cracked nipples can lead to thrush, and some say thrush can lead to cracked nipples). What kind of pain is it? Do you ever have pain in between nursing sessions? You may want to research the thrush thing a bit and see if it sounds familiar.

Some other tips:

- try using olive oil on your nipple after nursing. This will help it to heal, or at least feel soothed, and yeast doesn't like it (in case you do have thrush). Breastmilk and lanolin both create environments in which yeast thrives.

- nurse on the less-sore side first. This way your babe won't have to suck long on the sore side to get a let-down.

- be very careful about positioning

I hope you get that nipple healed up soon!

Lex
 

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the advice already given is great and yet i would add to try to change your hold inorder to give the nipple a "Rest" in the position it is usually being used in. if by chance your nipple on the right is slightly turned or "lopsided" this might do the trick. it wont fix it right away of course but in time it could help.
Laura
 

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Here's Kellymom's page of thrush resources for you to check out. ITA with the above advice. I also wonder whether your baby is teething and is chomping down on you.

If it is thrush, though, both you and babe need to get treated so you don't pass it back and forth. You can go a long way with the suggestions in the links above (particularly Pat Gima's yeast treatment protocol) without getting into prescription meds.
 

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to help with healing and discourage thrush, try Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment (breastfeedingonline.com has a link to Jack Newman's handouts) - you will need a script and a compounding pharmacist. It has done miracles with my BADLY damaged nipple after contracting thrush and experiencing tissue breakdown!
 
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