bloody sores on my nipples

by Emily
(Texas)

With my first child, I was only able to breast feed for 2 weeks. I developed very painful, open bloody sores on my nipples...chunks of my nipple were even falling off!

I tried to use a breast pump to relieve the pain, but that also broke my sores back open. I received help from a lactation consultant. She said I was doing everything correctly so I couldn't understand why it was doing this.

I finally gave up and gave my baby formula. I sobbed as I fed her that first bottle, feeling defeated.

With my second child, I was determined not to give up. Before she was born, I did all the research I could on breast feeding and also bought an expensive hospital quality pump to help me out.

After she was born, I gave a second attempt at breast feeding. Everything seemed like it was working out well for the first week. Then, the bloody, open sores came back.

I did everything I could to make them go away, even getting help once more from a lactation specialist. Nothing worked.

Every feeding, the sores broke open again even if I used the pump. My baby started spitting up my blood. Once again, I had to call it quits.

I felt more defeated this time than the first. I even became a little depressed for awhile. At my six week follow up appointment, I decided to ask my OB/GYN about it. he told me that there are actually women out there who have extremely sensitive skin on their breasts/nipples and it makes it impossible to breast feed without damaging them.

To hear that made me feel a little better...to know I wasn't crazy.

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Apr 18, 2012
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I Know How You Feel
by: Anonymous

Hi Emily

I guess I am just a step behind you. I had my first child and had to stop breastfeeding because I wasn't making enough milk and my son was losing weight. I an mow trying for a 2nd child (if it ever happens!) and like you, I have done so much research and am planning for it to work out better next time. I know how deflating it can be when it is something you really planned to do. You know you have given it your best. There is nothing you could have done to change the outcome. I hope you are enjoying your two beautiful babies.

May 24, 2012
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Breastfeeding horror story
by: Liz

I had my beautiful daughter ten and a half years ago, and am now pregnant with my second child and having nightmares over breastfeeding because of my experience.

First off, I have flat nipples so it was going to be a challenge anyway. I tried the cup that shapes your nipple to no avail, daughter couldn't get a good latch even with the assistance of the lactation consultant and nurses.

In the hospital they gave me a shield (a fake nipple you put over your nipple) and that's what I used the duration, even though it made bloody sores on my nipples and hurt.

Also, as If that wasn't enough I had a gross oversupply of milk. Everyone joked I had enough milk for 4 babies, I was constantly engorged painfully and leaking and was continuously told 'it'll level out' or 'you must not be nursing correctly' my mother even told me she would've given up long before because of the difficulty and the oversupply.

I stuck through it, lanolin was my best friend! Through all of this my daughter became very fussy, very gassy and very very colicky. I tried changing my diet eventually excluding everything possible that could cause gas and allergy to no avail.

I was on a meat and water diet practically though I would have salad with iceberg too occasionally. My daughter remained fussy, I tried only nursing on one breast as well thinking that the hindmilk would help, or that the other breast might dry up some, that didn't work either.

Come to find out there was something in my actual breastmilk that my daughter was allergic to. The doctors suggested a hormone because I had toxemia and preeclampsia during labor.

Her pediatrician was fabulous throughout suggesting different things to try as well as the lactation consultant (who happened to be a neighbor of my grandmothers) I tried everything, and was pumping throughout, when finally her pediatrician suggested trying formula.

Daughter was a month old I believe and we tried different formulas until we found one that worked. I was crushed that I couldn't continue but also relieved because I hated seeing her in so much pain and upset. But at the same time, what are you telling me that my daughter is allergic to me?!

Allergic to my breastmilk, I had never heard of such a thing. I'm really hoping things go better this time around, because I doubt I'll hold out that long this time ( have three stepsons under 6) as well as daughter now.

Oct 21, 2012
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Thanks for sharing
by: Seanna

I had exactly the same experience with both my kids. With the first I kept trying right through three breast infections until I got an abscess in both breasts and had to have surgery. With my second I nursed for a week until I couldn't stand the pain, then I pumped until the first breast infection. After that I stopped slowly and gave formula. Still struggling with some and guilt, but it has really lifted my spirits to know I am not the only one who suffered this problem.

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