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Hi all. I am dealing with a bad situation with a good friend of mine. Her
baby is 3 weeks old. Mom has cracked nipples, very very tender, and
reddened. She has very fair skin, and states that her nipples have always
been extra sensitive. I have checked baby's latch over and over again, and
it seems fine- though he was nipple confused due to a couple of bottles at
age 6 days.  Mom is pumping and feeding bottles (uuugh...) right now in an
attempt to allow them to heal, but has pretty much decided to give up-
though she says she wants to pump and bottlefeed for as long as possible.
Baby was gaining wonderfully, mom is having great let-downs (though she
only gets about 1 ounce pumping) with lots of suckling/swallowing 1:1
ratio after initial latch.  Mom was experiencing only latch pain last
week during my visit, but now c/o pain throughout feed. I suggested that
she may have thrush, but baby has no signs in mouth or diaper area (he is
gassy/fussy, but they have been using the ABM in small amounts now that
she is not nursing.)   She saw an IBCLC yesterday who told her to stop
using the lansinoh (although mom felt it was helping.)  IBCLC said latch
was okay (not far enough on nipple, but he had had bottles 24 hours prior
to visit.)  Also stated that nipple seemed to be getting rubbed against
the roof of mouth.

We have been doing fresh air, breastmilk on nipples, expressing before
latch, switching positions, and I have had her remove baby as soon as the
pain begins after a let-down subsides.  She is very upset, and I am at a
loss. I have suggested thrush but wouldn't the IBCLC have noticed this?
If not, what do I look for on mom's nipples only? When I had thrush, and
when I have dealt with it as a counselor, there have been symptoms in
baby.  How do you all feel about lansinoh?  Has anyone dealt with
extra-sensitive nipples before? Could she just be in pain because of this
and not anything to do with baby/latch/positioning?  How long would it
take to "toughen up" the nipples if this is the case?  Any and all
suggestions welcome, as I am desperate.  I know mom won't be able to
produce enough milk by pumping alone, and I am afraid she will give even
that up.

Thanks so much, and I am glad to have such a great resource. I know sore
nipples have been covered to death, but i really need some new thoughts
here.

Heidi Murphy
Peer Counselor
Gainesville, FL