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Help! Excruciating nipple pain!

(20 Posts)
violetlights Tue 06-Nov-12 11:03:51

One-handed mobile typing here, so please forgive brevity. My LO is three and a half weeks. After a traumatic birth, he (for medical reasons) was put straight onto formula at the hospital. Had so much appalling advice with feeding, but with time we've managed to get to the point where he can latch on at almost every feed (sometimes with the aid of a shield). However just as he has made this breakthrough I find myself dreading the feeds as they are excruciatingly painful (just on the nipples). I'm working on a better latch but I don't know if I can continue (im expressing at the mo Because the pain is too much). We've worked so hard getting to this point i feel awful giving up now. But don't know how much more I can take. Is it true that sometimes the pain just goes away? It's just a case of hanging on in there? Any advice much appreciated. Thank you. sad

crikeybadger Tue 06-Nov-12 11:47:46

I wouldn't risk just hoping the pain will go away tbh violet, the pain is showing that something is not quite right here.

If the pain is at the start of the feed or throughout the feed it is usually a sign that the attachment is not quite right. If the pain continues after the feed, then this could indicate thrush.

Can you go and see someone who can give you some more support about this? A breastfeeding group or someone else who knows about breastfeeding? It could be that things just need a little tweaking and that will make things better.

McBaby Tue 06-Nov-12 12:11:53

Get your baby checked for tongue tie by a certified lactation consultant or ENT doctor.

violetlights Tue 06-Nov-12 13:55:09

Many thanks for replying crikey. That's totally sensible advice. I've had a lot of support already but some of the 'professionals' have given extremely dodgy advice. Tbh, I'm feeling less despairing since I posted as he just fed and it was pretty much pain-free! I tried to really hug him into me - may be a one-off, but it's helped changed my mood! smile

Thanks McBaby - he's already been checked for tongue tie but thanks for the tip..

Rhienne Tue 06-Nov-12 14:01:42

I had a horrible start, took ages for the pain to go away. You should definitely get advice on whether there is an underlying problem, but I can attest that it is possible for you to be in loads of pain at 3 1/2 weeks, and go on to painfree EBF. Good luck! Hang in there as long as it feels right for you.

violetlights Tue 06-Nov-12 14:38:57

Thanks Rhienne! smile

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Tue 06-Nov-12 21:48:19

Have you got some Lanolin, that will help repair any cracks to your nipples. Have you tried LLL or local groups etc for advice on your latch?

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Tue 06-Nov-12 21:48:40

ps> also typing one handed, sorry to sound short!

MrsBungleBear Tue 06-Nov-12 21:50:53

Is there any white bits in the cracks OP? Just wonder if you might have thrush? When I had thrush in my nipples the pain was worse than my labour!

diyqueen Tue 06-Nov-12 22:10:19

I second the advice about finding an LLL group/leader - rather than 'professionals' they are all mums who have breastfed/are breastfeeding and have loads of experience. I've found the support there really useful and still go (dd is 19mo and still breastfeeding).

I had pain for the first... 10 weeks to some degree. It gradually tailed off, in the first few weeks I remember I couldn't bear anything touching my nipples, catching them with the towel after having a shower was agony, and I had to count through the pain of latching on, it was excruciating. I got some help with positioning, the GP said it was 'normal breastfeeding trauma(!)' but nothing properly resolved it until dd got more efficient at feeding and wasn't attached most of the 24 hours in the day... Lansinoh cream did help too as it stopped the skin drying out too much. So what I'm trying to say is that for us it did improve and we got through it, though it was hard.

violetlights Wed 07-Nov-12 10:19:16

Many thanks all. ShouldI, I do have Lanolin, I'll slather ever more on. sad Mrs B, I don't think it's thrush as I can't see any white bits... I did have a milk blister though I've since scrubbed it off...

Thanks diyqueen, I'll give LLL a go - sounds like just the type of thing I'm looking for. Good to hear your own experiences... even when I'm pretty certain I have a good latch, I have pain afterwards. I'm guessing it might be something I have to live with until I toughen up. Ten weeks seems an awfully long time at the moment, but one feed at a time! Thanks again!

MrsBungleBear Wed 07-Nov-12 11:10:10

If the pain continues afterward it might be thrush or maybe mastits? My hv was more than happy to check out my nipples (!). Maybe ask yours to look at yours just to rule out thrush etc.

crikeybadger Wed 07-Nov-12 12:16:25

Hi again Violet- you should not have to put up with pain for this length of time. Honestly, nipples do not need to toughen up.

Yes, try some Lansinoh (not too much or your baby will just slip around too much), but it's important to get to the root cause of the pain.

I know you said you had your LO checked for tongue tie, but it can be hard to spot, and as you'll see from threads on here, they get missed very often.

Is there anyone who could take another look?

violetlights Thu 08-Nov-12 18:58:45

Thanks MrsB, I don't think it is thrush but I'll keep an eye out for the signs. My GP had a look at them earlier this week but I wasn't convinced they knew what they were talking about.

Thanks Crikey. After today, I'm thinking it might be a problem with latching. I tried a different chair and different position and found the pain was substantially lessen. (Finding it difficult to repeat though!) Although my LO is nearly four weeks old, we haven't been breastfeeding long as he suffered an injury to his scalp during birth which prevented him from feeding. (Also, I think he's been checked twice for tongue tie...) Thanks so much for all the ideas... I'll definately keep an open mind as we see how things progress... smile

HelloBear Thu 08-Nov-12 20:30:09

violet - just wanted to say that I have to be really strict with my positioning at every feed. By this I mean totally focusing on the feed (no tv, book, iPhone etc) if I get distracted DS slips = pain! Also I sit on a supportive chair, feet on a BIG book so they are elevated some how and have baby as close to my tummy as possible. The other thing I do to get a good latch (advice given by great bf expert) is swiftly putting baby on when they have a good open mouth. She showed me and you have to be quick! Do not carry on with a bad latch, release with a finger breaking the suction and reattach, this may seem like a faff but it is worth it.

HelloBear Thu 08-Nov-12 20:30:53

Oh and good luck hopefully it will get better soon!

crikeybadger Thu 08-Nov-12 21:02:52

I wonder if the scalp injury has affected the feeding? Maybe some cranial osteopathy might be useful? Just a suggestion smile

violetlights Fri 09-Nov-12 17:45:09

Thanks HelloBear - I'm thinking it must be something to do with the latch as sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn't. It's just so painful when it does! I'll keep trying... sad

Crikey - we've been seeing an amazing CO. it's basically down to them that he is able to be put near the breast at all (he couldnt even be put down on the left side before tge CO treated him).I would recommend everyone who has a ventouse delivery to take their baby to a CO. Amazing people (and such a contrast to the treaebt we had from the NHS...)

McBaby Fri 09-Nov-12 21:18:36

Bad latch could just mean lots of damage which needs to heal. Especially if feels better in different position.

I have DD with tongue tie which caused bad latch and lots damage - TT just cut second time on Tuesday, latch is good following work lactation consultant, have awful pain one nipple from a crack! This is easing by using jelonet today!

Also I am allergic to lanolin the pain and swelling that caused was terrible! The pain and swelling subsided when I stopped using that before the TT was diagnosed.

Sorry for rambling but hopefully something will be helpful!

violetlights Sat 17-Nov-12 18:24:26

McBaby - Oh no! Allergic to lanolin, what are the chances?!! sad Poor you! Thanks for the advice... I do have a bit of nipple damage and I'm still not sure I'm getting a good latch. Still definitely not TT as I got a third opinion... Latest lactation consultant thought it was thrush. So I'm using Daktarin... still waiting to see if it improves! Thanks again... smile

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