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agonizing breastfeeding - want to keep going but dont think i can

(64 Posts)
sweetpea5 Wed 06-Oct-10 14:07:37

Could anyone offer any help - breastfeeding is so painful - baby is 3 weeks, my nipples are cut and so painful. I have had bf counsellor and lactation counsultant to help - nboth said latch looks ok - but its clearly not as i ouldnt be in this pain. nipples are misshapen after feeding. Really want to keep bfing but cant see how - bringing baby yo breast is so sore - me screaming and crying evry time (not usually a drama queen, honestly!). expressing at the minute since this morning as just cant face bfing. Can anyone help? it shouldnt be like this.. sorry about typing - holding pump in one hand at same time.

EliB Wed 06-Oct-10 14:18:21

Try to get hold of a copy of the womenly art of breast feeding old school but great,

Have you got some good nipple cream - Lanasho not it exactly but something like this -

Have you tried not putting your bra back on straight after a feed to let some air to them-

If you have a good latch now it may be that you didn't straight away so they got sore and now they just need a chance to get better before you carry on - keep expressing and trying - talk to some one, bf councillor about giving your boobs time to get better but don't stop expressing - if you can get so it doesn't hurt its the best thing ever. good luck

Catilla Wed 06-Oct-10 14:21:37

You are doing brilliantly even to get this far.

My best advice is:

Buy some Lansinoh cream and use before and after every feed

Google Dr Jack Newman for some really good pics & videos of good latch and solving common problems.

Good luck

moonstorm Wed 06-Oct-10 14:34:51

I don't know whether it helps, but I was in agony at first, until one day I suddenly realised it didn't hurt anymore. I fed for over 2 years then. If things (latch etc.) are right it will get better. Lansinoh is great.

sweetpea5 Wed 06-Oct-10 14:50:41

thanks for the help. i have the cream and started using it yesterday so maybe will see some results soon. had a look at that website too - thanks catilla.

just tried to bf her but couldnt bring myself to latch her on - knew it would be so sore so gave her the expressed bottle. feel so rubbish - she s such a beautiful perfect baby and deserves better than this. maybe once nipples have healed i will be able to do it .

thank you for support.

Whitethorn Wed 06-Oct-10 14:52:34

Gosh OP you are me 2 years ago.

I second Lanisoh cream and maybe just repeating the mantra 'tummy to mummy,nose to nipple'

HOWEVER, I reached the end of my tether and gave up way after I should have (about 11 weeks)and am pregnant on my 2nd and won't make the same mistake and by that I mean that if I have the problems you outlined, I will give up as I just couldnt do that to myself again.

I suppose what I am saying is, if you think you can, then keep going as you may well get over this soon. If you think you can't cope then give up. This will not make you any less of a loving mother and your baby will still thrive.

Best of luck, whatever you do and please remember that how you feed your baby is just one part of parenting.

redllamayellowllama Wed 06-Oct-10 14:53:04

I was you two weeks ago. It's still a bit sore, but it's getting better and is 100 times better than it was. Try and perservere and it will come right!


Kept on checking and re-checking latch. Even though I'd been looked at and told it was fine, it clearly wasn't. In my case (after looking at lots of videos on youtube) it was that my right nipple (the one that got an abscess) points farther right than I thought, so I needed baby to be very far round to my right in order for her to latch correctly. Looking in a mirror helped.

Pumped for about 4 days constantly - a massive pain then, but it's the only thing that kept me feeding.

Used LOTS of lansinoh.

Kept my bra and all tops off whilst not feeding - air helped my cracks/abscess to heal. I ended up sat with a tupperware underneath me to catch all my leaks.

Despite what everyone tells you, breastfeeding isn't easy. It's bloody hard. But once you get it established, it is so much easier than faffing around with bottles, formula etc etc.

Good luck and keep posting - I did and it helped!

gaelicsheep Wed 06-Oct-10 14:59:35

Two words. NIPPLE SHIELDS. There are some issues to be aware of, so have a look at what Kellymom has to say, but they have been my saviour with two babies.

The thing is, it's all very well saying you have to practice your latch, use creams, etc, but I know how it feels to be terrified of bringing your baby to the breast and it's horrible! And re-latching to get it right just makes it worse.

Try nipple shields, at least to help you psychologically while your nipples heal. Yes, they may reduce milk supply to the baby, but not always. They may cause some degree of nipple confusion, but not always. They may result in problems latching directly, but not always.

I used the Medela Contact ones. I have just ditched them after 15 weeks and we are feeding directly as I type - have been for days now. It's still a bit sore but nothing like it was before. HTH. smile

Catilla Wed 06-Oct-10 14:59:56

Just thought of a couple more things:
- use different positions because they will put pressure on different areas of the nipple - eg. rugby hold and lying down (which is hard to master but great when you have... get DH to help!
- I did use nipple shields for a few feeds when very sore in the early days with my first. Just took the edge off the pain as it wasn't direct contact.
- keep taking paracetamol / ibuprofen even if you don't need them for other aches & pains from the birth. Takes the edge off...

I also found that the first 10-20 seconds were worst and once through those, it was relatively OK. And as others have said, it improved over time and after a few weeks I wouldn't have had it any other way.

sweetpea5 Wed 06-Oct-10 15:01:36

whitethorn your post made me cry (not hard at the inute in fairness!) - it is such torture - especially in the evenings/night when dh is here as it is so upsetting for him to see me crying whentrying to feed her. i dont know how long i can go on with this 9feeling v sorry for self today!)

redllama - gosh that sounds painful! well done you for getting through it. i had masitis last week which wasnt great but abcess sounds worse. glad its ok now. i will try the mirror trick. did ou express only for 4 dats, no bfing at all? i could try that to get healed up maybe?

gaelicsheep Wed 06-Oct-10 15:03:04

Oh and do make sure baby's been checked for tongue tie. With DS I was told my latch was fine but it was agony! At 4 months tongue tie was diagnosed, by which time we were mixed feeding.

Orcadia Wed 06-Oct-10 15:05:39

Hi - just wanted to add my support. You will get through this. Sounds exactly what we went through last summer, and we're still feeding now. DS is 14 months.

We used lots and lots of lansinoh. Lots.

Get your boobs out to air as much as possible. Beware breastpads that 'stick'. Try out different ones or washable until you find some that don't hurt.

Something that only occurred to me after the fact was that I was on lots of painkillers for episiotomy and tearing, and I took them regularly for the first 2 to 3 weeks after the birth. It was only once I stopped taking them that breastfeeding became really painful. So I kept taking paracetemol before the early evening feeds for another week or so. We did a couple of feeds with nipple shields, which helped with the pain quite a bit as well.

And finally, it suddenly all got better about 1 month in. I think DS just got bigger and could open his mouth more! It's been fine since then, no further problems.

Good luck.

sweetpea5 Wed 06-Oct-10 15:06:34

i tried nipple shields last week - had one good feed then somehow she couldnt latch on at all - unfortunately - wish it worked for me like it did for you ladies!

good idea about the paracetamol - think there is some upstairs..will check. i really want it to work catilla - butthe thought of a few weeks more of this seems impossible at the minute! probabaly will look back n this and laugh (hopefully!)

katiepotatie Wed 06-Oct-10 15:07:18

Has she been checked for a tongue tie? Both mine had TT. I was in mortal agony and almost quit a few times. Feeding improved immediately once they were snipped.

Also nipple shields saved my life, I used them until nipples were completely healed.

I hope things get easier for you, good luck smile

sweetpea5 Wed 06-Oct-10 15:08:16

just to add - your support is fantastic thank you. feeling a bit more human now x

BookcaseFullofBooks Wed 06-Oct-10 15:10:03

I had terrible pain at first with my little girl. I even had blisters on my nipples. Now she is 2 months and I'm still bfing. It improved around week 5. In the absence of any physical problem, it's likely that your nipples are taking time to get used to it.
I promise that there is an end to the pain xx

Whitethorn Wed 06-Oct-10 15:10:46

Sweetpea Sorry for making you cry, I just wanted you to know that you arent the only one to reach the end of your tether and let you know that whatever you decide it will be the right thing for you and your baby. My DD and I couldnt be closer and I couldnt be happier despite the many many tears (both of us) in the early days.

All the advise you got is great though, I never posted on MN and was living abroad at the time where help was non-existant so take all the help you can get!!

Good luck and enjoy your beautiful baby.

fizzledrizzle Wed 06-Oct-10 15:11:42

Hi - I got through with loads of laninosh and I even took fizzy parecetomal as I fed. I would count to 30 as I fed and try not to swear in pain.

Your baby will take more milk from your breast than pumping.

You may want to use shields until your nipples heal - and do not let your nipple dry out.

Sorry about the spelling.

fifitot Wed 06-Oct-10 15:13:06

Yes - tongue tie. Is the tongue heart shaped? That can be a sign. If not this - your latch isn't right I guess. Go to a breastfeeding support group if you can - one saved my life when I had DD

Good luck - I've been there and eventually got through it.

BTW - if you end up giving up - don't beat yourself up about it. You are doing your best.

fizzledrizzle Wed 06-Oct-10 15:13:38

Fizzy paracetamol got me through painful feeds.

Honestly it will get better, it will.

gaelicsheep Wed 06-Oct-10 15:14:04

I'd perservere with the shields if I were you, if the other tips don't work. They are mahoosive things for a wee baby to negotiate and they nee to learn a slightly different latching technique, hence the potential problems (which, as I said, we didn't experience).

How long does the pain last? 30 secs to a minute, or the whole feed? The first is pretty normal, the second really isn't.

Just a word of warning - Lansinoh has never worked for me. But there's something called Jellnet (or something) that you wear inside your bra and that really helped healing for me.

keepmumshesnotsodumb Wed 06-Oct-10 15:14:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tillyscoutsmum Wed 06-Oct-10 15:16:51

Sweetpea - all the advice given in great. Would second (third ? eighth ?) the Lanisoh advice and getting lots of " "airing" and also trying to feed lying down

Keep going for as long as you can but please, if it doesn't work out and you have to stop, then do not beat yourself up about it. The first weeks of having a newborn are so difficult, even if feeding is going well. You will not have failed in any way if you have to stop. Don't let your memories of your first few months with your beautiful daughter be of you being in agony and crying.

B'fing can be difficult and can take a while to sort out but you ultimately need to do what is best for you and your dd

Good luck smile

gaelicsheep Wed 06-Oct-10 15:18:29

Oh BTW, I ended up giving bottles in the night (formula) when I couldn't cope with the thought of the pain (it's always worse when you're tired). We're now EBF again. I'm not recommending this, but what I'm really saying is do whatever you need to do to get yourself through this.

fannybaws Wed 06-Oct-10 15:22:44

Hi Sweatpea, I second having a look under your LOs tongue as tongue tie can really limit the baby in getting a great latch.
If you are holdin the baby across you make sure the baby is really close, tummy to mummy, and make sure you really tease baby with the nipple and only let her have it when her mouth is WIDE open. Do not let her slurp the nipple in.
Baby should look like a baby bird with her mouth really wide ifkwim.
Make sure nothing is touching the back of her head, when she is ready to latch push in only with her shoulders, her neck should be really extended.
Think about how far you would tip your own head back to drink from a sports bottle.
Good luck xx

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