Bleeding While Nursing

Question:

I have been nursing my son since birth with a nipple shield secondary to flat nipples. I have tried and tried to get him to nurse without it and finally at 4 months old he will do it. Now a week later I have mastitis and he keeps getting blood from my breast. My nipples are sore and slightly cracked in spots but no bleeding externally that I can see. I've been able to nurse him with only some pain/discomfort at beginning of feed, however he is still getting blood. When i pump there is no blood in my milk. It only happens when he nurses. I feel awful having him drink blood. I am not sure if I should just pump and hope it heals...or continue nursing.

Answer:

Kristine,

Although it may seem a little off-putting at first if your baby gets a small amount of blood in your breastmilk, it won’t do any harm. It really take just a very small amount to give the milk a pinkish color and baby isn’t actually ingesting very much. If you can I would recommend continuing to feed at the breast. Having your little one feed directly at the breast is the best way to empty your breasts, and will help clear your mastitis more quickly. As you continue to feed without the nipple shield and once your mastitis clears the blood in the milk should clear as well. In the meantime keep up the great work. Congratulations on four months!

Kindest Regards,

Molly Peterson, CLC

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