Advice for healing a cracked nipple while still breastfeeding

Amy - posted on 10/22/2012 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have a cracked nipple from a combination of getting used to breastfeeding and thrush. Now the thrush has been treated and I am comfortable breastfeeding but every time my son nurses on the side that is cracked he re-opens the split. I have tried pumping that side but it has the same result. I am using a combination of expressed breast milk rubbed on after feeding and nipple cream. Are there any other things I can do or is this just something that takes a while to heal?

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Dayna - posted on 10/28/2012

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Coconut oil. Pure coconut oil. Rub it all over. It works. No joke. And it's healthy.

Christine - posted on 10/30/2012

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If you are not allergic to wool, Lanolin is a good product to put on your nipple and it is digestible by the baby. Also don't use any soap on your nipples until they feel better, and air your nipples out as much as possible. Don't let your bra rub against them as much as possible. Also make sure baby is latching on with a wide mouth and taking in alot of tissue, not just your nipple.

Amanda - posted on 10/22/2012

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Hello. When I first started breastfeeding, my nipples were cracked and bleeding. It was so painful that I was desperate for relief. I don't know if it was one thing more than another that worked for me, but here's what I tried:



-Expressed breast milk rubbed on as you mentioned, but I did it all the time.

-Lanolin cream after every feeding (after using the expressed milk a few times).

-Nipple shield when nursing. I used it every time I nursed for a few days and then slowly stopped using it.

-Gel pads (recommended to me by my lactation consultant: http://www.ameda.com/sites/default/files...). I didn't use them a lot because you have to wash your nipples before feeding, but I used them when my baby took long naps.

-If you're nursing from both breasts, start from the least sore breast so your baby's strongest sucks are on that one and not the most sore one.

-We also used a bottle from time to time to give me some relief. We're using Breastflow bottles, also recommended to me by my lactation consultant because they mimic the motions of breastfeeding. http://www.thefirstyears.com/wps/portal/...



I also read you can use cabbage leaves, but because that also reduces your milk supply, I chose not to try it. Eventually my nipples were healed and have been now for weeks, so I'm considerably more comfortable nursing. Hang in there, and keep using your milk since it's the best for you and it's free.

Amanda - posted on 11/05/2012

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I was told with baby #2 the football hold helps prevent sore nipples as well because the baby is perfectly lined up and it ensures a proper latch

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Mom - posted on 12/02/2012

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even i had the same initially for 3 months but i never gave up.. i used nipple shield for time being till my nipple got healed some. then during night or wen baby goes to sleep i applied some milk creams, and clean it of before feeding. it took some days but it healed. I prefer doing natural things as some amount may go into baby mouth.

I hope this will help out. :) take care

Mom - posted on 12/02/2012

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even i had the same initially for 3 months but i never gave up.. i used nipple shield for time being till my nipple got healed some. then during night or wen baby goes to sleep i applied some milk creams, and clean it of before feeding. it took some days but it healed. I prefer doing natural things as some amount may go into baby mouth.

I hope this will help out. :) take care

Ivonne - posted on 11/17/2012

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Ok first you have to make sure that your baby is opening his mouth wide enough so he can't hurt you wile BF. I used Medela's nipples cream and it worked great. I have a 19 month old baby, I still BF and never had this problem again cause I make sure she opens her mouth wide. I hope this helps. Good luck

Tonya - posted on 11/14/2012

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I tried so many things when I had a similar problem and what finally worked for me was putting corn starch on it. Like I spent months with sore cracked nipples and after 3 or 4 days with the corn starch they cleared up.

Bubby - posted on 11/05/2012

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I had posted this on a similar mom's post:



I know EXACTLY how you feel! I had experienced the same thing when my son was 4 or 5 months. I thought that I had everything under control when it came to breastfeeding because he would latch without any problems and I no longer had sore nipples. But it must have been the positions that I breastfed him in. I was almost to the point of giving up because it was just too painful to breastfeed. I mean it's like I held my breath the entire time because it hurt so much! Like you though, I couldn't give up and I didn't want to either. My first son had problems latching and he just didn't take to breastfeeding well so we ended up formula-feeding him from 3-12 months. It was really expensive and more time-consuming as well! With my second son, I am determined to make it at least till he's one.



What really helped me (in my agonizing pain) was a couple of things:



-Lansinoh Nipple Cream (This is a basic necessity when breastfeeding)



-Tea Bags with Warm Washcloths over sore nipples for at least 15 minutes (Relief naturally!) (Just make sure to shower afterwards and use a mild soap or none at all.)



-Giving the "Sore Side" a Break (nurse on the better one)



-Changing Breastfeeding Positions (sometimes that could be the reason for sore nipples)



-Cooling Gel Pads (The ones that they sell specifically for sore nipples are pretty expensive...)



*****MOMS! HERE'S A GREAT TIP!!!***** Cold Packs (The ones they sell for kids when they get hurt) They are made with the same gel inside, just stick them in the fridge for a bit.You can find them at dollar stores too!



-Time (It WILL eventually get better!)



Hope this helped!

Christina - posted on 11/02/2012

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I had the same problem at first. I was told by the breast feeding specialist at the hospital to soak the nipple in salt water. It helped. I also strictly pumped for about a week.

Stephanie Marie - posted on 10/31/2012

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I had this same problem the first couple of weeks :( Mine cracked so badly that they bled. I asked the pediatrician about it (she's also a lactation consultant) and she said that it's normal but in time it will go away. It took me over a month for this to happen.. Guess you have to just hang in there and remember that it's SO healthy for your baby to breastfeed-- that's what kept me going! :)



Oh, and I was told to use some kind of ointment after nursing. It just moisturizes so that your nipples don't crack when they dry. I often forgot to use this but when I did, it worked pretty well. Good luck!

Jacquelyn - posted on 10/30/2012

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I had this problem and I got rid of the thrush and then I had contact dermatitis (which many doctors didn't realize) I still get it sometimes and I put a small amount of hydrocortizone cream on and then aquaphor or lanolin or a&d ointment and it does the trick, good luck, oh and wipe it off before baby nurses :)

Eavan - posted on 10/30/2012

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I'm still battling thrush after 11 weeks so I've read pretty mush every article I could fin!!. Apparently lanisoh may not be the best if you are prone to thrush as it keeps the moisture in as it's for treating nipples that are dry and cracked. Have you tried leaving your boob out after feeding to let it air dry and maybe sit in the sun for a few mins if you live somewhere sunny. Everyone keeps telling me that a little bit of UV is great for your nipples. Nipples shields don't work too well for me but try them and if the pump makes it bleed maybe you could try hand expressing. Hope it sorts itself soon for you.

Erin - posted on 10/30/2012

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I had this issue for both my kids and breastfeeding was excruciating for 5 weeks with my son and 8 weeks with my daughter ( she was slightly tongue tied).



I tried everything and the only thing that helped me was time! The lanolin does help a lot and also warm saline mix. I would just boil some water add some salt and then with a small cap ( a bottle top worked perfectly, I would soak my nipples. That is probably what provided me with most relief.



Hang in there. What you are doing is awesome for your baby! I BF my son for 9 months and my daughter for 14 months. Once the pain is over it's the most convenient way to go...not to mention really great for your little one!!



Best of luck.

Laura - posted on 10/29/2012

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You can buy these shields called mother's mates from the chemist. They saved my nipples when they were all scabby and split! Can't recommend them highly enough. Also you could use a nipple shield to give it some time to heal!

Regina - posted on 10/28/2012

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Lanisoh (purple bottle) right after nursing & also you can use the nipple shield for a few days until is is comfortable to nurse w/o it.

Ali - posted on 10/28/2012

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CRISCO! I swear. My Obgyn told me about it. Especially if your child is sleeping through the night and you can get a good few hours of "non nursing" time. Slather it on - serious amounts and stick a breast pad on there and put your bra on. It works wonders. Repeat as often as needed. Wipe excess off before nursing but since it's just vegetable oil it is perfectly safe.

Stefanie - posted on 10/26/2012

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I used Gel pads that I found at Target. You have to wipe the gel off before feeding but put it on right after feeding and whoa instant relief. My cracked nipples cleared up in a couple days using those. The expressed milk and lanolin didnt help me at all that's what prompted me to try the gel pads. Seriously I loved them.

[deleted account]

Hi there



I had terrible pain with cracked and bleeding nipples at first. I would cry when my baby latched on until my midwife saved the day.



The only nipple cream worth using is Lansinoh. It gets to work immediately, use it everytime, you can feed on this so no need to wipe clean. It costs more than others (about £10 a tube) but lasts for ages and is worth every penny. You can get it in most places, mothercare, boots etc. Its in a purple tube with a green band. Its magic cream.



I would also recommend that until your nipples feel a little better, change the position you are feeding. If you use the typical across the body position, put your baby under your arm and rest on a pillow. They suck on a different part and it won't hurt as much. This is what I did and I was back to normal in a couple of days and had no pain from this day onwards.



Hang in there & good luck. Let me know if this works for you xx

Marlene - posted on 10/24/2012

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i recently went to my daughters 2 month check up and found out my baby had thrush and thats y my nipples where very sore and bleeding they prescribed me a cream its called mr.newman nipple cream have you tryed that??? it works wonderful i applyed it twice and ever since havent had my nipples crack or bleed!

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