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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
from the get go, my nipples have gotten chafed and irritated on an on/off basis. they'd be ok for a few days and then get bad again. i suspected bad latch when dd was a few weeks old so i had a local chapter leader from LLL come out. she took a look and thought the latch looked fine. after talking to some people i started thinking that maybe it was just that my nipples needed to adjust and that once dd got a little older and her mouth got a little bigger, all would be fine.<br><br>
not the case.<br><br>
fast forward to last month - dd was 7 months old and i was still having nipple irritation problems. i suspected thrush since this had been going on for so long, but my midwife thought that was unlikely since i had little pain and the irritation came and went away time and time again.<br>
i finally hired a well-known, highly regarded LC (kay hoover - she's authored many studies, particularly on thrush and nipple problems, and is AMAZINGLY knowledgeable) to help me once and for all. before coming over she recommended to me over the phone that i might want to try different nursing positions. we did, and the irritation seemed to improve. we did dd facing me sitting on my lap and me lying down while dd laid horizonally across my body.<br><br>
at my appt with kay, she said the latch looked fine. she noted that dd does have that little piece of skin connecting her upper lip to her gums but said that it didn't seem to be affecting her latch - that she was able to get her upper lip around enough breast tissue.<br>
(that said, it should be noted that the irritation is at the base of the nipple and in the area - on both breasts - where dd's upper lip goes)<br><br>
she left that day with me thinking that we'd solved the problem and that the new positions would be key in preventing future irritation and discomfort.<br><br>
well, not so.<br>
i just got back from my GP. the LC had recommended doing a mouth/nose culture on the baby to rule out bacteria. the GP didn't think that was necessary and instead gave me a homeopathic cream (mercurialis) to try.<br><br>
i'm VERY frustrated and in a way wish there was something apparently wrong so we could treat it and move on.<br>
dd is older so her mouth does open wider which does seem to make nursing more pleasurable, but with that comes to beginnings of nursing acrobatics. she enjoys pulling back and moving her head all around before let down - when she typically settles down to swallow the flow. i'm sure this isn't helping matters any. GP thought maybe i could try to gently hold dd's neck while she nurses to prevent that but dd won't have it. she's not big on being touched while she nurses <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
i should also mention that i have ULTRA sensitive skin all over. and, my let down has always been very strong and i'm still leaking at 8 months pp.<br><br>
if anyone has any advice, please write!<br><br>
thanks in advance...<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/toddler.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="toddler">:
 

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I assume the LC looked at/felt her mouth, including the roof of her mouth? I had similar undiagnosable pain, and it turns out that DD has a high "bubble" palate. No one checked for this till my fourth LC consult!<br><br>
Apparently it is also rarely possible for mom/baby to simply not be a good "fit" anatomically, or so I am told.<br><br>
Have you tried Jack Newman's all-purpose nipple cream?<br><br>
It sucks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> to have undiagnosable nipple pain, I know. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yup, she looked. no malformed palate.<br><br>
as it turns out, it seems the likely cause is an upper front frenum. it's a little piece of skin that connects the lip to the gums. it's genetic - i had it (snipped by a doc when i was a teenager) and so did my mother. it causes a person to have a gap between their front teeth.<br><br>
you may have heard of a bottom frenum being the cause for poor latch. this is a similar situation.<br><br>
i just got off the phone with a local dentist referred to me by the LC. he was super nice (we talked for 1/2 hour - his wife is also an LC and they're both big breastfeeding advocates) but said that he doesn't think he'd be able to snip isadora's frenum and that i might want to seek out an oral surgeon! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br>
i really don't know what to do. on one hand, i don't want isadora to go through any painful procedure, but on the other i'm beginning to get SO frustrated by this constant irritation.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake">
 

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i just got off the phone with a local dentist referred to me by the LC. he was super nice (we talked for 1/2 hour - his wife is also an LC and they're both big breastfeeding advocates) but said that he doesn't think he'd be able to snip isadora's frenum and that i might want to seek out an oral surgeon! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br>
i really don't know what to do. on one hand, i don't want isadora to go through any painful procedure, but on the other i'm beginning to get SO frustrated by this constant irritation.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"></div>
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From what I've heard, snipping a frenulum isn't that difficult or painful for a little one and heals quickly. From what I've read, the reason a dentist may refer someone to an oral surgeon is that the dentist may not be covered by insurance to do the procedure, or just may not have done the procedure at all or since dental school. Just because an oral surgeon is involved, it doesn't mean it's going to be a major procedure. A mom I know recently had her son's frenulum snipped and they rubbed on an anesthetic, snipped, took care of the small bit of bleeding (mostly by nursing!) and off they went. It was done in the doctor's office in a matter of minutes. Mom was more scared than son, and his biggest problem with the procedure was that his mom had to hold his head still.<br><br>
It sounds to me like the evidence is pointing toward her frenulum. I'd think that if you repositioned her on your breast with her upper lip on a different part of your breast, and used the position consistently ... you would notice if you had the same problem where her top lip is in the different postion. This would indicate some sort of latch problem, including a short frenulum.<br><br>
Good luck...I hope you experience pain-free nursing soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i bet you're right, amanda. the dentist i spoke to mentioned he hasn't snipped an upper frenulum (my LC always refers the lower frenulum babies to him so he does them constantly) since dental school and he's uncomfortable doing them now.<br><br>
the reason my LC referred me to him is because of that reason and also because his wife is an LC.<br><br>
he made it sound like it could be a huge procedure where isadora could potentially be in too much pain to nurse. that scared me! i mean, i'd love to be able to fix this problem without hurting my baby girl so badly she doesn't want to nurse!<br><br>
another LC my LC put me in contact with just sent me this article. it gives me hope!<br><a href="http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBSepOct00p161.html" target="_blank">What a Difference a Day Makes</a>
 
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