Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Put some breast milk on it.

Catchy title, huh?

Last week I got the mother of all cracks on my right nipple. 

I first noticed it whilst pumping at work (yup, just said "whilst").  At first I thought, "Hmm, maybe this is what a clogged duct feels like..."  So I immediately began texting other breastfeeding mothers for advice.  I then texted Casey, not a breastfeeding mother, but a boob man, and insisted he examine my nipple the moment I got home that evening.

I had an inkling that maybe my spiffy new flanges were too big.  Casey later confirmed my suspicions when he pointed out a crack in the shape of a perfect circle at the base of my nipple.  You see when your breastshield is too big, it pulls too much of the breast tissue into the funnel.  This causes chafing and, ultimately, cracking. 

It was crazy painful to pump - like cringing, fighting back tears painful.  The pain actually reminded me of the first two weeks I breastfed Goose.  Fortunately, nursing was not painful.

When I first told Casey about the pain I was having, he responded with, "Just put some breast milk on it."  So I did just that.  Throughout the day I would massage breast milk into the crack, and I used a little Lansinoh nipple cream at nighttime.  But what I find interesting about this whole situation is that the crack only happened on my right side...that same side is also the "under performer".  Coincidence? 

So, let this be a lesson to all the breastfeeding mothers that pump at one point or another:  a proper fitting breastshield/flange/whatchamacallit is of the utmost importance!!  I never would've thought that I, of all people, would have smaller than average nipples, but that apparently is the case...   

For more information on proper sizing, check out the Medela website.  I also like this diagram for comparing different size shields. 

Unfortunately, most stores that I've been in only carry the medium size shield (24 mm)....  So if you're like me, with unusually small nipples, you'll need to order online.    

photo source


  1. Holy McGee! I need new flanges now!

    Thanks for this Momma. Apparently I have unusually small nips also :)

  2. I used my breast shield all the time! Good info

  3. Ouch, sounds painful! I remember exclusively pumping for 3 months and what you described about crack nipples is bringing up memories. I'm going to have to remember about the flanges the next time I use my breast pump for the next baby.

    Thank you for following and visiting my blog from the blog hop on TAT. I am now following yours and looking forward to reading yours. :)


  4. OUCH!!!!!! Here's to healing soon!!!!

  5. Uh, OW.

    Just realized I'm not following your blog... how is that possible?? So sorry, my love. Following now!