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Breastfeeding pain barrier...how long??

(19 Posts)
Annie456 Sun 18-Sep-11 04:13:19

Morning all,
DS1 is 7 days old, has a huge appetite and already back to his 9lb 1oz birth weight...the food is going in but I'm still crying from the pain of my cracked and bleeding nipples and dread him wanting the next feed.

I've had the latch checked by several midwives and they've all said that it's excellent, I just need to wait for my nipples to toughen up..so how much longer will it take / how long did it take you? Also how long did it take for your supply to regulate so you weren't so engorged with those painful lumps (rocks?) in your breasts??

(fwiw, I'm already using lansinoh and have a cream from GP -dactacort? To prevent infection getting in through cracks)

Thanks for reading!
Annie x

KellyKettle Sun 18-Sep-11 04:53:34

Congratulations!

Cracked & bleeding isn't normal. I found bf painful while DDs latch was poor. MWs told me it was fine too.

Do you have an NCT or La Leche League group near you? I'd recommend seeing a bf counsellor.

Keep applying Lansinoh regularly, that will really help.

Catslikehats Sun 18-Sep-11 06:50:37

The advice is always that cracked and bleeding nipples are not normal.

Having said that, I have always suffered with them despite having the same advice from BF counsellors "latch is perfect, can't see any issues" etc etc.

IME it does take a lot of perseverence and time (probably not what you want to hear - sorry) and it was a good few weeks before I could feed without gritting my teeth and stamping my feet up and down to distract from the searing pain discomfort grin

The biggest help for me this time round (DC4) was that I discovered breast shells, they allowed my nipples to heal quickly and meant that my clothes never touched my nipples.

Good luck

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 06:52:56

I agree with Kelly - you need to see someone qualified! Midwives don't always know anything about breastfeeding, and if your nipples are cracked and bleeding then obviously the latch isn't fine.

It's normal for you nipples to be a bit sore at the beginning, and for some pain at the start of the feed, but cracked nipples means damage has been done and they won't heal til the latch is sorted. Has your baby been checked for tongue tie by the way?

In the meantime, lansinoh or breastmilk is good on your nipples - try to keep them moist as if they dry out they will scab and crack more.

Loopymumsy Sun 18-Sep-11 07:53:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Annie456 Sun 18-Sep-11 08:06:22

He does have a slight Tongue tie but everyone has told me that it isn't affecting his feeding at all-and although the catch has only been checked by midwives there have been lots of them who have checked-on day 4 I went to a breastfeeding cafe and all the midwives said it was perfectly fine (3 of them checked and they run the clinics)

The ceacking and bleeding is getting better and I am mainly left with that raw feeling.it's also a lot worse when I am engorged (even if I've hand expressed to get it flowing, the second half of the feed is always better-that's why I wondered how long it will be before the engorgment will settle down too?

Thanks for all the advice and replies so far
Xx

sorbysedge Sun 18-Sep-11 08:12:10

About 2 weeks for both of mine. I seem to remember I was bleeding with dd1 but can so remember curling my toes and making a fist each time til the endorphins dulled the pain a bit. With dd2 I seriously was crying thinking about giving up when the next day it had just resolved. Weird but true.

Grumpla Sun 18-Sep-11 08:13:50

I would go and get another opinion if I were you. Three or four midwives told me that the "problem" was flat nipples, in fact DS had an undiagnosed tongue tie. I never managed to establish successful BF as a result.

Call La leche league or see if there's a paed consultant at your local hospital who can take another look at the TT for you. Apparently minor anterior TT can affect latch most dramatically.

Cracked and bleeding is NOT normal, I sat there biting down on breast pads to stop myself screaming, the pain was actually worse than childbirth for me, but because well-meaning idiots people kept telling my nipples would toughen up eventually I ended up with some really serious damage and fucked my chances of BF normally.

I did successfully pump for 3 months which might be an option to give your nipples a break in the short term as well - can your local NCT or midwife sort you out the loan of a hospital grade pump?

Good luck.

Mine only lasted 4-5 days but got better when I was told to dry my breasts with a towel or muslin after each feed & then smother them in lansinoh. You have to do it EVERY time you feed & keep them moist (nice!) My pain stopped in about a day and the cracking about two days. Now (4 weeks later) i only need to use it every 2/3 days, not each feed.

The engorgement lasted a few days longer for me, but is also totally gone now.

This too will pass...

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 08:26:26

So you have cracked and bleeding nipples and a baby with tongue tie and the midwives are saying the latch is fine and the tongue tie isn't affecting feeding? I'm seriously shocked!

You really need to push for another opinion - find out if the hospital has an infant feeding specialist or someone who specialises in tongue tie. You need some expert help and probably to get the TT snipped.

faverolles Sun 18-Sep-11 08:32:38

Completely agree with RitaMorgan. Even the tiniest TT can cause major problems.
If you have a trawl on here, there is a TT support thread, with links to help.
Unfortunately in my area, there was no access to a private option to have it snipped, so I had to go through my gp.
TT's seem to be hugely underestimated in this country wrt breastfeeding.

faverolles Sun 18-Sep-11 08:37:21

Here it is

Hope you can find some useful information there smile

littlemisslozza Sun 18-Sep-11 08:39:06

About 3 weeks for me with each of my DC's until I no longer had the first ten seconds or so of toe-curling pain when he latched on.
I used nipple shields for a few weeks with DS1 as I also had cracks and they allowed me to continue feeding but without causing more trauma to the nipple. Might be worth a try. Good luck, once you get through this it becomes so much easier.

Loopymumsy Sun 18-Sep-11 08:48:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SkiBumMum Sun 18-Sep-11 09:15:27

Thanks for your question. I came on here to post as am waiting in dread for baby to wake as I have to feed sad. Again everyone says latch fine but I am so sore. I don't see how I can get anymore areola in as her mouth is tiny - and she's not a small baby - and my boobs are huge!

There's obv an issue as DH did bottles overnight to let me rest (c-section pain, toddler and baby blues meant I was not a happy bunny last night). One feed in today and I'm bleeding again.

Will go to a group next week although I have dread of the places.

All this advice has been good. Will get some shell things. Q

WoTmania Sun 18-Sep-11 09:24:27

you baby may be gaining weight and latch may be fine BUT if you're cracked and bleeding and your baby has TT I reckon that's not a coincidence.
Some LCs do TT clips at private clinics. Try calling LLL or your local LC for some more info.

Annie456 Sun 18-Sep-11 12:36:19

I do have referral to see a paediatrician for the TT-I got the wheels in motion when I saw my doc who gave me the cream but because it's not affecting his weight / feeding it will take a few weeks to come through-and despite having DS on a £45 a month private health plan it doesn't cover bloody TT!!!
I'm going to try to keep going as the pain subsides considerably after the initial let down of milk so I'll try to express a bit more of the fore milk while my nipples recover and at least he's getting all the hind milk and most of the fore milk without me being engorged. Thanks again for all the great advice, I'll definitely chase up the TT if things don't continue to get better xx

Mampig Sun 18-Sep-11 13:42:05

Agree with all advice given! My ds was looked at for TT and doc said no. I don't believe her as the symptoms are all there. But I decided to get on with things as my nipple pain stopped at around 10 days. I kept changing positions for each feed, put on the cream and took painkillers. I knew the pain was more bearable the day I forgot about the painkillers!! Ds is gaining weight brilliantly and I've no pain now so I decided not to stress over diagnosis as we were getting much better every day. Hope this gives u some hope!! Oh and my nipples initially were so bad they were bleeding sad.

Mollcat Sun 18-Sep-11 15:08:53

SkiBumMum it may not be that her mouth is tiny but that the TT is stopping her gaping properly. Just wanted to add that as it drove me mad at BFing groups where people were telling me to be patient and wait for a gape which never came... I later discovered it can be a feature of TT (which wasn't spotted at the group either angry).

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