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Breastfeeding still hurts at 3 months

(25 Posts)
MichelleOR84 Tue 28-May-19 14:55:54

Hi everyone!

It is my first time posting in here ! I’m also a first time mum !

I’m feeling so discouraged! I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding my 3 month old ( minus a few top ups of formula when he wasn’t gaining weight ) and I’m still struggling! It’s still hurts and my nipples are constantly cracked and bleeding !

In the beginning I expected it to hurt ! After the 6 week mark though I started to worry . But when I went into forums there were lots of people still struggling . When we got to 8 weeks and I was still in pain, I could still see mums posting about their struggles. Everyone says it gets better , often after the 3 month mark . I’m now at 13 weeks and I’m still in so much pain . I see very little online about mums STILL in pain at 3 months . I’m now worried 😟

I’ve seen 7 Lactation consultants over the past 3 months . He’s had a tongue tie snipped twice . I even went private a few weeks ago to see a specialist to check the tongue tie hadn’t grown back again . Apparently he has the perfect mouth and tongue .

Every Lactation consultant has told me his latch looks perfect! I’ve spent a great deal of time being assessed and everything looks great . I’ve tried every position , every type of latch, I’ve watched every YouTube video and I'm getting nowhere . I’m sick of people telling me it shouldn’t hurt , that everything looks great.

My nipples are so damaged that I’m scared of permanent damage . Ive tried nipple shields but my son wasn’t gaining weight and feeding was taking over an hour , only to have him ask for food an hour later . My poor boy was feeding 50% of his day , he must have been exhausted and he wasn’t even getting enough nourishment.

Two nights ago my boy unlatched and my nipple was bleeding so bad his entire mouth, nose and chin was covered in blood ( it looked like he had been punched in the face )! I had a crack in my nipple that was bleeding AGAIN! But this time it was much worse . My top and nursing pillow was soaked in blood. I was shaking . I’m back with the nipple shield but only on the one side in hopes he’s getting enough milk from the other side.

When I called a breastfeeding helpline they didn’t seem too concerned about the blood. The GP is no help and suggested moving to formula ( it’s there for a reason she said)

I can’t pump well . I majorly struggle to even get 50mls and my boobs end up engorged. Plus I HATE pumping .

I just want to know if anyone has gone through this much pain and this much struggle? DOES IT GET BETTER?? sad

OP’s posts: |
Creatureofthenight Thu 30-May-19 13:03:34

You sound like a total hero!
Are you using anything to aid healing? There are some tips in this article

MichelleOR84 Thu 30-May-19 13:44:08

Thanks !!!

And thanks for the article . I think I’m pro at nipple treatments as I’ve used them all 😭

OP’s posts: |
VaselineOnToast Thu 30-May-19 14:06:21

I'm so sorry to hear you're experiencing this.

I'm a breastfeeding peer supporter and one of the first things we learned in our training was that just because a latch LOOKS right doesn't mean it is. We can't see inside the baby's mouth when they are feeding! If it is causing you pain, this needs to be addressed.

One of the most common issues that causes trauma to the nipple is the latch being too shallow , i.e. the baby is not getting enough of the breast in his or her mouth.

In order to alleviate this, there are a couple of things you can try that may help the baby to get more breast into his or her mouth.

The technique I've seen to have the most success is sometimes called the 'sandwich'. It basically involves you shaping your breast in such a way that helps more of it to fit into baby's mouth (imagine yourself squashing a sandwich to help it fit in your mouth!) This video shows the technique at around 1 minute 42 sec - the mum is gently compressing her breast behind the areola while the baby latches on. Just make sure to let go once the baby is latched on (to avoid compressing ducts). You may or may not feel like listening to the other info in the video (and I apologise for some of the cheesy American-ness!)

This is just my best guess at how the issue may be alleviated. Obviously it's very difficult via an online forum! Please keep us updated.

LuckyKitty13 Thu 30-May-19 14:12:37

I'm so sorry things are so hard. You've persevered so well! Have you heard of the flipple latch? Like a really exaggerated latch that can help get enough breast into his mouth.

IDontDrinkTea Thu 30-May-19 14:15:54

You sound like an absolute hero.

I’m sure you have, but have you tried the plasters you can buy from the pharmacy that are designed for healing burns? They are literally amazing at healing trauma from bf

yomommasmomma Thu 30-May-19 14:18:59

Stop and relax and enjoy your baby who will be perfect even if you feed him formula. Take care x

Freyasmum1 Thu 30-May-19 14:24:12

Are you using lanolin cream?
Enough lanolin cream? I have been known to get through half a tube a week. With a well supporting breastfeeding bra night and day and breast pads always to stop chafing.

Also, the "sandwich" is brilliant, as is feeding lying down for getting the nipple into better positions.

thenorthernluce Thu 30-May-19 14:33:35

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You sound like an amazing mum who will do anything for her baby.

I breastfed for 7 months and every single day was painful, no matter how many lactation consultants I hired, peer support groups I went to, YouTube videos I watched etc. I never bled to the extent you described, but I remember having to use sterilised needles to pop blisters on my nipples and feeding my child with tears running down my face every single time. I ended up hating her and resenting every time she cried for a feed. 18 months after I stopped breastfeeding, my nipples still hurt with even minimal contact and look damaged to my amateur eyes.

If I could have my time again, I would gracefully accept it was not worth it and moved onto formula milk and bottle feeding in the first few weeks. My daughter thrived and gained weight as soon as I stopped breastfeeding as she just wasn’t getting enough from me. I live with two types of guilt now: guilt for not nourishing her properly for 7 months due to my own stubbornness, and guilt at my feelings towards my amazing baby.

So although you don’t need it from me or any other bugger, please have my permission to stop breastfeeding your son. He needs his Mum in tip top physical and mental health for him to grow and thrive, so it’s not selfish to change the way you feed him now.

Hugs xxx

NameChange30 Thu 30-May-19 14:42:12

Oh you poor thing flowers
You've already had some good advice, I just wanted to add a recommendation for Silverette nursing cups. They are little silver nipple cups that you put on when you're not breastfeeding. They aid healing. They are expensive but worth every penny. Made a huge difference to me when I had injured nipples.

MichelleOR84 Thu 30-May-19 16:23:00

I’ve heard about this but wasn’t sure if they were worth it !!! I’ll give it a try ! Thanks !!

OP’s posts: |
MichelleOR84 Thu 30-May-19 16:25:42

Out of all the latches this one seems to work the best . Occasionally I can get a painfree latch this way ( so I know it’s possible)! Then I can’t seen to do it again but I keep trying !

OP’s posts: |
MichelleOR84 Thu 30-May-19 16:27:44

Thanks !! The sandwich doesn’t anyways work for me ! I find the flipple technique slightly better !! No idea why ! I’ll watch the video and try it again !

OP’s posts: |
MichelleOR84 Thu 30-May-19 16:28:40

I use soooo much lanolin cream ! My husband complains because he thinks I use too much but there is no such thing 😂

OP’s posts: |
MichelleOR84 Thu 30-May-19 16:31:10

I love breastfeeding, even with all this pain ! I just wish it would work out ! I’ll keep going for now! I have nothing against formula! I was formula fed myself and am healthy as can be! I’m a strong believer in “fed is best” !

OP’s posts: |
jpclarke Thu 30-May-19 16:31:19

Could it that the baby has a slight tongue tie, I know that's what caused me lots of harm on my first.

HDready Thu 30-May-19 16:34:07

I have no advice on the feeding, but in terms of your injured nipples have you tried jelonet? It’s a burns dressing and I used to use it along with the lanolin. A layer of lanolin and then the jelonet on top. You can buy from amazon in large squares and then cut down to size.

Good luck.

AllOverIt Thu 30-May-19 16:38:15

I had a horrendous time BF with DS. It never stopped being agony, my breast pads would stick to me, my nipples bled so much. I had to peel them off in the shower to stop them rebleeding. I had the latch checked countless times, 3 different feeding counselors, loads of midwives, doctors, I tried it all. I understand what you're going through. It is agony not being able to do it. I genuinely feel it affected my bond with him. When I eventually switched to FF, he couldn't even latch onto the bottle. That is when I knew it wasn't anything I did. Eventually I had to painfully give up. I found the whole experience worse than childbirth to be honest (and I had a traumatic delivery).
No midwife could tell me that it was okay to switch to FF. They all told me to persevere, even though they could see I was broken. He'd lost a lb of weight in 16 days.

Eventually, a cranial osteopath found his jaw wasn't able to open widely enough as he'd been B2B and had the forceps over his little face. Watching her 'pop' his little jaw back in 🤢 was heartbreaking. Also his first bottle afterwards was a revelation. He latched straight on! I was so sad that my milk had dried up and that no one had checked his little face, the problem must be me and the latch. I was too traumatised from it all to try and see if I could BF again.

I don't know why I'm sharing all this. Just know that it's okay to call it a day if you feel you need to. You've done amazing things already.

P.S. If it makes you feel any better, my experience with DD was the exact opposite. She latched on within and hour of birth and didn't come off for 16 months! 😂

xtinak Thu 30-May-19 16:51:25

I was still in pain definitely at 3 months. Now at 6 it's much much better but I do still get the odd milk blister and have pain some days, such as today, but it's mainly fine and nothing at all like it was thank goodness. What has made the difference I think is just DD getting bigger and having a bigger mouth. Her latch doesn't always look right still. I also hate pumping. It's an unbelievable faff. All the best with whatever you decide and well done for what you've accomplished so far!

Leftidea Wed 18-Dec-19 18:24:55

@ AllOverIt Can you describe, what is B2B? They also used forceps with my son and I’ve noticed his jaw seems quite receded. I’ve been looking here for clues and answers and wondering if I should also see a cranial osteopath.

Good luck to original poster and everyone here! It can be so difficult 😥

Kol77 Sat 07-Mar-20 20:56:33

Just wondering how long you lasted bf? I'm in same situation ( no bleeding) but excruciating pain. Really want to stop , I'm 8 weeks in but don't know how to stop as she is not fully taking bottles ( usually 2 a day ) rarely finishes it. This is second time round for me but after 1 week on my first baby it was fine

BertieBotts Sat 07-Mar-20 20:59:35

Kol, you need to see a professional and/or get your baby assessed properly for tongue tie. This amount of pain at this stage is not normal - I'm sorry you haven't received support with it. (It's not your fault! But you may have to push.)

MichelleOR84 Sun 08-Mar-20 00:34:08

I’m still breastfeeding my now 12 month old !! It took until about 4 months for it to be completely painfree but I’m glad I persevered because it’s soooooo much better now !

I’m hoping to continue breastfeeding as long as my son wants!

I never did find out why it hurt so much .

OP’s posts: |
Kol77 Mon 09-Mar-20 09:07:54

Her tongue tie was released a few days after her birth, and has not grown back.
I've tried exercises too, lactation consultant just said keep going but it's awful, and don't know how to stop as she nurses for comfort too like most babies. Plus at 8 weeks she's teething!!😔

Clay6891 Mon 18-Jan-21 08:06:10

Hi! I’m a second time mom and feeling just as you were. DS is three months old (3.5) and I’m still in so much pain breastfeeding. He had his tongue tie and lip tie both snipped and revised. Still no progress and I’m sitting here at midnight typing this and wondering when or will it ever get better?! How much longer can I withstand of constant daily pain. He’s a few months old and still nurses every two hours. I dread feedings. I’ve used silverette cups, lanolin, oils. Seen multiple lactation consultants and in America insurance doesn’t cover them so I’ve spent a hefty amount on lactation consults all to still be here in pain!! Dreadful. I’ve tried all the techniques. Watched all the videos. UGH. I decided to bottle feed him pumped milk today. Who has time for that?! I have a toddler as well. First half of my pumping session he threw up. Last half he screamed blood curdling murder as he wanted to be held. And then I had to put the milk into a feeding bottle and wash it all. It’s much too much work. No thank you. It was all traumatic. Your last post that it did get better is giving me hope. I have no idea where to go or what to do to help relieve it. I feel like at times it hurts much less and we got it and come to find out the next feeding is back to being painful. This is the worst.

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