Sensitive nipples?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2005
Sensitive nipples?
19
Tue, 10-12-2010 - 1:33pm

Julian is almost 9 months old. I haven't had any nursing issues until about a month ago. He nurses from the left side more often than the right, and the left side started feeling very sensitive. It's painful when he nurses, but only sensitive at other times. Last night I gave the left side a break and only nursed from the right side. Now they both hurt when he nurses. :( It feels almost like his mouth is sandpaper.

My nipples look completely normal. No redness, no discharge, and there isn't any pain elsewhere. Oh, and he doesn't have teeth yet, and isn't biting or anything.

Any ideas?? Thanks!












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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Tue, 10-12-2010 - 7:37pm

There are a couple of possible explanations that come to mind as to why your nipples might suddenly be painful based on your symptoms. The first, is thrush. even though you nipples don't look red, I still consider that a possibility. Look at the following link which should help you determine if you might possibly have thrush:

http://www.llli.org/FAQ/thrush.html

Now if you don't think your symptoms match thrush then another possibility is that you may be pregnant. Now that may not be what you want to hear but pregnancy does cause sore nipples so I would rule that out just to be safe.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2005
Wed, 10-13-2010 - 8:35am

Thanks for the info! I looked a little closer, and they look a bit bruised on the underside. I'm thinking he's not latching very well at night. I'm going to work on his latch during the day, and get up and feed him at night instead of nursing in bed.












iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sun, 10-17-2010 - 4:45pm
Haha, your story reminds me of an old friend who complained that her nips were suddenly sore at about 10 months. She was sitting in my kitchen bf her son as he performed the most awesome bf acrobatics..........you know bf standing on his head, while doing somersalts, flips, etc............lol. I said to her, "Kelly..........uh............do you think it might be your position?" and she looked down at her upside down baby with her nipple stretched into the next county practically..........."oh...........hehehe........I never thought of that"

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2005
Tue, 10-19-2010 - 8:18am

Haha, yeah, he is much more active now and tries to take them with him when he turns his head. Ouch.












Community Leader
Registered: 06-10-2008
Tue, 10-19-2010 - 9:02am

Here's some things to try to promote healing: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/nipplehealing.html. Many of these may be worth a try for you.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Wed, 10-20-2010 - 5:22pm

If bf acrobatics are the problem, it can help to keep your finger near his mouth and be ready to unlatch by inserting your finger super fast. If you are consistent with taking him off anytime he's doing something that causes pain, usually they learn very quickly not to do the offending behavior.

You could opt to take a 'breastfeeding vacation' by resting the nips part of the day but you'd definitely want to pump (does pumping hurt?) and with an older baby it can be difficult to increase supply if it takes a dip. Also, he may not want pick back up on bf when and if you decide you feel better enough to go back to your former routine.

However, if you are ok with the possibility of a permenent decrease in bf that's an option, just be sure you cut back gradually or wean off the pump gradually so you don't add mastitis to your breastfeeding issues and discomfort. Hope you feel better soon.

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2005
Thu, 10-21-2010 - 10:42am

I don't think it's acrobatics. My left nipple hurts the most, and I noticed that it's white after he nurses. (It hurts for about a half hour after he's done. Could that be a clogged duct? I thought before that it was a latch issue, but now I'm not so sure.

I don't really want him to wean, but I needed to do something, so the past two nights I've cut out the night feedings. I get almost a 10 hour break. He still wakes at night, but I've been giving him EBM in a bottle. (I think he's only eaten about 2 oz each night.) I'm not so sure he's really that hungry at night anyway. I always just nursed him back to sleep whenever he woke b/c that was the easiest thing to do. :)

Besides the first two weeks of hell with each boy, I haven't had any nursing issues. I nursed Lucas to about 22 months, and never had any issues. He weaned b/c I was 4 months preggo and didn't have any milk left. I was hoping to let Julian self-wean. :/

I'm going to try hot/cold compresses today and see if that helps.

Oh, and pumping probably would hurt. I haven't tried it yet, b/c I have a cheapo hand pump that doesn't work too well.












Community Leader
Registered: 06-10-2008
Thu, 10-21-2010 - 1:42pm
Hmmmm... the white part makes me think perhaps blanching/vasospasm. Can you take a spin through this link and see if this rings bells to you?
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/nipple-blanching.html
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2005
Thu, 10-21-2010 - 3:56pm

Thanks! It sounds like it might be blanching due to compression. I have noticed that my nipple looks somewhat pinched when he's done. He doesn't have any teeth yet, but seems to be in pain or uncomfortable from the lack of teeth. We've also noticed that his gums are a lot harder than they used to be. I wonder if teething is causing him to do that. If it's not that, I'm not sure why he would be doing it now. Off to do some research...












iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Fri, 10-22-2010 - 9:33am

The whiteness could be a plug or a vasospasm. Is it the entire nipple, like blanching or just a point on the tip? Is your nipple pointy like a new lipsitck at the end of the feeding? If it is that indicates latch issues, if not then it's likely something else.

It could be yeast too. Sometimes yeast can cause blanching/vasospasms. Here's more:

Description of yeast:

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppbreastfeed/?msg=63032.2

Vasospasms

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppbreastfeed/?msg=119943.2

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

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