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DC3 is 2 days old, nipples are sorest things in world, feel like it's all failing with bf'ing....

(26 Posts)
NorkilyChallenged Mon 30-May-11 20:14:17


I know I'm panicking and over-reacting probably but really need some advice. Apologies if this is a bit long.

DS1 is my 3rd child. I ebf'ed both my DDs and, despite a rough start with DD1 as she wouldn't latch at all and lots of faffing with expressing and cup feeding til she did, I had no problems at all with DD2 and bf for a year.

I'm feeling incredibly low about the problems we're having with DS1. He was born v early Saturday morning. He went on the breast really well straight away (skin to skin) and was super keen, sucked for absolutely ages. It didn't hurt at the time so I just let him do it and he ended up at the breast for nearly an hour (half hour each side).

However, I soon realised during Saturday that my nipples were incredibly sore, very very sore even in between feeds. I assumed the long feed maybe hurt them and they'd need to heal so kept going through the pain in the hope they'd get better. He seemed to go on the breast well and suck well in a rhythm with swallowing (tho obviously just colostrum). The mw came yesterday and said he has a v mild tongue tie (but so mild "they wouldn't do anything about it anyway" and he can certainly stick his tongue right out of his mouth so I know it's not a severe tongue tie). She watched me latch him on, though he had recently fed and wasn't that interested plus my milk wasn't yet in. She thinks the latch is very bad, he's only taking the nipple. She tried to demonstrate but trust me, I went through all this with DD1 and got all kinds of varying advice.

I know I should take him off if it hurts but then every re-latch hurts again. It's agony, really really painful and pinchy. I'm using Lansinoh but it's not enough.

My milk has come in and I'm in agony from that (like someone's tried to insert shoeboxes under my small breasts). I tried to feed him but it was so sore, so I've tried nipple shields in desperation (I know, I know) which did help a bit (still sore but bearable) but he doesn't seem to be able to get any milk out with the shield on.

I'm at a loss and very upset about this now. I'm in agony each time I try, I really don't think I can keep going through the pain. As a last resort, I've just expressed (which also hurt my nipples) and bottle fed him. I can't envisage having time and peace & quiet for all the expressing/sterlising or cup feeding lthat I did with DD1 when I have 2 other small DC.... I don't know what to do at all.

I can ask the mw but in my experience they all give varying (sometimes contradictory advice). She tried to show me a latch and basically jabbed him in the back of the neck to get him on and then it didn't even work anyway. The next bf'ing clinic is Wednesday and I can't see how I'm going to manage til then.

I'm having to go upstairs to feed him as I don't want my other children worried by seeing me crying in pain from feeding sad Any ideas? I know what the latch should be like but can't get it to work. I have to say DD2 never really had a "proper" looking latch but it wasn't sore and it worked for us adn we fed happily for a year. I'm so low as I feel we're on a slippery slope now which makes me so sad - I want to feed him like I did my other DC sad

Thanks for listening.

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 30-May-11 20:21:23

Honey!!! I've been there, twice! It's hell, then, as you know, it will get better.

Someone more knowledgeable will come along soon, no doubt. But I think you need to see a bf counsellor; not a mw. Also check for latch advice. Also what shape is your nipple after feeding - is it pointy or a norma, nipple-shape? I always latched badly to start with and got the pointy nipple thing.

NorkilyChallenged Mon 30-May-11 20:23:11


I wasn't anything like this sore with DD2, I'm sure it was a bit sore but not like this.

I've always had hte pointy nipple thing. As I said, I never seemed to do proper latching but again with DDs it didn't matter as it wasn't sore and they gained well, fed well so no problem for us.

Have looked at kellymom already but cannot figure out how to get him to open his mouth more and nothing I've tried has worked yet sad

nearlytherenow Mon 30-May-11 20:31:13

I don't have much advice, but was in a similar position with DS2 5 weeks ago. The first couple of weeks of bf were awful (I'd had no problems last time). I just couldn't get him to open his mouth properly, he was so sleepy.

It did slowly improve, and it's now pretty much fine. I think really that he just got better at latching on as he got bigger, but things that helped a little for me were making sure that he was fully awake (stripped down to nappy, not a warm room) and properly hungry (I know that sounds cruel, but I could only get him to latch on if he was verging on starving). My midwife also told me to forget about "nose to nipple", instead I basically grabbed my boob with one hand and "posted" it into his mouth while I held him by the back of his neck (remember to move baby to boob and not the other way round). The Clare Byam-Cook book, What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding, also really helped (a lot of the advice given, and the technique my midwife suggested, are quite contrary to the normal bf advice and what I'd been told at NCT classes first time round, but then that advice didn't work with DS2).

Hope it gets better for you soon, I just used to sit on the sofa and cry at every feed, but even just a few weeks down the line it's hardly an issue now.

soppypreggyloon Mon 30-May-11 20:34:38

I'd get that Tongue tie looked at by someone.
Both mine had one and feeding felt like a 'chomping' sensation. Does that sound familiar? If so see if there is someone you can see to get it checked out properly.

7 HCP said dd didn't have one. Specialist took 2 seconds to find it- it was dead thick (I felt it myself once they'd described what to look for)
Chomping is a sign of Tongue tie issues.

Good luck! smile

ng1412 Mon 30-May-11 20:34:52

Norkily I just wanted to send you my sympathy and say I hope it gets easier. I am three weeks in to bf my first dd and it's taking its toll on me.

Get some help from the NCT counsellor, each mw I have seen has given me conflicting advice on how best to get dd to latch on. I realised recently that they are not the best people to help out!

Good luck smile

thelizard Mon 30-May-11 20:36:11

I was honestly exactly where you are almost 3 weeks ago, my dd was born on 10th ( also dc3). I struggled with both my boys and breastfed for about a week with each, as was just too painful. This time, I decided to put no pressure on myself. With each feed I decided at the time whether to bf or ff, started out with more ff till my milk came in, then gradually more bf till now we are giving her 3 bottles a day and the rest bf, am finding it hard with the timing issue with 2 smaller ones as well, so giving the bottle gives me more time while she is settled to do things with other dcs. Obviously not for everyone, but for me, a big part of why I stopped the other 2 times, was the thought of having to keep on with horribly painful feeds for an unspecified amount of time. This way, I felt more in control and if it was too painful, I gave her a ff which allowed my painful nipples a rest and to heal. I have since had mastitis and still have thrush and can honestly say I would have stopped way earlier were it not for the respite which the occasional bottle gives me.

I also feel that, while bf is clearly the best, both my ds were ff and are just gorgeous, very bright, not often ill etc etc. This also helped take the bf pressure off me.

Not sure if it is helpful to tell you this or not, but combined feeding is an option. Having spoken to lots of friends about this issues, I know many of them have done the same and many are still bf months on.

Whatever you decide, is your decision, but am sending lots of hugs to you, is a tough situation to be in, but will get better soon, whatever you do x

TruthSweet Mon 30-May-11 20:38:24

Even if it's a mild/slight looking TT it can still interfere with bfing and baby can still need it cutting.

When is the MW coming back to see you? If it's not tomorrow am get on the phone and ask for a referral to the TT clinic (please god may there be one at your local hospital).

Feeding in a biological nurturing positioning or using exaggerated latch can help in the interim. With EL you kind of flip them on using their lower jaw as the fulcrum point/hinge, try latching baby on with his jaw on the breast and then flipping him on to the nipple. There will be more areola above his mouth than below it.

Calling one of the helplines and speaking to a BFC (call using landline if you can so you get put through to the most local BFC to you).

Congratulations and I really hope you get the RL help you need asap.

PS you can take paracetamol/ibuprofen whilst bfing if you are normally able to take them and try not to let scabs form on your nipples as when baby sucks them off (sorry!) then more damage is done so keeping your nipples moist and not drying them after a feeds can help. If it's really sore send OH out for some jelonet moist wound dressings from the pharmacist, apparently they really help heal wounds quickly.

ziptoes Mon 30-May-11 21:03:02

Try breast shells - not nipple shields that go over your nipples during a feed, but plastic hemispheres you put in your bra to hold the fabric off your skin - it lets the air circulate and speeds up healing.

I was in tears with every latch by day 2/3, and at one point skin started coming off my nipples. I started with the brest shells thanks to my lovely sister (you know you who are!) and a couple of days later things were pretty much healed. You'll look like a right eejit with your maddona-style pointy boobs, but it's worth it to stop the pain. I've no idea why they aren't more widely recommended. Perhaps it's because they get confused with nipple shields?

I think mine were by Avent (leant out to a pal so I can't tell you).

NorkilyChallenged Mon 30-May-11 21:16:19

Thank you all! Just hadfairly successful feed with nipple shield on which has helped withengorgement on that side. Still holding sleeping contented any so will reread all your advice and digest it properly. Sorry can't dobetterreply while typing on iPod!

orchidee Mon 30-May-11 21:40:10

I wrote this same story earlier this month. First child for me and so first attempt at breastfeeding. I know what you mean about everyone having contradictory advice, I got different opinions from each MW and HV. I was in such pain that I could only think about taking it one feed at a time (I couldn't even think about "one day at a time"). Getting to the pain-free point was more by trial and error I think - DS and I both needed to practice.

I feel like I read every web article about latching on. The one that got me through the really painful time (when feeding through a cracked nipple) was trying the deep latch technique:
Basically it meant squashing the areola into a smaller space before getting the baby latched on, so more areola is in their mouth than happens normally. As an aside, I found biological nurturing to be very painful- not at the time but later - obviously the latch was wrong but I didn't know at the time and probably let my son stay on for too long as well.
I found these useful too:

I could have given up BF very easily. It's unfortunate that we're trying to do this - for the first time for at least one of the BF pair - when we are both tired from labour, one is hormonal and likely has painful breasts, and for me anyway, there was also the worry about whether there was enough milk and all those typical worries about whether the baby's feeding is normal (how often / for how long etc etc.)

crikeybadger Mon 30-May-11 21:45:06

Great news that you've had a good feed norkily, enjoy that sleeping bundle on your lap.

ps don't forget you can hand express some off too if you are getting engorged.

hang on in there.

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 30-May-11 23:41:26

Have only read a few lines of your next post, but just wanted to say that stroking baby's top lip and then waiting for them to 'yawn' open really worked for me.

Glad you had a good feed.

We're rooting for you! You will get there! As I wrote my first post I was feeding my lovely, smiley 13 mo DD and reminiscing on the early days of aching breasts and fire-hot nips! You will get there! You WILL get there!


Albrecht Tue 31-May-11 09:28:14

Glad to hear you have had a good feed.

For me it was very painful to begin with and I got conflicting, unhelpful advice from mw and hv. Things that worked for us were taking him off a million times and getting help from properly trained breastfeeding counsellers (search here for local groups in case there is another you can go to). I know it hurts to relatch but if its not good he will just be damaging your nipples more AND not getting milk efficiently so its in both your interests to take him off and try again.

I found you get more and more good feeds until its all good. Perhaps just because their mouth gets bigger and they can gape more.

I can't imagine how difficult this must be with 2 other children but if you get through it, its going to make life easier for all of you in the next few months.

organiccarrotcake Tue 31-May-11 13:40:38

nork firstly, you're right, MWs and HVs often give contradictory advice. Not their fault but they don't get trained in BFing (after all a BFC trains for IRO 3 years so when would they).

It sounds very, very much like the TT is causing the problem and you need to URGENTLY get it snipped as an EMERGENCY. There are two ways to do this. Either, go private (we used who travels the country so phone her anyway). Look for IBCLC certification with a specialism in tongue tie. Alternatively, yell and scream and demand at the NHS. You may have a TT clinic at your hospital (none of the GPs, HVs or MWs I saw over 9 months knew this). You've had a diagnoses of a TT, and despite the fact that he can put his tongue out this means nothing (odd, I know).

What every HCP should know about TTs:

A MINOR TIE FREQUENTLY LEADS TO MAJOR DAMAGE (and vice versa, a major tie can cause no problems in feeding)



Meaning, just because there's a small tie it doesn't mean it's not causing the problem.

Good luck, and try to keep positive. Many of us (me included) have been through this and it's hell - but there is another side - it will all come right if you can bear to keep going. Do whatever you need to keep feeding, and keep your milk coming (even if it means nipple shields). At the moment the most important thing is to keep the milk flowing (however that happens) while you're sorting it out. I know how hard it is but I promise that it will get better. smile

Keep us updated smile

organiccarrotcake Tue 31-May-11 13:41:36

BTW a small gape is a sign of TT. Even with a minor TT it can stop them opening their mouth, and therefore cause a problem.

Try the nipple flick as suggested - just to get you through - but get that snip!

organiccarrotcake Tue 31-May-11 13:45:31

Run by the Analytical Armadillo. She is also truly excellent. Well worth a read, but if you can get Ann to see you, this is all you really need as she will both diagnose and treat (snip).

Feel free to PM me about snipping if you want more info.

NorkilyChallenged Tue 31-May-11 15:09:03

Thanks all.

Interesting about TT - he can yawn (or yell) with a v v big wide open mouth so he can do it butnot in feeding.

To survive, I am currently hand expressing (pump too sore and not working well to get let down anyway). I was so engorged ds couldn't get any milk even with nipple shield. Think shield might even have been making it harder for him as too long. Hoping a day's recovery will help my nipples. I am managing to hand express about 60ml each time and feeding him every 2 1/2 hrs or so. He seems much happier now he's a tually getting milk

Planning to go to bf clinic tomorrow to double check TT and talk about latch again in hope I can bear pain

sc2987 Wed 01-Jun-11 12:36:34

My daughter had a so-called (by the consultant who we were referred to) mild tongue-tie (not diagnosed by NHS staff, they all missed it). It was causing us awful problems, both with her length of feeds and my pain. The infant feeding specialist midwife who finally divided it said that it was a significant tie, as even though it looked mild (it was posterior) it was very tight. She could stick her tongue out too, but this isn't the same when actually feeding. So push for division.

SpeedyGonzalez Wed 01-Jun-11 23:53:12

How are you doing today, Norkily? Any joy at the bf clinic?

japhrimel Thu 02-Jun-11 07:34:55

Don't forget that painkillers are an option!

GingerbreadGiraffe Thu 02-Jun-11 07:45:57

I'd second the breast shells. smile Get two sets. One with air holes to wear between feeds so nipples can breath. Worked wonders for me too.

2nd set without holes are great for catching milk that leaks from other boob in early days of supply settling down. I use to have the sterilised and ready so I could collect milk into a bottle for DD. Worked well as long as I was leaking.

Just keep reminding yourself it gets better. Good luck x

NorkilyChallenged Thu 02-Jun-11 21:02:00

Thanks for asking about us!

Clinic not on til tomorrow because of half term so will go then. But different midwife today diagnosed thrush from looking at us both - it hadn't even crossed my mind! So got the cream for me and oral gel for ds1. I am starting to get quite a lot of pain in both breasts even between feeds.

Will hopefully get chance to get shells tomorrow - any other tips on thrush most welcome. Feeding is still too sore, all the little lumps on areola are very raised, red and hard. Am expressing but ds1 is hungry every 2hrs or so which means I am getting virtually no sleep day or night.

NorkilyChallenged Fri 03-Jun-11 16:23:48

So clinic confirm probably thrush and also tongue tie though they observed a feed and said the latch looked good and so it might not be the issue.

I have really sore raised hard lumps all over the areola so they suspect some kind of allergic eczema kind of reaction - if the thrush medicine doesn't clear it they've suggested I go back to the gp.

Am hoping curing the thrush will fix the problem and we'll manage to feed okay in a day or so. The feeds I did at the clinic were actually bearable so that's something.

Whenisitmysleepytime Fri 03-Jun-11 17:32:44

Don't mean to be a wet blanket bu,t as someone who has had 2 dc with tt, just because it looks good from the outside no one can say what's going on inside and if your dc's Tongue is working properly/ efficiently.
See how you get on BUT if there's no improvement then I'd suspect the tt to be the problem.

Hope it all improves soon! smile

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