some help for a friend breast feeding her 2 week old v little baby please(31 Posts)
it really isnt me just to be clear- my dds are not breastfed any more (i fed both til 13 months which is poss why my friend is asking me for help). her dd was 1 week early and had never had a good latch. she was only 5lb 6 and had low blood sugar levels to start wtih and was topped up a little in hospital. anyway my friend suffers with sore nipples (adjustment and poor latch i would imagine) and now she has developed a crack. the pain she says is unbearable. she wants to express for a while. i advised this wasnt a good idea as dd would prob take more to thebottle and getting back onto the breast might be hard. but she really is in pain- had a c section so that is sore anyway. any advice on what i should say to her. i have given her number of a b/feeding counsellor and a drop in clinic times etc so cant do too much more but wondered what others suggest. i had cracks and just fed on through them taking painkillers.
She really needs to see someone to get her latch fixed. You could offer to go with her, I guess?
Expressing and giving bottles is not a great longterm plan, it's a lot of work.
It's hard to know what to suggest to her, because it depends on how the baby is latching, how much she's feeding, and how the crack is. Wet wound healing is meant to be good for nipple injuries ...
she has had a lot of help re her latch from visiting midwives but they arent always experts i guess. she is currently using a rugby ball hold which seems to be helping. i will suggest possibly going along with her- thogh my 2 .5 yr old dd2 might not be much help to us!
Nipple shields helped me through the worst agonies of thrush for a few days, but I know not everyone thinks they're a good thing.
Apart from that, what worked for me was trying all sorts of different positions (like you say, she's trying the rugby hold - that helped me for a while too). I talked to as many different midwives as I could (most had differing advice). Oh and avid Mumsnetting and staring at Kellymom. I tried lots of different things and it got better.
You're being a lovely friend, by the way.
thanks those are helpful words. i have tried to convert her to mn many times! kellymom is a top idea too. thanks.
Expressing and giving bottles worked for us for 4-5 weeks and I have been exclusively breastfeeding since (9weeks now). So just wanted to say that this can work, although agree that it is hard! My DD couldn't latch on at all for those first weeks.
that is really interesting belinda. i will tell her that. thanks.
Tell her to get Lansinoh cream. It is really good for sore nipples.
A breastfeeding counsellor is the way ahead but I would be tempted to let her do whatever it is that makes her feel comfortable in the meantime.
One of my good friends who has 3 children has the view that it is sore at first however good your technique and you just need to let your nipples toughen up.
oh yes i totally agree with your friend's view ali - my 2 had great latches straight away and i was still sore. but with a baby that cant latch very well at all it must make the pain worse i would imagine. i will mention the lansinoh cream to her. and of course she is free to do whatever suits her best- i havent stopped her doing anything, jsut warned her of possible dangers of just expressing. but i know i might be wrong, hence my post...
There is a chance that breastfeeding is just very painful for her and it's nothing to do with the latch etc.
So it could be worth letting her know that many women do experience disconfoirt and pain and cracked nipples but that it should settle down.
It is excrutiating, though, so I can understand it might bve very very hard for her to continue
I would second the nipple shield, just to let the crack heal. I had this with DD2 a few months ago, and if it wasn't for using the shield, I would have stopped BF (and that's after BF DD1 for a year!). It got to the point where she was lunging at me, and was lunging away just as fast in the opposite direction. My HV said that the modern shields are so thin that the problem of not enough nipple stimulation therefore reducing milk supply was much reduced (although obviously she should be aware of it). In any case, if its that or stopping feeding, its definitely worth a go!
PS I know lots of mums swear by lasinoh and other products, but I did read recently that they were not proved to help (and if you're really sensitive like me, it could make matters worse). Just a thought...
Agree with pps, but also wanted to say that my dd was small and sort of 'hung off' the end of one of my nipples for the first month or so, whatever I did to try to get her to latch properly. Eventually, her mouth grew and she 'got it' and we had no more problems.
worth a quick check that baby doesn't have a tongue-tie - from my experience with ds that cah make huge difference! Other than that wholeheartedly back vast quantities of lansinoh. Purely on my personal experience with 3dc, expressing did mess bf up. dc3 is nearly 7mo - we're still going strong with bf - never expressed, did with others and stopped bf much earlier.
Has your friend tried expressing and then feeding with a sippy cup. We did this in hospital with DD2 when she was hungry but I was still only producing colostrum. Prevents nipple confusion and whilst it's a bit messy it's a good alternative.
I had a deep crack. It did get much better in a few days and healed in a couple of weeks, so it's worth persevering. Moist healing with Lansinoh worked for me too, before and after every feed and everytime I thought about it, on breast pads etc. etc. - slather it on!
Interested in what dilbertina says as one of my twins did have a tongue tie, so that may have contributed.
hmm, also remembered something else. The nipple that was cracked was inverted before I had the babies, and now it isn't...
With DD1 I developed a bad crack in one nipple after about a week (bleeding etc) and I expressed from that breast and gave the milk in a bottle. I continued to feed from the other breast though. The nipple healed after about 2 days so it wasn't for long and even during those 2 days I didn't express every feed - alternating bf and expressing really helped give it time to heal. I had c sections with all 3 of mine - she will already be on pretty hefty painkillers, which are obviously not helping with the nipple pain she is experiencing. My DD2 was small (6lb 1 oz) and jaundiced so had to be fed v regularly, which didn't help. With all of them I had a lot of pain feeding in the early days. I think that this wasn't due to an intrinsically bad latch but because my breasts were so unbelievable ridiculously over engorged that they physically couldn't latch properly (like trying to suck a football), it really helped to express a bit (by hand or pump) before each feed to soften the breast. Once the engorgement settled everything was absolutely fine.
The IV fluid you receive during the CS operation can cause edema (swelling and over engorgement in the breasts turning them into footballs) - I'm sure that's what I had as it was by far the worst with DS (my 3rd section - complicated and much longer than the others so I had a lot more fluid). If she is suffering in this way it could be causing the problem - in which case google it and find ways to help reduce the swelling as quickly as possible (it does ease off after a week or 2).
nowwearefour, I had really sore, cracked and bleeding nipples when my DD was 6 days old. Got great advice from everyone here, bought an electric breast pump and expressed for 3 days whilst my nipples healed (used lashings of lanishol to moist heal) and bottle fed her the expressed milk. After that, went right back to breast feeding and there was no probs with nipple/teat confusion. DD is 4 weeks now and going great on the breast, I still give her a bottle of expressed milk in the evenings so DH can feed her and I can go to bed early
Hope that helps!
These are supposed to be fabulous for healing.
Lansinoh cream and pads were a lifesaver. Esp. the pads... the other ones stuck to the cracks and re-opened them..... boak....
they look amazing,i need more chocolate. though out of stock. any ideas where else she might be able ot source them from?
thanks for these messages i will show them to her tomorrow. moist healing clearly the way forward and expressing could help her. thanks.
If rugby ball hold helps, it might be because her nipples point outwards rather than straight ahead. Mine were like this so positioning my baby as in all photos straight across my lap in the cradle hold meant my nipple was being dragged through nearly 45 degrees with each suck. Youch! Lots of blood! When a BFC suggested holding her with her bottom away from my tummy, so her spine and the line from the middle of my chest to my nipple were roughly at right angles, it got much better. Just a thought.
You can get them from America, nowwearefour, I'll try and find a link......
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