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How did you get through the first few days of breast feeding?

(38 Posts)
RedPony Fri 11-Jul-14 08:16:23

I have been ebf since baby was born on Tuesday night. The midwife said he has a beautiful latch and had no worries about his feeding when she sent us home yesterday but he sucks so hard my nipple are really sore with blisters on the end! I had to send DP out to get some formula last sight to feed him from a cup as I couldn't bear anything touching my nipple. Is there any way to avoid this? I have the community midwife coming out today but would really appreciate any hints or tips anyone has to make it bearable to feed. Thanks smile

GingerRodgers Fri 11-Jul-14 08:19:38

Hi op, sorry you're experiencing this and congratulations on baby! thanks
Sorry I cant offer much help but I found expressing a little milk onto my nipples and letting them air dry really helped heal them.
Hope you get some more help soon.

beccajoh Fri 11-Jul-14 08:23:28

Have you got Lansinoh? I smothered that on. Also cried lots. Does the pain get better whilst you're feeding or is it constant?

BookTart Fri 11-Jul-14 08:24:00

Ouch red! That sounds painful. I had similar trouble with DD 6 months ago, and eventually went to a breastfeeding group at my local SureStart centre where they spotted a tongue tie. It was snipped at 8 weeks and made feeding virtually pain free straight away. She'd been checked for TT in hospital and by the HV, but they all missed it because it was a posterior one. Do you have a group near you? It is worth getting him checked by a lactation consultant for TT and any tiny adjustments to his latch.

Do you have Lansinoh? That saved my life. Also, a cold flannel can help with the pain a bit, and nice baths with lavender oil were good. A friend used nipple shields, but your DS might be a bit little for those.

Good luck, I hope things improve soon. And congratulations! thanks

VashtaNerada Fri 11-Jul-14 08:25:14

I was told latch was fine but he actually had tongue-tie. Ask every health professional to double-check, and go to a BF drop-in if your health centre does one. Good luck!

worldgonecrazy Fri 11-Jul-14 08:25:48

I got through it with good support, a local breastfeeding support group, and lots of chocolate cake and wine. It was painful, I also developed thrush which didn't help, but somehow we got through it and by week 11 it was a breeze. Take it one day at a time, or even one feed at a time. You might find it helps to express one feed a day so that you get a break - we did this for the evening feed, I expressed during the afternoon and DH gave the feed when he got back from work, so it was a nice bonding moment for him too.

There is nothing like a nice small glass of wine during the evening to make you feel human again.

RosinaCopper Fri 11-Jul-14 08:30:29


Lansinoh was a godsend for me, applied after every feed. Expensive, but worth it. My GP said it was useful for nappy rash too!

The best advice I was given about feeding before I had dc1 was 'grit your teeth and count to 10' because in the early days it does hurt when they have a good latch and you start the feed, despite everyone saying 'it shouldn't hurt if you're doing it right!'

If you can get through the early feeds, it does get easier and pain free, but I remember how hard it was to get things established. Good luck!

Littlef00t Fri 11-Jul-14 08:41:59

I'd suggest breast shields for now until your nipples ar less sore, putting on lansinoh before and after every feed until they aren't as tender. I didn't even use a whole tube and the best money I spent.

Unfortunately for me the pain continued for a few weeks, but was noticably painful for less long every few days.

Slh122 Fri 11-Jul-14 08:58:08

I wouldn't use the shields, at least not while you're establishing feeding because it can confuse the baby.
Just grit your teeth and feed through the pain - if the latch is good, it will quickly get much less painful. Use Lansinoh - it's quite pricey at about £10 a tube but a tube will last you ages. It was brilliant for me.
Before you start a feed, make sure you've got the tv remote/iPad/phone, a drink and snacks within arm's reach. It does get so much easier - now my DS is 5.5 months I can just pick up my changing bag and leave, and if he needs a feed out about, 5 minutes on a bench and we're ready to go again whereas my friends who use formula have to faff with sterilising/washing bottles/making up feeds etc.

McBaby Fri 11-Jul-14 09:01:35

Check out kellymom website on blisters on how best to treat them.

I used painkillers, jelonet and vasaline to keep me going for first couple of weeks.

I would also try and find a breastfeeding support group to get your latch checked as blisters are a sign that something is not quite right with the latch.

Hedgehogging Fri 11-Jul-14 09:41:28

Lansinoh, chocolate and tears (note: the latter two were not applied directly). Have nips of steel now thank God! thanks cake brew

eagle2010 Fri 11-Jul-14 09:42:26

Agree with the PPs saying to get the latch checked and maybe a check for tongue tie as well.

Lansinoh is a godsend and also Multimam compresses. Those compresses are heavenly when used from the fridge!

Don't worry, the discomfort does go away very quickly and things will be much easier. Good luck, those early weeks are tough but it's worth it!

eagle2010 Fri 11-Jul-14 09:44:03

Oh and for the first few weeks I squirted some breastmilk on my nipples at the end of a feed and let them air dry (I was quite a sight to behold smile ). That helped as well.

MrsAtticus Fri 11-Jul-14 09:46:15

Ooh, I was like this with my first, it's really hard, but do persist and it will get better, fed DS for 2 years in the end!
Lansinoh works wonders. Also if one nipple is more sore than the other, just feed from the better one for a while to give it chance to rest.
I agree with posters who have said it hurts even if the latch is correct. And if you put your finger in your babies mouth and see how hard they suck it's not surprising!

RedPony Fri 11-Jul-14 09:54:31

Thank you everyone. Mil brought some lasinoh and nipple shields round last night and have been using loads of lasinoh but Ds wouldn't latch on the shields. My last failed feed was at 11.30 last night ( DP has been amazing and done all the night feeds from a cup) and I have had a massive sleep and feel lots better. Ds is due a feed in 20 mins so I will try again and see if I can bear it whilst he feeds.

RedPony Fri 11-Jul-14 09:56:14

Have also put my finger in his mouth to stop him screaming last night and it went purple from where he sucked it so hard. I made DP have a go too and he couldn't believe how hard he sucks!

ToffeeMoon Fri 11-Jul-14 11:58:24

Cried, winced and persevered I'm afraid. I just made it my only occupation. No visiting, no washing, no cooking. Just baby.

Your latch is crucial. Can you get someone to come out and check it for you? I had a call from a bf counsellor in my area out of the blue to see how I was doing. She popped round the same day and sat with me while I fed and was so helpful. Kept making me unlatch and try again till it was right.

My chant after that was: Big Wide Mouth. Baby needs to open his mouth really wide and chomp down on the area around the nipple not just the nipple. Sucking on the nipple will really hurt.

Good luck. If you stick at it, in a few weeks, it is very likely to feel a LOT easier and well worth it.

loaderloader Fri 11-Jul-14 13:35:37

Hi. I too found Lansinoh brilliant in first couple of weeks. It does get less painful. I think nipples just toughen up.

The only advice I can think off is make sure you get the latch right every time. A couple of times I let DS feed knowing that he wasnt latched brilliantly. I didn't want to stop him and upset things but I regretted it each time as afterwards i ended up with really painful skn peeling nipples. If I didn't get a big wide mouth after that I stopped the feed and started again every time.

I wore really comfy nighttime style bra tops with breast pads and lansinoh for first couple of weeks. With DS2 I fed topless in or on bed for first couple of weeks until it had got easier. Helped make it less stressful.

Good luck. I hope the midwife was helpful.

cookiefiend Fri 11-Jul-14 13:52:45

The midwives who you mostly see are not experts in feeding- several told me my latch "looked fine", but when I went to the feeding clinic they said it was not right and were able to help. In this city there is a feeding clinic every day in different areas staffed by specialist midwives and you just drop in- is there anything like that where you are.

Even with their help, the best thing I found was the internet. Google things like breast feeding latch and you will find loads of useful information. My latch was not deep enough I discovered and there are a few great videos on you tube which I kept watching each time I latched her on.

You will get there. In a week or two (or four) you will suddenly realise it is no longer painful and you hadn't even noticed the change. The nhs gives you all these DVDs of happy smiling mothers, but I think it is a little irresponsible in pointing out that for most people the first few weeks can be agony. It made me feel like I was failing as a mother which is really silly since almost everyone experiences some problems. You are not alone. Keep posting here if you need support.

mrsmugoo Fri 11-Jul-14 16:32:55

Honestly, it took me 10 weeks, a cracked nipple so severe I still have the scar, two bouts of mastitis, recurrent blocked ducts, a fortune on bras, ductal thrush and more tears than I care to think about before I got comfortable with it.

But now it's the most wonderful thing ever and I plan on feeding until I want to TTC.

keely79 Fri 11-Jul-14 16:37:19

Gasped with agony and bit my lip then copious amounts of lansinoh. I promise it does get better. Though it's tempting, try not to only feed out of the least painful breast - I did that and ended up with mastitis in the other one which was not fun...

ThePowerOfCake Fri 11-Jul-14 22:10:21

I curled my toes, gripped something with my spare hand and said things along the lines of "fuckfuckfuckfuck aaarrggggh" for the first few seconds each time. I used lansinoh when I could bear to touch my nipples and used to sleep topless so there was nothing sticking to them. We got better at latching, things toughened up and now at 15w weeks it is completely pain free and just so wonderfully convenient. I can't remember when it stopped hurting and became a pleasant experience because it all seems so long ago already!

Biscuitsneeded Fri 11-Jul-14 22:20:24

Oh, I remember the misery of those early, agonising feeds. I promise it does get better. Lansinoh helps, as do cool flannels and cabbage leaves (really!) (a bit) but really I think only time and experience make it get better. I also honestly think your nipples just toughen up. I cried in agony over every feed for the first week of DS1's life, having given birth in the pool with no drugs so not really a wimp when it comes to pain. I gritted my teeth and curled my toes but didn't cry as much for the second week, and by week three I was sitting on park bench feeding DS and chatting to a friend as if I'd been doing it all my life. The let down is still a weird sensation for a bit longer but the cracked, blistered, bleeding nipples will be a thing of the past soon. Stick with it - the rewards for doing so in terms of convenience, health, money, bonding etc are SO worth the agony now.

Fairylea Fri 11-Jul-14 22:25:10

I'm going to hide this after posting because I don't think anyone will like me saying this but the nipple discomfort was the main reason I quit breastfeeding after about 2 weeks with dd and went to formula. I just couldn't get used to it. I hated the sensation of it and my nipples never really became comfortable. Switching to formula was the best decision for me because I was able to enjoy feeding dd rather than dreading it!

When I had ds 10 years later I went straight to formula as I knew it suited me. No one will ask how you fed your baby in years to come so if you decide to continue to breastfeed that's great but equally if you decide to stop that's fine too.

RedPony Fri 11-Jul-14 23:18:49

Thank you everyone. I managed a whole feed this morning and half a feed at lunch time which DP topped up. His evening feed was formula but he's latched on and feeding now. It's bloody painfull but my milk came in this evening so he is not sucking as hard which I think has helped.
It's times like this that I bloody love mumsnet! It's so nice reading everyone s experiences so thanks for sharing smile

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