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Excruciating sore nipples

(10 Posts)
seasister Tue 07-Dec-10 05:51:43

I've got a two day old baby who's small, and I've got quite large breasts. He's got a great suck/latch but it's proving agony through the feed. The midwives at the hospital say I'm doing it right and will just have to ride the pain until the milk is in and beyond - probably a couple of weeks until things settle.

It makes me cry to feed, it's so painful. Any tips/suggestions?


JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 07-Dec-10 06:33:03

Congratulations on your new LO seasister smile.

MWs can be very good but I think you would benefit from seeing a Bfing Counsellor, preferably in person so that see can check your latch and see you feed. Check your local NCT, LLL and ABM.

If you have a local Bfing Support group it might be worth going to that too.

Personally, I don't agree with the MWs, I always think that if it hurts you need a Bfing Counsellor straightaway.

In the meantime make sure you have had painkillers to help you cope with the pain.

Keep feeding and keep posting, it will get better smile

Haribojoe Tue 07-Dec-10 12:30:11

I feel for you, I think sore nipples is possibly the worst part of pregnancy/childbirth, motherhood.

Is it the whole nipple that is sore or one particular area. Usually you need to alter your position so that the baby goes more towards the sore part IYSWIM.

I also find Lanisinoh really helps, I slap loads on after every feed.

Try and persevere if you can because they will heal (with the right advice and help). I had a few days of soreness a couple of weeks ago (DS age 13wks) and wanted to give up but kept checking my positioning and now we're back to being able to enjoy feeding again.

MoonUnitAlpha Tue 07-Dec-10 12:34:55

Soreness is to be expected, but excruciating pain isn't - I disagree with the midwives that agony is normal.

It could be that some adjustment needs to be made to the position, or the latch isn't quite right, or the baby has tongue-tie - I second what JJJ says about finding a breastfeeding counsellor. Midwives often aren't really "experts" at breastfeeding.

Graciescotland Tue 07-Dec-10 12:51:23

I remember my nipples were really sore (they actually blistered which was agony at every feed) but when the old skin came off the skin underneath was much more resilient. After about 7 days it didn't hurt at all. Lansinoh helps for a bit of immediate relief.

JellyJenko Tue 07-Dec-10 13:19:17

If you find that you're doing everything is fine, and you just have sensitive nipples that need to 'toughen up' then try nipple shields. I found them to be a great help early on, and they just gave my nipples a days respite and time to recover. It also gave me piece of mind as you position the shield so you know the latch position is good. Work through it - it does get better.

PixieCake Tue 07-Dec-10 13:33:04

Hi seasister. I was the same for the first few weeks with my baby. My lifesaver was getting some nipple shields.

You pop them on over your nipple when you feed, and it gives your nipple a chance to recover.

Die-hard breastfeeding fanatics don't like them because there is less skin to skin contact, but if I hadn't used them I would probably have given up BF. I used them for a week, by which time my nipples had healed and I could BF as normal.

They cost about £4 from Boots or wherever.

Good luck x

PacificDogwood Tue 07-Dec-10 13:40:27

Congratulations! smile

No, agony is NOT to be expected hmm.

I'd second Lansiloh (?sp) and a trial with nipple shields.

Most importantly get a RL BFing counsellor to see you feed.

amlarge of norkage too and always found the newborn stage the most awkward... Doing a breast 'sandwich' can help: you kind of squish your whole aureola flat with your thumb and forefinger so it is flatter and reaches further into the back of the babies mouth IYKWIM.
I'll try and find a video for you.

Also, if you are engorged try to handexpress a little milk first to soften your nipple/aureola.

Are you sore throughout the entire feed or 'only' for the first few sucks?

As others have said: it does get better, well worthwhile sticking with it.

One of my HVs used to say that the expression 'toe curling pain' was coined by a BFing woman with sore nips - I think she was probably right!

PacificDogwood Tue 07-Dec-10 13:48:22

Annoyingly American sounding woman, but she does show it really well

BTW, do NOT google 'breast sandwich' unless you want lots of chicken/turkey breast recipes grin!!

Also 'asymmetrical latch' is useful to know how to do

Also consider holding bubs in the rugby hold or cross cradle hold which I found much much better with a tiny newborn.

Good luck!

Alster Wed 08-Dec-10 19:34:21

hi, I have breastfed my 3 children (the youngest is 3 months). With the first two I was in agony for 5 weeks each time.I recommend using the LaLeche helpline and the NCT helpline. If your positioning and latching technique are good there is sometimes not much you can do but grit your teeth. It is the worst pain I have ever experienced. Never mind toe curling, I was screaming and sobbing with my second! I found putting ice on my nipples to numb them before a feed helped and definately don't be put off the shields. If your baby is a feisty feeder they won't be at all put off! With my third, I didn't put anything on my nipples, just exposed them to the air as much as possible and it was much better than previously. I got scabs on my nipples but it was nowhere near as painful as previously and sorted itself out much quicker, so it might be worth a try. Give up if it is making you very miserable and don't feel guilty. It is wonderful when it works, if you can get through the first few weeks. Good luck!

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