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Every feed is painful

(30 Posts)
KaluzaKlein Sat 28-Nov-15 01:45:45


Ds is eight weeks old. From the start feeding has been so, so painful. There is no position that isn't agonising to nurse in. I've googled, I've seen the specialists at my local hospital- nothing is helping.
They agree he has a shallow latch but can't see how to fix it. Every feed is like him trying to pull the nipple off and rasping it with his tongue. It hurts during feeds and for hours after (constantly to be honest.) they checked him for tongue tie (none) and me for infections (none.)

I want to continue breastfeeding but I think I'm going to end up with permanent damage if he doesn't latch properly.

Any ideas? I feel like I've tried everything sad

The hospital specialist said ' your anatomies are incompatible' sad I don't know what they meant by that...he does have a small lower jaw (so does his dad) but it's not extreme.

Dh is telling me to stop torturing myself and switch to bottles. I feel like a total failure and am being treated for severe pnd.

Sunflower1985 Sat 28-Nov-15 01:51:35

Are you in the uk and if so do you have a local breastfeeding cafe or group. I went to one at 4 days old and their advice was invaluable. I ended up mix feeding with a supplemental nursing system as the early day pain got in the way of establishing supply. Also had a minor tongue tie snipped. Good luck op.

northdownmummy Sat 28-Nov-15 01:52:04

You tried and gave your baby a great start, don't torture yourself. If its that difficult and painful ande you've not been able to get help despite speaking to all the right people, a happy mum who can enjoy her baby is more important than where the milk comes from. You are not a failure, you're an amazing mum who's doing her very very best.

Sunflower1985 Sat 28-Nov-15 01:54:05

Btw. 100% not a failure. Having Pnd doesn't make you a failure. Not bf doesn't make you a failure. And if it did you'd have plenty of other 'failures' for company!

redcaryellowcar Sat 28-Nov-15 01:54:32

Don't despair and I seriously doubt you are incompatible (what a very unhelpful thing to say).
Firstly have you got any lasinoh? It's around £10 a tube but very good for sore nipples, I found it helped very quickly.
Secondly I would try to see a properly trained lactation consultant (search the international board of certified lactation consultants)
There is a fabulous poster called tiktok who will hopefully be along with advice, but don't despair, it's probably something which can be sorted, you just need someone who knows their stuff to help.

CultureSucksDownWords Sat 28-Nov-15 01:56:17

You could try nipple shields (if you haven't already), it's possible that they might help. Also, as your baby grows you might find the latch changes by itself.

If you haven't seen it already, Google the exaggerated latch technique to get a deeper latch.

Hope your situation improves soon.

icclemunchy Sat 28-Nov-15 02:00:00

Do you have a local la letche group? I'd highly recommend them if continuing to feed is something you want to do. I can't imagine your "incomparable"!!

SushiAndTheBanshees Sat 28-Nov-15 01:59:58

You will likely get all sorts of advice on here from women who are seeking to help you continue to bf. When I went through this and posted for advice, one post really struck a chord with me and helped me go on to mix feed for 6 months. All the rest, I felt at the time, belittled my efforts and the physical pain I was in and made me feel inadequate / not "hard" enough.

Just to say, if you do switch to formula you absolutely will not have failed. Eight weeks of this sounds horrendous - and the complete opposite of failure. Honestly, truly, it's not a matter of failure or success. It's only about feeding your child so that she grows healthy and strong. Bf and ff will both achieve this.

KaluzaKlein Sat 28-Nov-15 02:18:50

Not in the uk alas. No lll near me (nearest one is in a different country.)

But...The women I saw at the hospital were specialist breastfeeding staff, both midwives and the doctor / it's a clinic for breastfeeding so they are the experts! We went through everything I'd tried and my positioning is fine it's just a shallow painful latch. But they said they couldn't fix it. It feels like he's pulling so hard on the nipple it's crushing it and I often get a sensation of tearing tissue inside the areola along with a ripping/crunching noise.

I use Lanisoh and I've tried nipple shields but no milk seems to come out when I use them. Plus he's then chewing in the nipple not taking a mouthful of breast. His mouth is too small to take even a small shield in.
I've stuck my finger in his mouth and I can't feel this mythical safe spot at the rear - his tongue is pressed right along my finger rasping the whole way back. He also sucks so hard.

I really want the convenience of bf ing but I cannot bear how it feels. It makes my skin crawl as well as being painful.

What am I doing wrong?? How can I fix it?? Have fed him for an hour and now he's shouting for more. Surely feeds should be shorter at this age too??

SushiAndTheBanshees Sat 28-Nov-15 03:03:54

You're not doing anything wrong!

Honestly, from what you've just posted, I can see perhaps where the "incompatibility" comment might have come from. I think it might well just be that your breast/nipple doesn't fit your baby's mouth/palette.

If he's feeding this much and frequently at 8 weeks, it may well be because he's just not getting enough because of this latch issue. Hard work for him, hard work for you.

Seriously, try one bottle feed. See how he takes to it and how it affects his sleep and feeding. One bottle feed won't affect your supply long term.

I repeat, there's really no point flagellating yourself. Parenting and raising a child is a marathon. Feeding is all-consuming at this stage but it's a tiny, tiny part of the bigger picture.

Elvish Sat 28-Nov-15 03:14:37

Have you been checked for thrush? I had thrush in my breasts when I was feeding DD and what you say about it hurting for hours afterwards strikes a chord with me.

If you're keen to continue it might be worth asking your doctor about, get some meds and see if it helps.

I got to a point where I didn't want to pick DD up, let alone feed her as it was so painful. I decided to move to ff for my own health and for DD as well as we were both unhappy. I felt terrible about it, but I know it was the right decision for me at the time and I made peace with it eventually.

Good luck thanks

KaluzaKlein Sat 28-Nov-15 05:22:10

Yeah they checked for thrush.. Not that sad

MumCodes Sat 28-Nov-15 05:32:47

Could it be wind? My DD (3.5 weeks) currently yells about an hour after feeding if she has trapped wind or needs a poo.

Didn't have the same tearing sensation after feeding with DS1 (poor you, that sounds horrific), but did have incredibly painful nipples. I found that one I managed to stretch him to feeds every 3/4 hours, and just used one breast per feed then the six hour respite from the torture of feeding really helped things. And lashings of Lansinoh. After every feed and in between as well.

Jenijena Sat 28-Nov-15 05:34:10

I had agonising pain, during and between feeds. My rude and unhelpful GP does not accept breast thrush exists. However he tested my milk for signs of infection.

Aside from the pain and nipple damage I did not present with any signs of infection - no lumpy, redness, or temperature, but after several rounds of antibx it cleared. From definitely giving up at 6 weeks, I fed til he self weaned at 1.

Jenijena Sat 28-Nov-15 05:34:38

(To make it clear, they found an infection on the mill)

MumCodes Sat 28-Nov-15 05:36:22

P.S. I did manage to persevere with BF DS1, but only because my DH was home for 8 weeks, and we finally cracked BF by 6 weeks. But as midwife said to me when I was struggling, it's better for your baby to have a happy mum than to be breastfed. Persevering when you're in such pain is admirable, but remember to take care of you too.


hartmel Sat 28-Nov-15 05:39:26

I had the same thing with both kids.. Especially in the first 8-12 weeks. I bought a nipple shield and it made a huge difference.. My breast could take a break but I would still Bf my baby..

Hope that helps

anotherbusymum14 Sat 28-Nov-15 05:50:00

Oh no, you don't need to keep trying. You need to look after yourself too. If it effects you please don't feel bad about about stopping. I had a difficult time with my first dc. I think I tried till 3 months old then switched to bottles/formula and it was the best thing I did. Child no 2 and 3 I breastfed till about one years and the other 18 months. It just worked differently the next time and I had no idea why. Just go with what works for you and as someone else said do whatever you can to be a happy and healthy mum. That's what your baby needs. All the best flowers

ICantDecideOnAUsername Sat 28-Nov-15 05:59:16

A friend of mines baby had a really small mouth and so physically couldn't take in enough of the breast to fed properly. It does happen unfortunately sometimes. She expressed for a while and then had to switch to ff. he's fine and they were both much happier.
I hope you work it out. I'm also having pain issues but they are slowly getting better (except tonight when he is 'chomping' on one side- ow!)

wallywobbles Sat 28-Nov-15 06:20:28

For me breastfeeding was worse than child birth. Never ending agony that was made worse by every feed. I got an infection at 3 weeks with DC1 who was not a great sucker and wasn't thriving and stopped at 5 weeks with dc2 who was. With dc2 I only really did morning and evening for the last 2 weeks.

Would you consider just keeping the least worst feeds. I preferred the pre bed one and morning ones.

I felt so useless with DC1 but that was probably tied up with a bit of PND.

Seriously would you expect anyone else to go through this much pain. 8 weeks is totally respectable. Be kind to yourself.

HumphreyCobblers Sat 28-Nov-15 06:31:13

There is a massive thread on here somewhere with people who were told definitely that their babies did not have tongue tie when they actually did. A posterior tie is hard to diagnose sometimes. I had an expert snip my son's anterior tie and tell me positively that there was no posterior tie. There was, a significant tie along with a lip tie and I had it lasered at five months.

Could you have it checked again, by someone else?

Your description of the pain sounds agonising, it made me wince. You poor thing. I remember the pain of latching on making me come out in a cold sweat all over, it was worse than contractions. You are amazing to have done as long as you have.

helloelo Sat 28-Nov-15 06:47:16

I live in a country with little or no BF support (France). Even the "trained" MW or doctors don't know the latest things I find easily on Kellymom. I had to fight like hell for them to diagnose a posterior tongue tie ("no, it's in your head, it's not tongue tie, you're just incompatible") and give me thrush medication (I had almost no sign... Well, apart from the horrid pain).
I was very close to giving up but I'm the type of woman who can't easily change her mind and I was dead set on reaching at least a 3 months mark.

So a few things:
- it's fine to express and give him a bottle every other feed
- it's fine to mix feed with formula, there are organic and regular ones you can try
- it's fine to try the shields again, some brand have a thinner profile your DS might accept more
- it's fine to give up, it doesn't make you a bad mother at all, BF is bloody hard sometimes
- you could also try and seek help from other specialists (tongue tie -> go and see a paediatric dentist or maxillo-facial consultant), sometimes, the attachment parenting groups know the "good" addresses
- it is possible to call LLL from another country
- deep latch technique mentioned before, check YouTube
- other positions like laying on your side
- you could try to express the first few spoons of milk so that your let down is less strong and he's more inclined to open wide
- and... You can just wait a bit until his mouth grows a bit more, accepting this is your BF journey for now and it's often not perfect but it's a goal you have and you're reaching it (of course, if it's a goal you have)

Loads of flowers to you

confusedandemployed Sat 28-Nov-15 06:52:41

Completely agree with Sushi, MumCodes and wallywobbles.
I lasted 4 weeks. I was screaming in pain at every feed, my nipples were bleeding constantly (got through 2 tubes of Lansinoh in that time, it didn't help). Nipples didn't heal properly til DD was 18 months. I'd do childbirth again in a heartbeat despite the 36 hours labour and EMCS. Not sure I'd cope with a similar bf experience again.
My (usually crap) GP was amazing. She asked me if I enjoyed bf (no, hated it) so she just looked at me and said "Well stop then! No one will give you a medal for carrying on and your happiness is more important for your baby than what she gets her milk out of".
FF completely changed my relationship with DD. I was able to enjoy feeds and her in general, I no longer resented her hunger, I was able to calm down because the continual panic that another feed was round the corner went away.
BF is not the be all and end all of motherhood. In fact I believe that continuing for as long as I did actually made me a worse mother (albeit with the best of intentions). Life for both of us was so much better with formula.

weeonion Sat 28-Nov-15 07:04:00

Oh kaluzaklein, you sound like you have had it tough.
Well done on keeping going to 8 weeks, that is an amazing thing you have done for yr little one given the pain you are in. I can understand how tough it must be especially when you have sought so much help and it must feel like it isn't helping much.
I am no expert on bf and don't want to bombard you with suggestions.
Dd1 never really got a good latch. We went to all the clinics, specialists and groups we could. We tried everythingbsuggested and no-one could work out what was going on. Eventually at around 12 weeks, she got it herself. It felt like she had grown enough so could fit the nipple in. From then, alot of the pain and problems went. We managed to bf until she was 2.

I don't want to say wait and it will all get better to you. Nor will i say end bf now. You have tried so hard and should be easy on yrself.
Congrats on yr wee one and hope you can find a way forward that works the best for all of you. X

KaluzaKlein Sat 28-Nov-15 09:38:14

Thank you all for your supportive messages! I think we are going to try a bit of mixed formula feeding and expressing. More hassle and time consuming but it might just give me time to heal up a bit. Right now I'm so sore that I think even a good latch would hurt too much to tell it was good.
Managed to get more sleep as well as dh is home and can take him.
Onwards and upwards...

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