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Breastfeeding still painful with nipple shields!(23 Posts)
Anyone else? Any reason why?
My baby is a week today and I am finding breastfeeding torture even though I'm told his latch is good
(I've posted about it a bunch already, i am currently breastfeeding obsessed!).
Anyone else had no success with nipple shields? Not only does my baby dislike them, but when he does suck, it still hurts.
Nipple shields aren't designed to stop it hurting, they're designed to make it easier for babies who are struggling to latch, sorry!
Your nipples, unless you've had a stonking BDSM lifestyle, will never have been subjected to the kind of treatment they're getting at the moment. They're likely bruised and not getting time to recover between feeds. It will get better, but if your baby has a good latch, shields will only get in the way. Could you express and give them the occasional extra break between breastfeeds?
I used nipple shields for a week or two. They didn't stop it hurting but did give a bit if breathing space for some healing to start. The really painful phase didn't last long.
You are doing brilliantly and huge congratulations
I used nipple shields and it still hurt because DD had tongue tie. Has your little one been checked for TT? DD's latch "looked" good but it was fucking terrible!
I had to apply lansinoh ointment before and after each feed where my nipple were cracked and sore. It's about £10 to buy but you can get it free on prescription.
It's safe for baby to swallow and stops as much friction on the sore bits
My midwife said it takes time and for me after a month or so it got easier .,.. use lansinoh cream but also pat dry with a towel and grin and bear it for a while ... it gets better!!
It is so so hard at the beginning so just know you are doing an amazing job!
In what way does it hurt? And what support have you had in real life to get advice and have the latch reviewed?
Nipple shields won't necessarily take away the pain.
The other key thing us make sure baby getting a good mouthful of nipple and in the right place. Watch a you tube video showing latching and diagrams on Internet as it's sooo important. Even when my nips were openly cracked and bleeding they didn't hurt if I got baby on an awesome latch (didn't happen as much as I'd have liked in the early days!).
Half the problem is baby's mouth is so tiny at this age and it simply gets better as they grow as their latch gets wider.
Genuine well done on persevering
I had my latch checked 3 times as it was so painful I was convinced something must be wrong (it wasn't). After a while it became easier, as my skin toughened up and DD got better at feeding. Make sure your nipple is at the back of the baby's mouth, not the front. Between feeds try smearing a little expressed milk on your nipples and leaving to air dry. Googling the benefits of breast feeding helped keep me going too! Good luck, breastfeeding is the hardest thing I have ever done. I was actually about to switch to formula as it was so unbearable, then luckily it became easier. Don't beat yourself up if you decide you can't continue
IME what hurt was not the sucking but the drawing out of the nipple. And that is still happening when you are wearing nipple shields. I used nipple shields constantly with both of mine (a mixture of poor latch, almost flat nipple and TT in one case) and fed for 1 year with DC1 and 2 years with DC2. The pain stopped after a few days. HTH.
Argh - I remember it well! I wish someone had told me that you can do everything right and it still hurts at first. I had latch checked etc but it was awful at first, worse than the c section pain.
Nipple shields didn't work for me. I gave him one bottle of formula a day so I got a rest then randomly at ten weeks (sorry, I know that's ages) it just stopped hurting. No idea why. Still BF at 13 months. Stopped the bottles (wish I hadn't, as he won't take one now!)
Get latch checked
Get checked for thrush
Good latch every time - I was a bit lazy about it I have to say
Nothing wrong with giving a bottle if you need a break
Lanisoh. Shitloads of it. Put a few drops of milk on the nipple and air after each feed then lanisoh.
Decent bras (hot milk are good, I was surprised how it helped.)
Wash bras often
Who says the latch looks fine? A few seconds of pain with let down is "normal" as is tenderness to some extent as your nipples aren't used to nursing but if it actually hurts for the whole feed something's not right.
Do you have a local la leche group? I can highly recommend them
It's like a pins pain followed by almost a burning pain, dulcet! Absolute torture.
Since about 6pm, I've been pumping.
Can I pump until they heal? Or he gets better? Or does that meanbf is over if I do that?
(Pumping and bottle feeding, I mean)
Is the pain immediately upon him latching or after a few sucks when your milk let's down? If it's letdown then it's honestly just because your breasts are trying to get the balance right on how much to produce and chuck out for a feed.
It is no exaggeration to say with each if my children I have produced enough milk to feed 3 babies in the early days and even in the later months easily 2 babies. I don't say this to boast as trust me I was lucky but it came with its own problems...one of which being a strong fast letdown. At first it would almost stab and burn as the milk rushed to my nipple and my breasts went rock hard. This does ease up.
It doesn't mean BFing is over at all, not if you don't want it to be!
You can pump until you feel more able to feed at the breast but in order for him to get better at it, and for you to become used to how it feels then you will need to keep going with it. I am not saying you should stay in pain; often mothers find pain is related to poor latch or position or tongue tie and therefore be helped if you can get some real life support to check these things.
But i can't pretend it doesn't take some getting used to so important to know the difference between there being a problem or it just feeling unusual as you adapt. Does the pain subside as the baby is feeding? Is it just the initial latch on that is the toe curling bit?
note3 - at first it was worse through the initial bit, now itstays through the whole feed but that's because I've now got cracks and am bleeding a bit.
dulcet - yes I think I need a bit more real life support! My midwives have been great and I bought a book, but his latch must be wrong since there's cracks and blood etc.
I don't know if I can bring myself to do anything except pump today! I'm just hoping that doesn't end it. But maybe it won't as it's only a week...
Honestly lansinoh is your friend right now. It heals you up fast, minimises friction and soreness when baby feeds and will get you through. If you need it on prescription then go via out of hours and explain to them it can't wait until mon as puts your ability to breastfeed at risk.
If all you can manage is pumping then go with it but I'll be honest in that pumping gives you a much increased risk of supply reducing and other problems. Also some babies can become lazy and don't want to go back on breast if get used to bottle as breastfeeding is hard work for them (uses a lot of muscles and energy).
I've honestly been where you are. With my first I cried every time she needed feeding and my poor husband would try everything (nappy change, winding, rocking) and then would come and get me to feed her and I'd cry while she fed. Lansinoh and corrected latch was the answer for me. I went to a local sure start breastfeeding group and they were fantastic.
Please check your little one for tongue tie - that was the challenge with DS1 and I was sore. Once TT was snipped was a totally positive experience !
It took ten weeks for it to stop hurting with me. No tongue tie, good latch - I had very, very soft nipples (note the "had") and used to bite down on a towel when my dd would first latch on. I was just so bloody determined to keep going (plus I had a really good friend who would say "mine stopped hurting at 3/4/4/6/7/8 weeks - basically dangling a pain free carrot at me. This actually worked - not sure how I didn't kill her.
Lasinoh cream was my saviour - I don't know what I would have done without it. I found the towel and pain thing better than the pumping (and she refused a bottle anyway so it was wasted...)
Just to add after the initial weeks of pain it was all great and I ended up BF for 11 months.
As long as you are pumping regularly to keep up the supply there is no reason you can't continue to breastfeed when you feel ready. Some women do exclusively pump and feed breast milk rather than from the breast.
Supportive midwives are great, and a book will give you the basics but TT can only really be tested by an expert and a BFing counsellor will be able to give you much more accurate advice. Please google what BFing support you have in your area.
Lanisoh is great for sore boobs so do invest if you can. If you have cracked and injured nipples then you could consider some wet wound healing as well to put in between feeds such as jelonet which you can use with lanisoh and hopefully heal any wounds quicker.
I had my latch and method given the thumbs up by midwifes, nursery nurses, HVs, a private breast feeding counsellor and a private lacation consultant.... and it still bloody hurt for weeks. Sorry but it DOES hurt for some women, despite doing it correctly and using buckets of ruddy lanisoh.
You are doing well OP! Sorry it hurts so much. The toe curling will subside I promise!
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