Sore nipples - please tell me it will get better...

(31 Posts)
CuteLittleToes Fri 22-Nov-13 06:14:14

My newborn is only 2 days old, and every time I bf my nipples hurt so much... Not just at the beginning, but through the whole feed, and everywhere it says this is not normal and should only hurt at the beginning.

It's such an agony every time... I've been in tears 5 times today as it's just unbearable... MW been visiting yesterday and today, and he's latching on fine, but it still hurts...

Please tell me it will go away and my nipples just need to toughen up??....

RegainingUnconsciousness Fri 22-Nov-13 06:22:33

I don't know about 'toughen up' but yes, BFing kills in the beginning. But it gets better.

At 2 days I was still taking ibuprofen for my stitches, until I realised my stitches were fine and I was taking it to take the edge off the nipple pain! So perhaps think about paracetamol etc for now.

You have to be really stubborn to plough through this bit. I found after a few days it would hurt just at the beginning, I'd count to 10 and then the pain would have gone off.

After a couple of weeks (I can't remember how many, I realised this consciously at 5 weeks) it had stopped hurting at all, as I went on to BF till DS was 2.

Good luck! You've also got the 3-4 day blues about to hit you. It's going to be bad for a while but it will pass.

Keep going, you can do it! x and congratulations on your newborn!

mmmmsleep Fri 22-Nov-13 06:28:55

do get a breast feeding counsellor to check your latch. I didn't find general midwives that great . depending on who they were. nct and la leche league have helplines you can call and usually a local bf counsellor that can visit.

it does get easier. you are both still learning how to do it so give it time. Take each day at a time and before you know it it'll be 9 months and you'll have surprised yourself.

are you getting lots of help so you can just focus on feeding and sleeping when baby does. Remember to drink plenty and lots of healthy snacks.

it gets easier. big hugs xx

mmmmsleep Fri 22-Nov-13 06:30:29

http://www.nct.org.uk/branches/north-east-northamptonshire/breastfeeding-support/breastfeeding-helplines

mmmmsleep Fri 22-Nov-13 06:31:53

sorry not sure why that says ne Northamptonshire. the numbers are national and they should be able to give you details of local help. tongue tie is often missed

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Fri 22-Nov-13 06:37:30

Ouchee! I think if you are in tears with the pain you need more help, especially if it hurts throughout the whole feed.

Have you tried calling a helpline? they might be able to pinpoint what's going on for you.

Congratulations on your newborn. Promise that breastfeeding is lovely when it starts to go well. smile

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Fri 22-Nov-13 06:38:25

X post with mmmmsleep

AnythingNotEverything Fri 22-Nov-13 06:41:02

Get some Lansinoh and put it on after every feed - you don't have to wipe it off before feeding. Keep your nipples in the fresh as much you can - mine we're rubbing on the inside of my new nursing bra which was making it worse.

Keep asking for help. Get anyone and everyone to check your latch.
We're four weeks into bf after a rocky start of tube feeding, formula top ups and days under a jaundice lamp but it's getting much better. The first 10-20 seconds are still quite sore, but not toe curlingly so.

I'm just finishing up a feed, and can promise you fb is worth the initial discomfort when you're say in bed feeding in the middle of the night. I'm so glad I'm not up boiling the kettle and waiting for formula to warmup when it's so chilly!

And congratulations on your newborn!

Sunflower1985 Fri 22-Nov-13 07:43:04

Deep breaths and focus on your tiny lovely baby. It will be ok. Can't get enough support. 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinions on the latch. If you can get to a group, do. There was a 4 day old at my local one yesterday. Same problems, you're really not alone.

wakemeupnow Fri 22-Nov-13 09:05:24

i have had 3 dc and each time it has been hell for the first few weeks.

It's really inportant they are well attached to the nipple. Even one feed where they are badly latched on can cause weeks of pain !

Persevere , it does get better. Rub breast milk on your nipples, it's very healing and get your health visitor to show you how to make sure your baby is well atached, even if it means taking them off nipple and trying again.

ColdTeaAgain Fri 22-Nov-13 10:03:51

Yes it will get better!

I was in a lot of pain for the first four weeks and then it got easier, by 6 weeks i was pain free and it was so lovely! I was very close to giving up many times but so glad I made myself go on. Its worth it now! Your baby is learning how to breastfeed just as much as your are, they don't automatically get the latch exactly right from birth but definitely worth getting it checked out.

Big yes to breastmilk on nipples, was the best thing for healing cracks. And get the air to your boobs as much as poss.

Oh and don't overdo the lanolin cream, I plastered it on and I think it could of made things worse as LO couldn't get latch right because it was so slippery!

Congrats on your baby!

Creamtea1 Fri 22-Nov-13 12:00:19

You must get some Lansinoh it is magic stuff. Put it on after every feed, try and air the nips a bit too!
I know what you mean about toughening up, I found they did this after the cracks etc healed up.

leedy Fri 22-Nov-13 12:03:00

What everyone else said about getting the latch checked out, lansinoh, painkillers if necessary!

Also if you can get your hands on Multi Mam Compresses, they are a total godsend for sore nipples, incredibly soothing.

rabzz Fri 22-Nov-13 12:32:15

It seems like you are going through a rough patch right now but believe me it will get better very soon. What I found helpful was dipping my nipples in warm water and salt (each side for about 10 seconds only). It took the pain away and also prevented any infection. Other than that lansinoh was my life saver. Me and my daughter also had a rocky start, poor latch, sore nipples (which went on to being cracked) etc etc.. but it all got better very soon.. We have been breastfeeding for 3 months now and it is actually very nice. Hang in there and it will all turn into a great experience for you and your baby very soon smile

willyoulistentome Fri 22-Nov-13 12:39:39

Many congrats and well done for going for it with the BF. Poor you. Yes, I remember it being agonising for a couple of weeks with each of my DS. DO stick with it, as once it starts to work it's SOOO easy and convenient. BUT definitely get some proper help to check the latch. I agree with others that MW and HV are not that good. Get a proper breastfeeding counsellor's help.
You think it hurts now? ..just wait till yor baby gets teeth grin
<unhelpful>

Klootami Fri 22-Nov-13 13:00:55

Also recommend the multimam compresses, so soothing and really work at healing.

Supergoogler Fri 22-Nov-13 15:42:37

I would definitely get more help with the latch! People kept telling me it would get better, hv said latch was fine etc etc...

6 weeks in, still crying every 4am feed due to pain! Started getting shooting pains from nipple through to back! Told it was thrush....

All bollocks - it was the latch! Lactation consultant taught proper latch, instant pain relief!! And the holes in my nipples are finally starting to close!

Please don't wait until its too late - get help until it doesn't hurt! Don't wait for 6 weeks for it to magically get better like I did!

Sorry for the essay just really wish someone had told me this when I was in your boat!

CuteLittleToes Fri 22-Nov-13 21:32:47

Thanks for your replies and reassurance. It means a lot.

I think I was very tired and a bit overwhelmed yesterday. He did slip off a couple times and snapped my nipple very painfully, and it just got me...

Feeling a bit more positive today. I don't know if it's just knowing there is a light at the end of a tunnel (although I can't quite see it just yet), or if the pain is actually calming down. I do notice it is worse at the very start, so there is hoping.

I have been putting Lansinoh from the very start after every feed, so no cracked nipples so far. Have started taking paracetamol too, and will try tea bags...

I really don't want to give up and will give it a chance. I know it's still early days, so I will persevere, and hopefully it will turn out to be a nice experience.

Thanks for your support flowers

I would echo what everyone else said. Get latch checked again or try different positions.
I found it sore for the first few weeks and gradually got better. I echo breast milk on your nipples and airing them where possible.

vtechjazz Fri 22-Nov-13 22:08:52

Mine cracked terribly, then would partially heal only for the wounds to be torn open again at each feed! It felt like being stabbed!!
My ds had an awful latch though, and never really sucked normally for many months and I still healed fairly quickly. You will too.

catellington Fri 22-Nov-13 22:20:28

Lansinoh and ibuprofen helped me ... I was in agony on night 2,so bad we sent SOS messages to midwives and my DM at about 4am.. They told me latch fine and dd getting plenty. Lansinoh was amazing, didn't take more than a few days of putting it on before each feed for pain to go almost completely,
But def get an expert to come to check latch and help you ASAP. They should treat this as a priority

catellington Fri 22-Nov-13 22:21:44

And yes it should get better! And hopefully it will be worth it for you, I love it !

earlgray Fri 22-Nov-13 22:33:30

I was sore for a week. Day 3 which is when I left hospital was the worst because my boobs were engorged which made it worse.

I wouldn't have coped without lansinoh, I forgot to apply it after a shower once and my nipples were so dry within an hour.

It does get better, just take it a day at a time and try to find a BF support group. The other mum's let you know you're not alone and the professional help can ensure you don't develop problems down the line.
Good luck and congratulations on your newborn. My dd is 7 weeks and time is going so fast!

Featherbag Sat 23-Nov-13 03:41:50

I have no advice I'm afraid, as I'd come on here to post the exact same question - I'm sitting painfully feeding 2do DS in my hospital room! We'll get there, it'll get better x

Halfpastthelegofmyshirt Sat 23-Nov-13 04:29:32

I was in pain for 6 weeks. I kept going because at 3 weeks the NCT bf counsellor said my baby had a high palate and it would be ok in 2-3 weeks as his head grew and she was right! This was after seeing 6+ different midwives/hv though who just told me the latch was fine...which it was, but it still was agony!

Get an expert to check your baby's mouth for structural issues if the latch is apparently ok. Good luck OP.

CuteLittleToes Mon 25-Nov-13 12:27:01

It's definitely getting better. Had a couple almost pain free feeds yesterday, but it's a bit of a one step forward, half step back I think...

I wanted to ask about breast engorgement - do they ever go soft again while you bf? Or do they remain a bit hard until you feed? Mine has eased down a bit, but still fill up a bit and go a bit hard until I feed him.

ColdTeaAgain Mon 25-Nov-13 13:23:05

Glad to hear it's getting better smile whenever I felt like giving up, I used to keep saying myself "give it another week and see how you feel". It helped to give myself little targets to keep me going.

With the engorgement, it may be because its still early days and your body is still adapting to getting the whole supply and demand thing right. If its uncomfortable I would hand express until they feel a bit softer, especially before a feed because when your boobs are too full it makes it very difficult for newborns to latch on properly which will can be more uncomfortable for you as well.

Slacktacular Mon 25-Nov-13 13:32:07

What they said re latch, but also worth getting someone to check (if they haven't already) whether your LO has a tongue tie. I had a hideous start to BFing but an undiagnosed tongue tie was the culprit and getting that sorted allowed me to eventually correct latch, heal nips and am now still feeding my 14 month old. Absolutely second the recommendations for getting a breastfeeding support worker to watch you latch baby on - mine was a lifesaver. Well d

RegainingUnconsciousness Sat 30-Nov-13 18:25:13

Re engorgement: I remember a few weeks of super-painful engorgement. Even clothes loosely touching was painful. I had some cold-packs that helped. And hand expressing a little when it was really bad to allow DS to latch - as pp said.

Then for a few months they'd get engorged if I hadn't fed for a while. When I went back to work at 5.5 months I had a few weeks of uncomfortable engorgement while I was pumping. But they softened right down and I went on to feed till DS was 2. They even went back to normal size and continued to feed well. (Although, I produced enough milk for quintuplets, which I know is different to many people's experience)

Boobs really are amazing!

geekaMaxima Sat 30-Nov-13 20:46:24

While nipples are healing, try breast shells like these http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B000MMQO60

They hold clothing etc away and let air circulate to help sore nips heal. And they collect any milk leaks... Wearing them for even half an hour after feeds, with Lansinoh on, really eased discomfort for me.

Otherwise I second pp's advice to get latch checked. 10 different midwives + 2 HVs told me my latch was perfect when it plainly wasn't confused. It took one face to face meeting with an NCT breastfeeding counsellor to show me what a really good latch was meant to be like.

CatHackney Sat 30-Nov-13 22:55:09

I found it all very painful and had mastitis, then thrush. Eventually, my LO figured it out and I toughened up, andhe is now 8 months old and a very happy, healthy breastfed boy, and breastfeeding is a breeze. Really. I just put him sort of near my boon and he works it out, entirely pain-free.

Just keep going! You are doing better than you think.

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