Sore, Cracked Nipples

Question:

Hello! I have been breastfeeding my three-week old baby since day one, and I know she is getting enough to eat. She feeds very vigorously, every 2-3 hours and has very wet diapers, and lots of poopy diapers. At the hospital, the nurses said that she had a good latch, and this isn't my first time breastfeeding (I nursed my last daughter for 15 months, but that was five years ago). Three weeks later, however, I am still experiencing very sore nipples. They are cracked and bleed, and sometimes my breasts hurt between feedings. I use Lansinoh lanolin after EVERY feeding. I have actually gone through two whole tubes of it already. I also let my nipples air dry if I can. Nothing seems to help in the healing. When I nurse her, it is excruciating for the first 30 seconds or so, but then the pain subsides through the rest of the feeding. Is this normal, and will my nipples eventually toughen up and heal, or should I seek help from a doctor or lactation consultant?

Answer:

Holli,

I am sorry that you are still experiencing pain when you are nursing.  It is quite common, even for experienced breastfeeding moms, given that every baby is different.  I would definitely recommend an in person consultation with a lactation consultant so she can assess the baby's latch and milk transfer.  If you need to find a lactation consultant in your local area, there is a locater at ILCA.org, the lactation consultant association website.  Take care and hang in there.

Kindest Regards,

Gina Ciagne, CLC

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