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Swollen and painful but don't want to give up bf, please help.

(40 Posts)
FifiFerusha Fri 07-Aug-15 07:50:35


Calling any experts here. My first child was early and I really struggled with bf but after determination I managed it for 8 months. My ds was full term and is now 2.5 weeks so presumed things would be easier. . . Not so.

From the start all MW and the HV said the latch was great, he only lost 2 percent of his birth weight in the first week and recently put on a lot of weight after regaining birth weight quickly . However I kept working at the latch as my nipples seemed to com out lipstick shaped and was experiencing a lot of pain. I just can't get him to take the nipple far back in his mouth. He is also a day time cluster feeder and as we are going through this early stAge I am demand feeding. Sometimes, particularly in afternoons he will feed for five hours stretches much to DC1's dismay. I have had cracked nipples from the start and now the pain is excruciating. My right nipple is the issue as it seems quite small and just a small bump when my breast is very full so I think I am struggling with latching correctly. It is now in a state, a large crack that opens easily(expressed milk is sometimes pink). When I try hard to push it right in his mouth the suction he has on my areola is very strong and when he comes off I can see a red indentation where his mouth has been. It is now all getting worse. The areola looks swollen, especially after I couldn't face feeding from it last night and had to express. This made my normally pale nipples/areola go purple. In the past few days i have done everything to try and allow my nipples to heal saline, lanisoh, round the clock painkillers, hAnd expressing, giving them air . I even wore a shield when feeding over a day. This did not effect latch as got him back on in fear it would effect supply. Last night was awful thoug, I did not want to use the shield(which now hurts anyway) but could not feed him properly and DH gave DS some formula as I was in pieces. I expressed instead but in tears as I hadn't given formula until now. I fear that I can't solve the sore nipple issue , even my left nipple has a crack now and it would break my heart if I had to give up bf. . . After all that effort and hours of cluster feeds too. Any advice most welcome. . And apologies for long message, just wanted to get it all down. Thanks.

DeathMetalMum Fri 07-Aug-15 08:14:13

It sounds to me that your breasts are maybe engorged when it comes to feeding meaning ds is finding it difficult to latch. I remember this with dd1 and it was horrible, what helped was expressing some breastmilk off before a feed, I hand expressed until I felt a little more comfortable then latched my dd on. This also helped with the cracked nipples I think as the latch was better.

Lanishol and air over the next couple of days will help with the cracked nipples. Even try rubbing a little breastmilk over yoyr cracked nipples after each feed it really helps too. I'm no expert so I hope someobe else might be able to help too!

dannydyerismydad Fri 07-Aug-15 08:30:19

That sounds horribly painful. Are there any local breastfeeding supporters who you can visit? I think you really need some face to face help (and unfortunately many midwives, HVs and GPs don't have that experience).

The fact that your latch looks good from the outside is irrelevant if you are in pain and your nipples are compressed. Your latch is possibly not deep enough, or your baby has a tight jaw or tongue tie, making your baby's mouth compress your nipple.

SusanMichelson Fri 07-Aug-15 08:33:17

1,Has his tongue been checked, and 2, do you think it might be thrush - I don't know if either might be relevant but just to add to your list of possibles.

All sympathy, it sounds really sore.

Sizzlesthedog Fri 07-Aug-15 08:56:03

Sympathy it sounds excruciating. I remember the pain well.

Do you have someone not MW or HV who can watch the feed? If it's that sore it can't be a good latch. Something is wrong. I think check for tongue tie.

Hope you get this sorted, you can't carry on in that much pain.

FifiFerusha Fri 07-Aug-15 09:50:38

Just fed him this morning and forced myself to use the sore side, after necking yet more ibuprofen. Ouch, ouch though. The nipple did not hurt after the first ten seconds bit his strong suction on the areola is what really gets me, leaving marks when he comes off. . . Plenty of milk though. I hand expressed a bit first to try and make the nipple protrude, worked slightly so thank you. I am wondering if his mouth/body is posiition is wrong creating the wrong kind of pulls on the areola. I think I probably need face to face help as otherwise it is hard to be clear what the problem is. There are support group but only on certain days and have HV coming next Tuesday. Feel like I need to sort this problem now though. Anyone found any breastfeeding helplines useful. I worry if I go to the gps they will focus on the nipple problem and not DS's feeding and tell me to supplement. After feeding him this morning I also realised the electric expressing may hurt more than this actually feeding him.

Also, how can I go about making a deeper latch. I have tried the squashing the breast and pushing it in his mouth but he loosens his grip unless I hold it into his mouth if that makes sense.

FifiFerusha Fri 07-Aug-15 10:03:33

How can I determine if it is tongue? Should I check this out with a go?will also look up thrush symptoms and see if that's it

FifiFerusha Fri 07-Aug-15 10:04:16

GP. .sorry

Sizzlesthedog Fri 07-Aug-15 10:52:01

Try the NCT helpline.

It's free and open 24/7

They have bf experts.

0300 330 0700

Any parent can call and get advice.

Slacktacular Fri 07-Aug-15 11:02:50

Well done - you are a hero! I hope you can get his sorted. I would echo other posters who have recommended getting baby checked for tongue tie - the fact that he is taking so long to feed suggests that although latch looks okay from the outside, that it's not deep enough and milk transfer is poor (had this with my DD1 who was tongue tied - took a while to resolve after tie cut but worked it out eventually!).
From personal experience with trying to get a deep latch (currently feeding DD2 4 weeks) I didn't find the sandwiching technique helpful, partly because there's the temptation to keep holding even when they're latched, to try and keep it deep, which compresses the ducts. Personally I found that expressing off a bit to relieve engorgement and then using the 'flipple' technique was a lifesaver and stopped me giving up when I thought I couldn't take any more. Google for videos. It's dead easy and made a big difference for us - no longer dreading every feed and nips have healed!
Meanwhile take out shares in Lansinoh and ibuprofen and don't feel guilty about DC1 watching all the CBeebies!! Bon chance!

FifiFerusha Fri 07-Aug-15 11:12:57

Slacktacular, I thought that the cluster feeding daily may also be a side effect of a pore latch. . . Poor little boy trying hard to get his calories. I will research the flipple technique quickly before he wakes for a feed and spent the day experimenting. . . And will give the helpline a call, I really do not want things to get worse than last night as once that bottle is given once it is too easy to do it again and then we all know what happens. Arghh, hate having to dread a feed, this is all wrong, but thank you for all your amazing replies and will update. Wish me luck. . . Ps yes, dc 1 has started to watch a lot of TV since ds wAs born...needs, must

DeathMetalMum Fri 07-Aug-15 14:28:52

I'm not sure on your area, but our area will send out bf advisors to your house if there isn't a group. I had one with dc1 I phoned the hospital as I couldn't get hold of my midwife and thru organised for someone to come round. I'd start with ringing the midwife or hospital for advice.

Nottalotta Fri 07-Aug-15 17:26:52

I ant offer any constructive advice as DC1is only 2 was old! Just wanted to echo the poster above - my health visitor came Wednesday and is arranging a home visit from a bf person next week. Worth asking a out.

melliemoo1 Fri 07-Aug-15 22:48:20

I had a lot of nipple pain and they would always have a line down the middle of them after a feed. After seeing a lactation consultant at the hospital she confirmed there was an issue with the roof of his mouth which meant he may not be able to latch very deeply (cannot remember the technical term for it sorry). But she checked his latch and said it was good but helped me with my feeding position so I had his arm under my armpit and body very close to my body when feeding which meant the latch didn't slip which I think was causing alot of the pain. Is there a lactation consultant at your local hospital you could see? Face to face support really helps.

Wotshudwehave4T Fri 07-Aug-15 23:02:38

You poor thing, well done for slogging it out. When I dream fed mine -latching them on while they were asleep- it felt totally different to when they actively fed whilst awake. They didn't fuss to get attached and took long, slow, deep sucks. Really quick feeds and no wind either.They were a bit older than your DS when I first tried it. Maybe worth a go for a night feed.

FifiFerusha Fri 07-Aug-15 23:26:52

Well, spent the day trying to perfect the flipple technique. I think this is going ok. So much less pain and there is a deeper latch. Still feels a little unsturdy and stinging at times so focusing on not seeing it through and at those times attempting a re latch, something I didn't do previously. Was so pleased this morning with the new found technique that I didn't get anyone out. In fact so confident that fulfilled a promise to DC1 and DH we would all go to the local park. Unfortunately spent the time feeding in the car. In a different place the latch was hard to get right so a bit sore again but all ok again this evening and DS only cluster fed for about 2 and a half hours this evening. Is asleep now and has been for over an hour and a half. Bliss. However although there is less pain, latch is still needing work as nipples are still coming out compressed and haven't yet showed signs of healing. Any advice?

And also thank you everyone, I am so glad things are slightly better. . . Still a little way to go. I am determined to keep up with bf. . . Just hope tomorrow and tonight go ok. . . Engorged night time breasts ahhhh

Missdee2014 Fri 07-Aug-15 23:37:22

Another non expert here but wanted to help a little if I can. Lansinoh is MAGIC! Also, if you can get gelonets from your pharmacy and place them against your nipple before a breast pad then bra they will help to soothe sore, cracked nipples between feeds. When I was feeding dc2, at one point both my nipples had gone black and scabbed to the point I was genuinely scared they might fall off! Lansinoh and gelonets worked wonders and I managed to exclusively bf her for 12 months. Keep at it, it's tough going but worth it once the first 6/8 weeks pass.

Missdee2014 Fri 07-Aug-15 23:38:42

*jelonet. Not gelonets.

FifiFerusha Fri 07-Aug-15 23:54:17

Wow I had never heard of jelonets, will try and get some.I ordered some shells yesterday due tomorrow as am sick of going around the house with no bra as It rubs? I then leak on my clothes ah.Thank you for the vote of confidence, I just keeping telling myself that I can get through this and it does get easier. . . I should know second time round but it is a five year gap, crazy how much you forget. . . Even latching smile

Missdee2014 Sat 08-Aug-15 00:13:40

They are brilliant, let us know how you get on with them. I didn't manage to feed dd1 for any more than 3 days so with dd2 I was so determined I would sit feeding her with tears from pain streaming down my face. Mumsnet was my absolute saviour back then and I genuinely would have given up very early had it not been for advice and support I got on here.

Best advice I was given was that it gets easier and becomes so easy it's hard to stop. Also, stop wearing a watch and looking at the time when baby feeds. Let them feed when they need to and become aware of when they are sucking for comfort and when they actually feeding. I ended up using s dummy too as my dd was bad for comfort sucking. Got to the stage she would spit my nipple out and look for her dummy. grin

Missdee2014 Sat 08-Aug-15 19:46:26

How's things today?

FifiFerusha Sat 08-Aug-15 23:32:39

So, just when I thought I was getting somewhere DS cluster fed from 4 until about 30 minutes ago, that makes is about 7 hours!!!!!!! Tells me something isn't right. Nipples still compressed but scars are less painful using flipple technique. Have tried really hard to get the latch deeper but makes no difference. . . Feel like a bit of a failure today. My boobs are now red raw. . . And particularly have pain in my swelling areola. . . They feel bruised and hand expressing to elongate my nipples feels wrong, like pressing on a bruise.DC1 also asked me today why baby gets more mummy time than her. Think also that DH is sick of the fact that we seem to be stuck at home all the time, although he is massively supportive. Even considering mixed feeding now but not sure how I could cope with the guilt of not sticking it out. Perhaps I should see if someone can come and see me on Monday. Here's hoping for a better day tomorrow. . . Luckily DS seems to sleep well at night, gave me four hours of unbroken sleep last night so it's not all bad smile

Shenanagins Sat 08-Aug-15 23:50:44

Sorry, I can offer you any practical advice but I do recall going through something similar with dc2. I fed dc1 for 6 months and thought it would be straightforward second time round as I knew what to do/expect.

How wrong I was! We went to clinic after clinic for help and unfortunately nothing worked. I guess what I'm saying is every baby is different and what might have been so easy with one is so difficult with another. Don't beat yourself up over it, see what happens and if you are able to continue great, but if not that's fine as well.

chumbler Sun 09-Aug-15 00:42:53

4 til 11 is completely normal for a newborn, don't sorry that that's not "right", it can be hard but it can take time as baby is building up your supply. have you googled things you can do with your other child whilst bfding? like reading together, watching a film, drawing etc?

definitely seek more help on Monday, get all the help you can. you're doing great smile

chumbler Sun 09-Aug-15 00:43:57

don't worry it's not right, not sorry!

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