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I'm Marie, mommy to Amber (4) and Grace (25 mos). I'm still breastfeeding Grace. During the past week or so, one of my nipples has become very sore. A day or 2 later I noticed pus around the base of my nipple. It hasn't gotten worse, until tonight. It's swollen and there's more pus now with an open sore. Now my other nipple is beginning to get the same way - swollen with pus. I'd probably rate the pain of the really bad one at a 7 while breastfeeding (which I do sparingly to begin with but more so now with the pain. The other is probably a 5 on the pain scale. I've never experienced this before. Any advice???? Thanks!!
Marie, married to Richard, parents to Amber (11.28.05) and Grace (9.28.08)
Contact your health care provider if you notice:
Fever, inflammation/redness, swelling, oozing, pus, or other signs of infection. It is possible to have multiple infections (both fungal and bacterial).
If the nipple is obviously infected, then talk to your health care provider about the possibility of using an oral (systemic) antibiotic. One study indicated that topical antibiotics and good breastfeeding techniques might not be sufficient if infection is present. (See Livingstone V, Stringer LJ. The treatment of Staphyloccocus aureus infected sore nipples: a randomized comparative study. J Hum Lact. 1999 Sep;15(3):241-6.) See also Oral antibiotic use for sore, cracked nipples.)
I think you should go see your doctor. The pus tells me that you have an infection. I think you should get in and get help before it gets any worse.
I hope you're able to heal up quickly. I remember how painful it was when DD had a bad latch as a newborn - my nipples were cracked to the point that one looked completely split in half. It's the most miserable thing ever to dread nursing because it's going to hurt so much.