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Breast feeding agony.

(31 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Aug-17 14:41:57

I have a little boy who is a week old today. I also have another son who I breast fed until he was 2.5 years old.

For the first 5 days or so breast feeding was going so well but over the last 24 hours things have taken a turn for the worse.

My left nipple is in agony, cracked and bleeding, and I gave the fed from it now for 24 hours because the pain is unbearable. I'm using a pump to express from it every 4 hours (and getting good volumes) but using the pump is painful too and triggers more bleeding.

As a result I'm solely feeding from the right breast and so that nipple is now getting really, really sore too because he's feeding all the time. His nighttime cluster feeding has really taken its toll on my right nipple and I feel like giving up. When he latches on to the right side there is pain for about ten seconds but then it stops and the rest of the feed is pretty comfortable.

I'm using Lasinoh on my left nipple but it isn't making any difference. I tried to feed DS in my left side with a nipple shield this morning and it was a complete fail as despite persevering for 5-10 minutes he couldn't extract any milk from the breast.

I have been in tears so many times yesterday and today. It's soul destroying.

There is a weekly BF Support group that runs on Wednesdays and I was going to go this morning but Sod's Law it is closed today.

I'm so upset and in so much pain that I think I'm going to start offering bottles because I can't face another 24 hours of this, let alone longer.

I had a tough first 6 weeks establishing BF with DS1 but absolutely nothing like this. We had taken him for a tongue tie assessment at 6 weeks (my DH has a slight one) and DS did have a minor one but the practitioner didn't think it was severe enough to affect his latch.

I'm thinking of going to get current baby assessed too as I know TT's can be genetic through the male bloodline.

But if he did have tongue tie wouldn't my right nipple be in just as much a state as my left one is?

I don't even know what response I'm after from this post. I just know I'm an exhausted, emotional, tearful wreck and I don't know what to do.

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Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Aug-17 14:43:22

Sorry for all the mistakes in my post - I'm functioning on about 5 hours sleep in the last two days sad

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BudgiesInABlender Wed 23-Aug-17 14:47:49

I have no advice sorry OP.

Your post reminded me of breastfeeding DD in the early days and like you around 6 days, my nipple's started to crack and bleed. I badly wanted to quit, but told my self to keep going even though I was in agony. I cried and tried my hardest not to scream in pain but I got through it.

Hope you're getting all the support you need flowerscake

TheLegendOfBeans Wed 23-Aug-17 14:53:08

I'm so upset and in so much pain that I think I'm going to start offering bottles because I can't face another 24 hours of this, let alone longer.

If I could jump into the Internet and give you a hug I would. This has taken me right back to the early days with DD.

Two options:
Go for it with the bottle feed. I expressed at first with DD as her latch deteriorated. Turns out her tongue tie had grown back. Alternatively use formula. Fed is best!!!!!

If you can't bear the idea of not getting into bottles/formula, ring La Leche League now



Reading your post has made me a bit weepy actually (31w pg). Really wish you the best of luck my love x

stargirl1701 Wed 23-Aug-17 15:01:18

Phone a helpline. As soon as you can.

Send your partner out for Multi-Mam nipple compresses (store in the fridge) and breast shells (wear under bra to stop chafing).

You could also try hydrogel pads.

Advice here:

Phone. LLL, NCT, NHS and BfN all have helplines.

fruitpastille Wed 23-Aug-17 15:02:31

This also takes me right back!

Which brand nipple shield have you got? I find avent better than Medela.

For healing - boots sell multimam compress things that are soothing. Also you can ask the pharmacist for jelonet which is a moist dressing for burns. I cut into small squares to apply with a breast pad on top.

It may improve as baby's mouth gets bigger but obviously this takes time.

Watch out for mastitis if breast is not being drained fully.

But mostly don't beat yourself up if you would prefer bottles. Really hope you feel better soon and congrats on your baby!

cordeliaflynne Wed 23-Aug-17 15:15:44

I had similar problems years ago and one piece of advice I was given was to alternate between different positions each feed. I guess it spreads the wear and tear on your nipple smile

Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Aug-17 16:18:34

Thanks everyone, your messages have had me in tears. I had a complete emotional breakdown on DH an hour ago about what a failure I am and how I can't even feed our baby properly and he was so supportive. Since then DS had another 45 minute feed on my right side but continued to scream and root and I knew I had to be brave and just put him to the left breast because I think the right breast was just empty after 24 hours of constant use. His initial latch was very painful but then it settled down and he had a good active feed for 25 minutes. He's now fast asleep in my arms and it's the first time he's been settled in about 4 hours. My left nipple is sore and has been bleeding a bit since the feed but it was worth it yo now see DS fed and content. I just hate feeling like I can't provide for him properly. My DH has told me I'm being silly and that DS couldn't be more loved and cared for but its just so emotionally hard isn't it sad

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WobblyChair Wed 23-Aug-17 16:44:30

I had this with my first. It was the most painful thing I've ever experienced. This is what helped me:

Make sure your latch is good for every feed. Just one feed with a bad latch can cause damage. For me the key thing was getting in lots of boob from under the nipple and the just tucking the nipple in at the top.

Find a position that works best for you and just stick with that until things improve. For me this was lying down.

Don't let your nipples scab. Read up about wet healing but basically for me I used lots of nipple cream all the time and...

Breast shells. They're weird but they helped keep my damaged nipples moist and protected them while they healed.

I skipped no more than one feed on a side but did do that when I needed to.

Should be higher on the list - take your baby off once he has finished. I'd leave my first on there well past the point he'd finished feeding and I'm sure that caused damage. The baby shouldn't mind. If he does let him back on for a few minutes and then take him off again.

Shields didn't work for me either.

It gets better. Getting through a period where you've got damage is horrible but once that's over it will all feel much better.


Good luck

halesie Wed 23-Aug-17 20:04:46

Hi, been there too and it's awful. Getting TT checked & help with latch are v good plans.

I had similar with DS2, though thankfully just one side. I expressed for 2 days, used lansinoh & then it was ok. I introduced both of mine to bottles / expressed BM at around 2 weeks & neither ever had a problem mixing bottles & BF.

Someone advised me to use lansinoh before starting a feed. Can't remember if I did or not - remember worrying it might be harmful for a tiny baby. An experienced BF counsellor would be able to advise.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Aug-17 20:07:40

I have contacted a BF Support service and they will be ringing me tomorrow to sort out a home visit so I feel positive that something is being done.

DS has been sleeping for most of the evening - I think last nights and this mornings constant feeding sessions have worn him out. I'm just praying for a better night tonight.

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JolieColombe Wed 23-Aug-17 21:25:45

Oh gosh this brings back painful memories! It's great you'll be getting some support tomorrow, but something that may help until then is changing the position you're holding your DS in during the feed - cradle hold, rugby hold etc. I found this a massive relief with DD2 as the different approach meant the more sore bits of the nipple got a bit of a break, if that makes sense.

cheerylilthing Wed 23-Aug-17 21:39:41

Are you able to air your nipples? The more you keep clothes/pads away from them the quicker they'll heal.

Lanolin can be used liberally between feeds but if using just before, just use a very small amount.

If you want to alternate, you could use breastmilk on your nipple to help heal too.

Whatever happens, don't just stop as you could find yourself with engorgement.

Persistent sore nipples could be down to a few reasons so an in person feeding assessment will definitely help. If you're worried about positioning try using a pillow to prop your little one in the right position to maintain a good latch.

There's quite a few 24 hour support services now - NHS, BF helpline & some breastfeeding brands have lactaction consultants to chat to so keep an eye out & ask them for help when you're struggling.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 24-Aug-17 02:44:43

I'm currently airing them between feeds and have a fan blowing in their direction.

DS has been much better this evening: slept from 11.45pm until 02.10, had a feed and now he's back in his basket again. He's squeaking a lot so I'm sure he will want picking up in a few minutes but the fact he slept so well is a HUGE improvement on last night where he was feeding hourly.

I just fed him off ny left breast and every suck continues to be painful but I just had to get on with it. DS actually has quite a small mouth and doesn't open it very wide and I wonder if that's part of the problem too.

When DS started crying for the feed he's just had my DH appeared from downstairs (he's sleeping down there) and he was so relieved that I've had some sleep. I'd also managed about an hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

DS seems to have settled off to sleep in the basket - I genuinely can't believe it. Time for me to try and get some more sleep too then.

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IceLemonGin Thu 24-Aug-17 03:04:04

Huge hugs for battling through the pain. Hopefully the bf support service will be a huge help to you.

My baby is 3 weeks and we had a very rocky start to breastfeeding due to tongue tie, we had it revised and things are so much better but the 2 weeks before were agony.

I had some really good advice given here on wet healing nipples, I'd squeeze out a little breastmilk and rub that on then liberally apply lanolin on top then I'd smother a breastpad with vasoline - it really seemed to help.

Do try and get some sleep now your DS has settled. I bet you're exhausted from the cluster feeding sessions.

Timefor2 Thu 24-Aug-17 03:07:33

That's brilliant news that you've had some sleep. I don't have any advice to add as you've already have so many excellent posts from others but wanted to say that this was me a couple of weeks ago. My DS is a month old now. At 10 days I was taking both paracetamol and ibruprofen every four hours to take the edge off the nipple pain! (I had a C section so the painkillers were in part for that, but the pain from my nipples was so much worse.) By 2 weeks I was over the worst and at 3 weeks feeds were painless. I truly think it was a time thing, baby getting a bit bigger, nipples toughening and latch improving. I did find that with lots of visitors around and trying to look like I could feed discretely I had been allowing some poor daytime latches during feeds so going back to basics, banning all visitors and ensuring every latch was good also helped.

Good luck, I hope you get some sleep and if you need to express and/or introduce a few formula feeds then just do so - look after yourself and then your baby will be fine too. flowers

oeufdepaques Thu 24-Aug-17 03:29:38

Get the silverette breast cups asap. Saved bfing for me twice. I'm not in the U.K. But I think you can buy them on amazon. My cracked nipples were so sore I was in agony. They were healed within about 2-3 days. Ds is now 2 weeks old and no more pain at all.
Take care flowers

hungoverhippo Thu 24-Aug-17 07:08:54

flowers I had this with my first, it was horrible but did get better. My DD did have a tongue tie so definitely get tongue tie checked!
Nipple shields will be your friend at the moment.
I never rated lansinoh, just leave some breastmilk on your nipple after feeding and allow it to air dry. This helped me so much.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 24-Aug-17 09:46:52

Thank you everyone. I took on the advice to air dry my nipples whereas normally I was putting Lanisoh on them and then using breast pads in my bra. I slept topless all night and both nipples do feel a little better this morning. DS's initial latch is still sore but it then fades out as he settles into the feed.

I BF through the pain of my left side overnight and DS was much more settled now he was getting milk from both sides instead of only having the right breast like he'd had the previous night.

My breasts are at the stage now of leaking milk constantly so my nipples are permanently covered in milk and it may sound grim but I'm just leaving it there if there's a chance it may help. I'm pretty sure I must stinkof milk and sweat sad

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halesie Thu 24-Aug-17 10:08:40

There's not much dignity in the early days of BF, is there?! Glad you're feeling a bit better.

I had the initial latch on / let down pain for weeks. Had no idea it was a thing until I had DS2 and randomly read it somewhere. The advice was to count to 10 by which point it had generally gone. Felt so much more bearable once I did that and felt a bit more in control.

Rainsworld Thu 24-Aug-17 10:31:22

This also takes me back, I really do feel for you. With my little one, the only position think didn't make my ears water when he first latched on was side feeding lying down. I did this for about a week before being able to feed again in any other positions... I actually thought at the time how I'd never be able to leave the house because I wouldn't be able to feed him out and about, it's definitely not the most practical position, haha.

With your boobs now leaking milk this may help, I've heard breast milk can help to relieve sore nipples! (Isn't it just amazing stuff!)

There are so many rules and pressures out there, just do what you need to do to get by.

Hope you get a bit of let up soon 😊

Writerwannabe83 Thu 24-Aug-17 12:38:09

The breast feeding support lady is coming at 4.30pm today so only a few more painful feeds to get though until hopefully she can help me.

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Gannetseatfish Thu 24-Aug-17 14:12:23

Poor you! I had bleeding nipples st the start with this baby (my second - now 6 weeks) and its actual agony.

Hopefully the bf specialist can help but for what it's worth I would say:
* Go with the air drying and using breast milk for healing. I found this much better than any cream, pads etc. So boobs out as much as possible and loose cotton clothes.
* cold pads before a feed were good for the pain. Not for ages just enough to sort of numb the nipple.
* use expressed milk or a little formula to give yourself a break. We had at least one night on formula to allow healing.
* be very vigilant about latch as a pp said. Find a position that works and stick to it until things are better.

And please don't think "I can't even feed my baby!!! bf Can be so hard and it's so emotional, your doing all the right things and it should get better soon x

oeufdepaques Thu 24-Aug-17 14:42:54

Don't want to sound like I work for them but again, I urge you to look at the silverette cups. You put them over your nipples, with a bit of milk in them. Take them off at night and sleep topless. I was crying with pain during feeds and actually came to dread them, would start sweating with the worry about the pain every time ds needed feeding. He's only 2 weeks old and I'm fully healed. I tried airing my nipples, breastmilk etc. but nothing was nearly as efficient.

And yes, get the latch looked at. We also had a poor latch after a few days of good feeding.

Good luck.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 24-Aug-17 21:08:10

I will definitely look into them - thanks for the tip!!

The breast feeding peer support lady was really good and spent about an hour with me where she let me cry in her and then provide lots of advice and reassurance. She says that DS has a shallow latch and also some signs that indicate he may have a tongue tie.

I've got a Lactation Consultant coming to the house tomorrow lunch time for further feeding support and also for division of tongue tie if she feels DS has one.

I'm in the frame of mind that feeds overnight are going to hurt but that hopefully come this time tomorrow things will be a lot better.

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