Nipple Pain!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
Nipple Pain!
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 7:18pm

I'm nursing my 4th kid, he's 7 1/2 months now and when we started out we had absolutely no problems whatsoever! No sore, dry, cracked nipples, no engorgement, it was bliss!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 10:07pm
Jenn, welcome to the board and thanks for stopping by!

If thrush is the culprit (which I'm not sure if it is), just nystatin cream is NOT going to cut it in terms of healing things. Research shows us that thrush responds best to layered treatments which means trying more than one treatment at a time. Here's some good information about thrush treatments and some other things to try:

Nursing every 2 hours is absolutely normal at 7 months old. Some babies are spacing feedings out more by then but others aren't. Remember, nursing is about more than just food, nursing is very comforting and grounding to baby and a great way to connect with mom.

Here are some other tips to try in terms of healing broken nipple skin:

Would it be possible to you to connect in person with an LC in your area to take a look at you and evaluate what's going on? I hate for you to be in so much pain and a qualified person might be able to figure out if thrush is what you're dealing with and what else might be to blame here. Here's a directory to help you find someone in your area:

I hope that information helps you some. Hang in there, Jenn!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
Fri, 03-18-2011 - 10:32am
Thanks so much! Now that all the nystatin is washed off I agree that it doesn't look like thrush. My nipples are just a little more pink than usual and have cracks in different places around them, there are no red spots or itching. The nipple healing link looks very helpful, thank you! Do you think it would be better to keep them hydrated with the nipple butter or with plain vaseline?

I enjoyed the comfort nursing and just sitting with him on my breast (well, except the every two hours at night - that is exhausting! lol) but now that it hurts so much I'm going to have to find other comfort measures for him, at least until I heal.

My girlfriend uses a LC nearby but I don't know if we have the money for her. I usually just get my info from what she's told my friend!

Thanks for your help! I appreciate it!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
Fri, 03-18-2011 - 12:57pm
If an LC isn't an option for you, you may want to consider contacting a La Leche Leader. They're trained accredited folks who can often help quite a bit too. Here's a link to see if there's a LLL group in your area: LLL is always free and staffed entirely by volunteers.

I'm not sure what's in the nipple butter but I'd recommend that over vaseline since presumably the nipple butter is ok to get a bit in baby's mouth. Some moms find hydration through using olive oil as well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sat, 03-19-2011 - 6:53am

You can try smearing the nipples with a bit of your own brest milk after nursing, and letting them dry in the air a bit.

This link to kelly mom details some things that should help.

As for how your sone is nursing, babies can get squirmy as they get older, but they can also be absolutely taight that they are not to hurt you with what they do. Is the squirming and pulling happening all through a nursing session or sometime after the start? If it is later in the nursing session, then remove the baby from the breast and tell them 'no' they are not to hurt mummy, and end the nursing session at that time. This also works with babies who may bite.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Mon, 03-21-2011 - 9:14pm

I agree with Dana that it's important to unlatch quickly as soon as the baby does any behavior that is causing nipple pain or they will only continue it.

Another thought I had was to check with the ped to see if the reflux medication needs to be adjusted for the baby's growth. Sometimes when reflux is bothering the baby they will arch and pull off the breast and babies often need larger doses of the medication as they get bigger.

You might try the salt water rinses recommended in this link. They can be really helpful to lower the risk of infection to the cracks. Also there are hydrogel pads available to help heal nipples that can be purchased in most drug stores like Soothies. They should be ok for you, they don't contain lanolin, just polymers and water. There is good evidence that this type of product is helpful to heal cracked nipples

Please let us know how you are doing.


Kathy Kuhn IBCLC
iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, and Maura

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2004
Tue, 03-22-2011 - 9:41am

I've recently had thrush and some cracks (I'm still taking diflucan) but the cracks were a result of ds *re-learning* how to latch with his teeth.