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Does slightly sore nipples always mean poor latch?

(27 Posts)
4andnotout Thu 30-Oct-08 20:45:04

DD4 is a week old today and i thought bfing like a good 'un, it doesn't hurt when she is latched on and feeding but my nipples are slightly pink and sore to the touch, does this mean she isn't latching properly or is it just because they are not used to bfing yet?

nowwearefour Thu 30-Oct-08 20:49:14

i cant believe people (supposedly trying to encourage breastfeeding) say it doesnt hurt at all with a proper latch. it hurts at first for sure! sounds to me like you are just getting used to it. i had LOTs of pain with both in the first couple of weeks. i reckon you and bubba are doing everything right! (and as she is your 4th you'd probably know if she is growing/doing her nappy business all ok? )

myredcardigan Thu 30-Oct-08 20:50:19

Firstly, congratulations! smile

I'm no expect other than doing it myself but I would say not. Each time I started BF again, my nipples became a little sore and tender and my DCs were def latched on and feeding and getting fat.

Also each time I started again I got that toe curling pain when they first latched on. This lasted about 3wks I think.

I'm sure even by the time I've posted this you'll have had better advice. grin

4andnotout Thu 30-Oct-08 20:52:44

She is pooing every feed and put on 4.5oz in 2 days, so im sure she is getting enough milk, i think it is because the other 3 wouldn't bf im finding it hard to believe that it is all ok this time iykwim!

hambo Thu 30-Oct-08 20:58:50

Took me three weeks for the pain to go - and (gross) I got cracks and a sort of blister on one nip and then it (even grosser) fell off....I think it is soooo bad that people are told if you experience pain then the baby is not latched on. It is SOORREE!

myredcardigan Thu 30-Oct-08 21:02:50

I agree that it does hurt for the first few weeks and I'm so glad an excellent MW told me this. I had blister thingies too though they didn't hurt.

Sounds like you're doing fine. smile

CalE Thu 30-Oct-08 21:12:22

Agree with all these comments!!! It's like adding insult to injury - after the pain of the birth, you then have to go through the agony of BF!!! I was mega sore too, and my nips were hanging off for at least 3 weeks. I resorted to going bare breasted some days (as it fortunately was summer at the time), and tho i got some soothing relief in the bath, going anywhere near a towel to dry off was torture. The latch-on crunching pain lasted around 4 weeks for me. The whole not latched-on properly thing is such a con - if the babe's putting on weight and sucking well then they must be okay. I remember torturing myself with the 'helpful' hospital leaflet that had a self-diagnosis flow chart for the various problems you might encounter. It put most things down to poor latch-on, instead of admitting that it's bloody painful and you just have to decide if you can bear to stick with it! Now i have no feeling in my nips at all, and while i'm glad i stuck with it, i can totally understand why others don't. There just isn't enough realistic advice unfortunately.xx

Jacksmama Thu 30-Oct-08 21:27:36

Are you kidding - I don't know about you but my nipples were never treated that way before DS was born!! (Perhaps that's a shame, but oh well... grin)
Think of it like exercising. It's gonna hurt a bit even if you're doing everything right! I found it took about three weeks and then it didn't hurt at all, except when DS got lazy with his latch, or when he was cluster-feeding for hours, or having a growth spurt. Then I got a bit sore again - felt like he'd rubbed me a bit raw, which is probably the case. Lots of people recommend an ointment called Lansinoh, I can't say it ever did much for me, but a homeopathic remedy called Phytolacca really helped. 30C strength, two pilules every 15 mins until pain/ rawness went away and then two, three times a day for a couple of days until they looked and felt healed again. I still keep it around, it even helps when I haven't had time to eat well and my milk supply gets a bit dodgy for a day or so. I agree with CalE, I now don't have much feeling in my nipples... wonder if that will come back??

CalE Thu 30-Oct-08 21:30:10

Jacksmama, apparently it does (so my MW said, but then again, she would wouldn't she?!!), tho my sis-in-law after BF 3 says her boobs will never be the same again!!!

ightytiddlietighty Thu 30-Oct-08 21:34:08

I covered my nipples with Camilosan after every feed - really helped blush

4andnotout Thu 30-Oct-08 21:40:47

I have been using laninsoh after each feed, i feel much better knowing that it is normal to hurt to begin with.

CalE Thu 30-Oct-08 21:52:24

Yeah, i used that too, i literally slapped in on after every feed. I don't know how much it heped in reality, but i think it made me feel better psychologically!!! Really wish that health professionals made it clear that there is intense short term pain initially, otherwise you start worrying that there are other problems when there actually aren't!!! Keep up the good work. x

CalE Thu 30-Oct-08 22:00:48

Yeah, i used that too, i literally slapped in on after every feed. I don't know how much it heped in reality, but i think it made me feel better psychologically!!! Really wish that health professionals made it clear that there is intense short term pain initially, otherwise you start worrying that there are other problems when there actually aren't!!! Keep up the good work. x

CalE Thu 30-Oct-08 22:01:30

OOOPS! Didn't mean to post that twice, it's my baby-brain!!!

purplemonkeydishwasher Thu 30-Oct-08 22:08:00

i'm really sorry but i have to disagree.
though some pain at the beginning of a feed is normal you shouldn't feel pain after that. and if you have blisters or cracks then something is definitely wrong. a baby can still put on weight with a bad latch. the nipple should be hitting the soft pallet in the baby's mouth. if the latch isn't quite right it'll be hitting the hard pallet which will cause grazing and soreness.

4andnotout - it sounds like your latch is ok. make sure you change your breastpads regularly and use lanisoh. if it stays sore get your latch checked out by a MW or BFC.

myredcardigan Thu 30-Oct-08 22:58:09

Purple, I did say 'at the beginning when they first latch on'. It doesn't last for the entire feed but it is there even with a correct latch on for the first couple of weeks. smile

CalE Fri 31-Oct-08 13:06:32

Purple, i think you must have been very lucky, i had blisters and cracks even though was told by all the professionals i saw that DD had got the latch absolutely right!!! In the early days they feed so much that your nips have no time to recover between feeds, it's basically like having a continuously open wound. Perhaps some people's nips are tougher than others??!!! Agree about changing breastpads regularly though, assuming she can bear to wear them!!!

purplemonkeydishwasher Sun 02-Nov-08 12:46:56

Yes, CalE, I was very lucky. I didn't get any blisters or cracks when I BF my son. But saying that there is still pain when you have a good latch is wrong.

From Kellymom: "Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that there is a problem somewhere, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning."

From La Leche League: "Nipple tenderness at the beginning of a feeding may be normal in the first two to four days of breastfeeding. Soreness that is more intense or continues for a longer time indicates that some adjustment needs to be made."

also info here

purplemonkeydishwasher Sun 02-Nov-08 12:50:22

sorry didn't mean to post that yet.

i just wanted to say that yeah. there is pain. at the BEGINNING of a feed pain is quite normal. but it should go.
if you are feeling pain BEYOND that. or if you have blisters or cracks then the latch isn't quite as good as it could be. even if someone looks at it and thinks it looks ok, if it doesn't feel right then there's an issue.

i'm not trying to offend you and i apologize if you take offence. i'm just stating the facts.

VictorianSqualor Sun 02-Nov-08 12:53:38

I agree with purplemonkey.
Also, is there any chance it is thrush?
When I had thrush it started with pink shiny nipples and a little pain, which got progressively worse. I'll try and find my thrush thread for you.

VictorianSqualor Sun 02-Nov-08 12:55:06


4andnotout Sun 02-Nov-08 12:58:42

I think it was simply my nipples getting used to the abuse of bf as they are perfectly fine now with no pain.

purplemonkeydishwasher Sun 02-Nov-08 13:30:57

i'm glad everything's ok 4andnotout.
you're doing great!!

CalE Sun 02-Nov-08 17:44:51

Hurrah 4andnotout!!! Well done you!

Purple, I'm not offended in the slightest, i was simply trying to offer reassurance to a fellow BF in her early days. And I do feel strongly that the advice given about BF is woefully unrealistic in terms of the pain involved (even if only short-term). I know a number of mums new to BF and everyone has said the same thing, ie it hurts while your body gets used to it!!!!!

Obviously the La Leche League aren't going to advertise the downsides of a feeding method they are promoting! The Kellymom quote is a little contradictory - so health professionals may tell you the latch is okay, but it might not be??? Great advice, so how are you supposed to sort the problem - ask the baby??? Lol.

VictorianSqualor Sun 02-Nov-08 17:52:07

CalE, I'm sure if it was common to hurt then LLL would say so, otherwise what help are they being?
Breastfeeding can hurt, but is not meant to.

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