Advanced search

6 day old baby and bleeding nipples - help please

(39 Posts)
Gonnabamumma Tue 29-Sep-09 22:21:53

I am feeling pretty wretched and hope you lovely ladies might be able to help. My DD arriving 6 days ago and I breast fed her straight after birth and carried on when I got home. From the moment she got on my breast at the hospital, it hurt, but the midwife said the latch was fine. I persevered and was still struggling and asked the NCT breast feeding counselor to come round on day 3, which she did and it did help, but my nipples were really sore still from the first couple of days and pretty scabby. After a couple of marathon feeds yesterday, both my nipples cracked open and bled really badly today when I was feeding DD. It was terrible, all the blood dripped on her little face and it upset me really badly sad. The pain in my nipples is terrible and I had to send DH out to buy a breast pump, to see if I can keep my milk going. She was screaming with hunger and I had to give in and give her a formula bottle, which she promptly threw up. I managed to express around 3oz, so far, but I have no idea if that is even one feed?
Is it possible to express enough to keep my milk going to try again when my nipples have healed?
How much milk constitutes a feed?
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Thanks in advance

BoffinMum Tue 29-Sep-09 22:38:19

Hopefully TikTok will be along soon, but in the meantime ...

- 3oz should be about the right amount for a newborn.

- Little and often when expressing or feeding seems to hurt less than marathon sessions.

- It does sound like your latch is problematic from the extent of the damage, so maybe try getting more advice. If you manage to improve the latch, nipples can heal really fast, say in 24-48 hours sometimes.

- Remember all pumps are different so if one is too painful try a different design. I use an Avent iQ with the petal cushion thing in and that is quite nipple friendly.

- Lansinoh is a very good thing to plaster on your nipples to promote moist healing. It doesn't need to be wiped off before feeding. I found putting a LilyPad silicon breast pad on top further promoted healing.

- I have bf four babies now and each time it really hurt at the beginning, even though my technique is OK. I think it comes down to the fact that even if you know what you are doing, the babies take a bit of time to work out how best to position themselves.

I think you are very brave, by the way. I could not feed with two cracked nipples dripping blood. That must be very painful.

BoffinMum Tue 29-Sep-09 22:39:41

BTW if you do give formula try to make sure you express the equivalent amount to avoid dryng your milk up. It keeps up to five days in the fridge and a good few weeks in the freezer.

NellyNoNorks Tue 29-Sep-09 22:43:25

I could weep for you. Are you really, really wedded to bf-ing? I wanted to bf and had the same problems as you describe; switching to formula completely changed my experience of motherhood. If you are very keen to carry on bf-ing, I really hope someone comes along who can help you.

vacaloca Tue 29-Sep-09 22:44:33

Lansinoh was a miracle cure for me. It meant that the nipple always stayed moist and didn't crack again and again as I started feeding, giving it time to heal properly at last. Poor you, I hope you manage to sort something out soon.

SugarMagrundy Tue 29-Sep-09 22:44:35

Sorry to hear that, mine was nowhere near as bad so I can't really offer much advice other than keep ringing NCT - they are brilliant and will help for sure. Also you probably already know about the Lansinoh lanolin nipple cream, it's great, slather it on little before and lots after, don't worry about baby ingesting it (it tastes of nothing really, I had a taste myself).

Hope it sorts out soon, 6 days is early days yet - your nipples soon get used to it if the latch is OK - they'll be like old leather boots in no time! (just kidding)

NellyNoNorks Tue 29-Sep-09 22:44:37

(I should perhaps clarify that switching to formula turned the nightmare of feeding into the opposite - but I know that doesn't work for everyone).

ineedalifelaundry Tue 29-Sep-09 23:53:33

I also had bleeding nipples at this stage. I remember my dd throwing up after a feed and panicking because there was loads of blood in her vomit- then I realised, it was my blood, not hers.

It all worked out just fine once the nipples healed. Lansinoh definitely helped with that, though I later discovered a nipple cream called kamillosan (sp?) which I liked even more because it was much easier to apply. Neither of them need to be wiped off before feeding.

3 oz fine for a newborn. But do try to express or you may run into problems with supply. I bought a lactaline electronic pump second hand on eBay because I really hated manual pumping and could never get the hang of hand expressing. Love my lactaline pump.

Keep getting your latch checked too - I was told by numerous midwives and bf counsellors that my latch was fine even though it still hurt. Eventually saw a bf consultant at about 4 weeks who made the subtlest adjustments to baby's position and latching on technique, and it made a massive improvement to my comfort levels.

Congratulations on the birth of your dd and big respect to you for bf- ing. Please keep going- I was on the verge of giving up so many times In the early days and now my dd is 13 months our bf relationship is still going strong and means so much to both of us. It will get easier, I promise.

LatinDAISYcal Wed 30-Sep-09 00:17:34

sorry you are having such a hard time of it; sounds really painful sad It sounds as though your latch still isn't quite right for one reason or another.

Has your DD been checked for tongue tie? As this can cause latching problems. Also, is her positioning OK? although the latch may look fine, if the baby is either too far towards your armpit or away from your armpit this can cause her to be rubbing your nipple on the roof of her mouth causing problems.

Perhaps if you tried some different positions; try having a look at and the more upright positions on there. And feeding baby skin to skin will help her to relax.

I agree with others about trying to express to keep your supply up if you are determined to get this right and lather on lansinoh or other nipple cream as much as you can.

I would suggest calling your BFC again, or go to a local BFing support group (check on and get your positioning and latch checked and your DD checked for tonue tie. you could use nipple shields to get you over the hump but these can cause further latching problems so are to be used with caution.

with the right latch and positioning it should be pain free.

there is some information on kellymom about nipple healing. they also say on there that the blood isn't harmful to the baby, so perhaps you could use the milk that you are expressing? there's also information on kallymom about how much milk the baby will need. I'm fairly sure that 3ozs is more than enough for a 6 day old baby.

ElectricElephant Wed 30-Sep-09 00:32:50

In case anybody hasn't said it, NIPPLE SHIELDS!!

Also, Lansinoh, BM on the nipple, Exposing to sunlight, all will help.

and this. This will help A LOT.

I wish I remembered this blog at the time.

keep going. the first week is THE WORST. it only gets better.


solo Wed 30-Sep-09 00:44:09

Roughly where are you Gonnabamumma? If you are reasonably close, I will lend you my Silverettes; they will have you healed up within days.

Gonnabamumma Wed 30-Sep-09 08:44:14

Thank you so much for all your brilliant posts, am sitting here, plugged into my breast pump and crying again (hormonal, me?) but this time at everyones kindness. I am managing to express a reasonable amount, both at 3am when i gave her some fomula and this morning when i gave her breast milk. Thank you for all the links, am going to have a browse now. Both my mum and DH have been brilliant, although they think i am quite mad wanting to carry on but they are supporting me, which is the main thing. I am in London Solo, am off to google silverettes now smile and thank you!

I think i am going to give it a few days expressing and am going to try again. Already today my nipps are't bleeding as i express, and i am slathered in lansinoh (thanks to my best friend who gave me a little care package, hadn't got roud to opening it until last night!) am going to try the kamillosan too - in for a penny etc... Thankyou for the link to the breast feeding cafe, will def go along and am going to call my BFC agaib today.

Thankyou all so much for your suggestions, I am so so grateful. Will let you know how i go.

ps sorry for random lack of capitals, left hand only typing!!

BoffinMum Wed 30-Sep-09 08:46:03

Good thought about the nipple shields - my first thought when I woke up this morning, and I didn't know why I didn't suggest that last night. Also the biological nurturing approach is really great with newborns and improving dodgy latching. You basically recline as comfortably as possible in bed on a load of pillows, like a middle Eastern princess, and whilst your entourage are peeling grapes for you, you lie back with you not wearing much and the baby not wearing much either, with the baby belly down on top of your breast, and let the baby find his or her own way to the nipple. Great for the middle of the night, too.

Also if you are feeling like splashing out (excuse the pun) double electric pumps are considered the best if there is going to have to be a lot of expressing going on. You can also hire hospital grade pumps from the NCT.

ElectricElephant Wed 30-Sep-09 09:00:39

good luck with the expressing, be careful not to do it too long though. I did just that, and by the time everything had healed DS was too used to the bottle.

I'd forgotten about nipple shields, wish I'd had some - seriously worth a go.

vacaloca Wed 30-Sep-09 09:54:34

Oh, I forgot something else that really helped me too. I changed the position to the rugby hold (is that what is called?) for a few days. Because that changes the position of the latch it also allowed my previous cracks to heal while still breastfeeding.

I feel bad giving you advice when I'm not all that knowledgeable about this stuff and there some people around with a lot of experience, but I went through it and it was so bloody painful... Good luck.

roslily Wed 30-Sep-09 09:55:30

I had this and used lots of lanisoh and breast shells- they stopped my sore nips touching my bra.

Poledra Wed 30-Sep-09 10:03:02

Loads of Lansinoh! I had exactly this problem with DD1 - it turned out my latch was bad (despite mws telling me it was fine). The NCT counsellor told me to look at my breasts in the mirror and see which way my nipples pointed. They point out to the sides, IYSWIM, so I had to move the baby further round (rugby ball helped here, as did feeding lying down). I was trying to bring the nipple to the front for her, and that was not a good thing!

Keep going - you're doing so well! After all the trauma, I remember being out in a park with my DSis and her family and comfortably bfeeding DD1 sitting under a tree and thinking 'Yay!' You'll get there too smile

FanjolinaJolie Wed 30-Sep-09 10:08:53

Yes, I was going to suggest an underarm/rugby hold too to try for a deeper latch.

Does it feel like the baby has a good mouthful of breat tissue? Or more just chomping away on your nipple?

You really need a good breastfeeding counsellor to come to your home and watch your latching on. Try (as much as you can) to bring the baby to the breast with the chin leading (not nose first), baby can approach from under the breast, not from above/side. Try to anticipate their mouth gaping, and bring them quickly to the breast just before the mouth is at its widest.

Try not to express for too long. You may have problems getting them back to the breast after bottle feeding, as they don't have to work as hard on the bottle. Get fresh air on your nipples and rub in a bit of BM after each feed. Lansiloh cream is excellent.

I totally feel for you. I had cracked and scabby nipples, too. Then ended up with thrush in the breast it was a bloody nightmare. But once your have improved your latch the nipples heal very quickly.

cathylb Wed 30-Sep-09 14:42:45

I used jelonet (gelonet sp?). It's a burn cream and pretty much fixed scabby nipples between feeds. Stick at it, it gets easier xx

LatinDAISYcal Wed 30-Sep-09 19:51:32

how are things this evening GBM?

KirstyAnn Wed 30-Sep-09 20:15:46

Hey there, I'm just a week ahead of you. Congratulations on the birth of your DD. I had a girl too and they are great.

I've posted on here last week with the same problem - I lost a chunk of nipple to my bra

Stick with it, it gets a lot easier. I cant believe where we are with the feeding this week. Been out and about feeding in public a lot and the pain has almost gone.

I spent a day with my nips out, just leaking onto a tea towel, covered in Lansinoh. Pricey, but worth its weight in gold. Try breast shells too to keep your bra away from your boobs. Lansinoh do great pads, boots and mothercare stock them.

You're doing a grand job, so stick with it. At 6 days my DD hadnt even managed to latch on - so you're way ahead of me.

Your milk will be OK, everyone I've spoken to says its too early to stress about your supply. I didnt get to feed for a long time and the tiny amounts I expressed were enough for her.

Also, dont underestimate the healing power of hugs from everyone you can.

Good luck

Gonnabamumma Wed 30-Sep-09 21:38:09

Hi ladies, thanks for all your messages. Have just managed to get the little minx to sleep, so am grabbing some mummy time with both hands!

Thank you again for all your excellent suggestions, before things got too out of hand, I did try the rugby hold and it seemed to work on one side, so I am definitely going to try that when I am not quite so tender. Saying that, the nips are looking a bit better already and I am feeling much happier today. The expressing is going ok, but have definitely noticed that DD polishes off the bottles like no tomorrow. She is a very sucky baby anyway, her hands are always in her mouth. I think this is where the problem stemed from in the first few days. I am keen to get her back on the breast asap.

I spoke to the bfc councelor again today and am going along to a support group on Monday, and on the whole am feeling a lot more positive than this time yesterday.

I bought some medela nipple shields yesterday, but just couldn't work them out at all (seem to have mislaid quite a few brain cells!) Am going to try a couple of other brands to see if they are any different, but am going to wait until am healed.

I will get some jealonet tomorrow, see if that helps too. KirstyAnn - congratulations on the birth of your daughter and ouchies at the chunk of nipple!
Will keep you all posted!

Fleecy Wed 30-Sep-09 21:53:54

Another vote for Lansinoh here.

Only fed DD for 3 days so was determined to feed DS but got cracked, bleeding nips after a few days. Lansinoh worked a treat.

I also found it helped to take each feed at a time and think, well I'll just do this feed and see how it goes, so I didn't feel like I had to count down lots of feeds.

Glad to hear you're doing better. Good luck!

solo Thu 01-Oct-09 09:28:38

Gonnabamumma, I'm glad you are feeling better and I'm sorry I didn't get back on yesterday to check your answer to my q?
I am in SE London, nearest town Bexleyheath. Anywhere near you?
Sadly, Silverettes are no longer available in the UK. I did try for someone else earlier this year and this was the reply I got:

Hi solo

We no longer sell the Silverette as we have ran out of stock and the cost
> of Importing them to re-stock was far too expensive the RRP would have
> been in the region of £40 which i thought would be too much.
> They can be purchased directly from the manufacturers in San Marino
> however, there will be a bank transfer charge of around £25 on top of the
> price of the product. The website of the manufacturers is;

This was why I said I would lend them to you.

I don't want to sell them(they are real silver)as I am still bfing and I'd like to be able to lend them out and maybe keep them for my future DIL or my own Dd to use.

I hope things continue to improve for you and that you can continue to bf for as long as you wish to.

Gonnabamumma Fri 02-Oct-09 09:05:48

Thanks so much so solo, I am in West London, practically Middlesex, so pretty far away. I have a good friend in the US, so am going to ask her to get them for me and post them over. Thanks for the top tip!

I haven't plucked up the courage to give it another go yet, have stuck to the expressing, but think I am going to go for it this afternoon.

Thank you again to all who have responded, I truely appreciate it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now