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A few weeks ago, my 10-month-old went through a couple of nights of all-night nursing. One morning I woke up and it felt like dd had been gnawing on my nipple rather than nursing. I found that I had a small white patch on my left nipple, and the nipple was really, really sore. I thought it was a milk blister which would go away on its own and I'd feel better, but it's been very sore and painful on and off for weeks now and I can still see a little mark where the "blister" was. I don't know what happened, but I am very, very sore. I also sometimes feel sharp, burning pain in that nipple and breast and the nipple is constantly erect. Can this be thrush? Would thrush show up only in one nipple and not the other? I don't see any evidence of thrush in baby's mouth, could this still be the problem?

Some days I feel o.k. and it's o.k. to nurse on that side, other times, it's completely unbearable. I know my dd does not have a good latch techinque, she never has (just like one of her sisters before her), but up until now it had not really been a problem. Could it be that the nipple is just traumatized and her shallow latch is not allowing it to heal? What should I do? This is the breast with the stronger let-down and the more abundant milk supply and this is causing some serious problems for me (especially when I get engorged because I can't bear to have her nurse). I DO NOT want to wean, but this is becoming something of a nursing nightmare for me! This is my fourth baby, and I've never had this kind of breastfeeding issue before.

Any help you all can give me would be greatly appreciated!!

Marcy
 

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Oh ouch- that must be painful for you!

I'm totally just throwing out some ideas here- thrush is definitely a possibility, especially if you had an open sore there for a while. It is possible to have thrush without the baby showing any signs of it (but still treat the baby- some babies are so healthy that they fight it well enough that you don't see it in their mouths but it is still there). Although I've never heard of it on one nipple only, it could just be that b/c of the blister/sore you are feeling it more there (hence treat both nipples). Also a big milk supply can make thrush worse b/c the breast is more likely to leak and not let the nipple dry completely and breastmilk is wonderful food for thrush too.

You could try treating it as thrush to see if the pain gets better. Acidophilous, grapefruit seed extract, and gentian violet can all be bought over the counter. I know one LLL leader who also suggests that a twice-daily rinse with a weak vinegar and water solution can really help as well (thrush cannot survive in an acidic environment, so the vinegar can help kill it and is not harmful to the baby or you!).

If possible, leave your bra off- even if it isn't thrush it could help the healing of the blister.

Good luck- I hope that your pain is gone soon!
 
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