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Nipple agony(22 Posts)
My son is only 5 days old and I have been bf him but am having a lot of nipple pain. I have been using lansinoh and don't have cracks. The midwives saw me feed and said my latch looked great. The midwife today checked for tongue tie and wasn't worried- she suggested nipple shields. I got some but geting them on was really painful and feding still hurt an awful lot. This is my third child and i know it took a while to settle down previously but I don't remember this level of non-stop pain when feeding. I'm feeling really low because of it (and the tiredness, sore vulva, etc!) and have tonight given some formula. I don't know what to do for the best. Can anyone offer any advice please?
I think sometimes it's not that there's anything wrong with the latch in the very early days, just that their mouths are so tiny it's uncomfortable no matter how carefully you latch them on. My son is 8 weeks now but it was painful for the first couple of weeks. Then I saw a recommendation for silver nipple healing things (Silverette) and read so many glowing reviews I decided it would be worth the money if they worked. And they did! Completely comfortable feeding within three days. Even the weird itchy feeling I had inside my boobs cleared up. Sorry that it's feeling rubbish right now. I really do sympathise.
I can't give any advise, just sympathy. I stopped bf my son after about 2 weeks because of the agony I was in. I'm pregnant again and trying to research as much as I can to avoid such pain in the future!
Using a breast pump was for me not painful tho, so perhaps express some milk to give you a little relief whilst still feeding baby your milk, if that works?
You poor thing! I had my son checked multiple times for tongue tie because he had a shallow latch and it was so painful to feed him. If your nipples aren’t physically damaged (I had wounds on mine that he’d been chomping on) it might be that shields aren’t for you - I found they didn’t stop the pain but they stopped any more damage.
Try different feeding positions (I used the ‘koala hug’ for ages!) and the nipple flip trick (see YouTube). You may just need to grit your teeth for the first couple of weeks but I promise it gets easier. We had painless feeding up until we stopped at around 16 months once we both got the hang of it.
I had excruciating pain BFing my DD - like you there were no cracked nipples, latch was perfect etc. But the pain is what I would describe as if someone had set fire to my nipples almost like they were wicks in candles. Sorry for bizarre description, hard to describe. Long story short I eventually was told it was thrush. DD had oral thrush and that passed to my breasts. We passed it back and forth for a few weeks before it was properly sorted. So maybe get yourself and DS checked. Good luck and congratulations on your new arrival
I've only had one and it was so incredibly painful. It really was worse than my c section incision pain.
I dreaded him waking up as I knew it was time for feeding.
Give it 2-3 weeks (which must sound like an eternity). The pain can't go on forever, but i just wanted to let you know it was the same for me but it did stop after 2.5 weeks.
Thrush came to mind with me too OP. If the latch wasn't right with the nipple shields your nipples would be pointy with a white ridge or lipstick shape with a white ridge after feeding. If the shape looks ok after feeding with shields on then the latch is most likely ok. Hope you get relief soon you poor thing ;)
I would seek expert advice from a lactation consultant- my DD’s TT was completely ignored by MW, GP, HV... TT division has helped with pain but not solved it completely. Good luck hope it gets sorted quickly for you
Thank you for all your replies, it means a lot to have some different experiences to read through and that you've taken the time to offer support.
Tonight I have skipped one feed on each side and done formula instead. So timings were approx 6.30 formula, 8.30 breast, 10pm formula. Have just (1am) done other breast. Having the break has been lovely I have to say. He didn't feed too much today and i wasn't looking forward to him catching up. Tonight I've used the shields and tried what I think is called the rugby ball hold- him under my arm so he's coming at my nipple from the opposite direction. It seemed to help earlier but for this night feed he's not fed much, threw some back up- and it was pink. Then i noticed something left in the shield, like milk clots? So it looks like i will be going in to see someone tomorrow as I need to be checked don't I, even if I decide to give up the bf completely. Urgh. This is grim. I just want to enjoy my son!
Have a Google of Raynauds of the nipple. I'm pregnant and have been suffering with this and have been doing lots of reading - I have seen it is a huge factor in painful breastfeeding so maybe worth considering?
Try not to be too worried about blood in sick, it’s more likely yours than his. If your milk looks lumpy, chances are that you have blocked ducts, which could be due to your DS not removing milk efficiently from your breast another symptom of TT. Advice on blocked ducts is to feed through, not much fun 😣
Hope you get to see someone ASAP
Well I spoke to the midwife this morning who suspected thrush so have just come back from gp appointment with clotrimazole. Doesn't seem like DS has it in his mouth but will need to keep an eye out. Really hoping things improve from here. Continuing to mix feed a little- dont know how wise that is but is helping keep me sane! Tomorrow's question for the midwife is why I feel more sore now when i pee and generally round my vulva than i did three days ago! All the joys...
You can always boost supply later on when feeding is less painful, so don’t worry about a bit of formula for now. Have they given you both treatment for thrush or is DS too little for it at the moment?
Glad you have some treatment, from my experience it would be better to treat your DS as well, my DD didn’t show signs and we just passed it back and forth so I was left in pain for longer than i maybe would if she’d been treated at the start too.
And don’t give the combi feeding a second thought, being able to give any amount of breast milk still is beneficial. I combi fed my DD for 6 months, never managed to get my breast milk supply back up. But with my DS I had to combi feed for other reasons for the 1st 2 weeks and then after that managed to ebf him. Either way, your baby is being fed and he will thrive. Hope your pain eases soon though.
Hope the thrush treatment works. If not I've found breast shells help with my pain though they do look ridiculous!
If it's blocked ducts, you might get some relief from them if you pump. Ask your midwife about hiring a good breast pump.
And don't be annoyed at yourself for the formula. If it gives you a much needed hour or two of reprieve/recovery, that's a good thing, especially if it helps you continue breastfeeding.
Also, whether it's breastmilk or formula, it is really helpful (and necessary, imo) to have a baby that knows how to take a bottle. I was rushed to hospital for a few nights with a bad infection when DS was a few months old (not bf related, well, not directly!) and I don't know what I'd have done if my bf DS couldn't take a bottle.
Congratulations on your newborn!
Well 36 hours into the thrush treatment and the difference is amazing. I'm not in agony any more! Feeding beautifully and nipples no longer on fire. The relief is immense
I did look up raynauds- although I don't have it there are interesting parallels: I've been excruciatingly sensitive to cooler temperatures while suffering and even just thinking about being cold has made my nipples hurt. That sensation is also passing now the thrush treatment is working.
On the plus side to all this: I now know my son is not picky about where/who his milk comes from; I know I can mix feed without losing my supply; my daughter has loved helping with feeds. So I think I will actually keep doing one or two formula bottles a day even with bf being 'fixed'. Seems like the best of both worlds.
Thanks again to everyone who replied to me, it's much appreciated
That’s fantastic news I was wondering how you were getting on just this morning! Having an adaptable baby from the outset makes feeding so much less stressful, so there’s definitely a positive to be found. Really pleased you’ve seen improvement so quickly.
I stopped after two weeks with the pain, relief was immense but then I regretted not persevering a little longer. But it really was making me miserable.
Try the shields. I thought the cream made thinks worse to be honest.
OP when I had thrush the pain when getting out of the shower or bath was off the scale so I can understand how it might be confused with Raynuds. Lovely to hear your update that all is looking up, enjoy your wee newborn and hope the feeding continues to go well ;)
Well my saga continues... Went to bed last night shivering and spent the night alternating between freezing and boiling. Realised that one breast was painful so made sure i kept feeding off it but couldn't get back to feeling normal. Had appointment with midwife who suspected mastitis and sent me to out of hours gp who confirmed it. So now have antibiotics. As does my son who was diagnosed with a skin infection. So fed up! Feel thoroughly miserable and have cried a lot (hormones and tiredness at play too) Feels never-ending 😭
Bless you @2bluestars, I had mastitis a couple of weeks ago (so as soon as you said about the shivering and heat I knew what you'd be saying next!) It's truly hideous and so easy to feel utterly low but the plus is that now you've been diagnosed and presumably given antibiotics it will get better in the next 48-72 hours. This will sound toe curling but the best way to help the painful boob is to have your DS feed on it (or express) and massage it as much as you can whilst in the shower. Both of those helped even though it wasn't pleasant at the time. A week on and I've still got sore and cracked nips but the health visitor spotted a latch problem that the staff at breastfeeding clinic have missed for the last 3 weeks so on the plus once my nipples have healed there's a chance I might be able to feed properly! Hope your mastitis clears up asap.
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