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nipples so sore I'm crying in anticipation of the next feed

(8 Posts)
arolf Thu 12-Nov-09 11:41:12

DS is 6 (nearly 7) weeks old, exclusively bf, gaining alarming amounts of weight (1 lb 10 oz in the past fortnight), so there's no medical reason not to BF.

However, my nipples are killing me - they feel like they've been peeled or burnt or something. the only time they aren't really painful is when DS is properly latched on - when he getting himself attached or falling asleep on the breast, it's bringing tears to my eyes. anything touching them (clothes, water in the shower, little fingernails, the pump) is excruciating.

I was on antibiotics for 7 days over week 4, and the pain has started since then, and is just getting worse and worse every day. I saw my GP on monday and he examined me and said it can't be thrush (no obvious visible symptoms on me or DS) . saw an NCT bf councellor on tuesday and she checked the latch and said it was fine - her only comment was that he seems very eager to feed so somtimes takes several attempt to latch on. plus my let down is quite fast, so sometimes that frightens him so he pulls off (and gets a face full of milk as it gushes out). but otherwise no suggestions.

I'm not sure what to do now though. I'm determined not to give up bf, but thought the soreness would have gone by now as my nipples toughen up. I've told my DP that if it isn't better by christmas we're going to have to switch to formula, but am not sure i'll make it that long.

not sure why i'm posting this really - just want some support/motivation to keep going/to be told that it'll get better.

MrsMotMot Thu 12-Nov-09 12:18:40

Argh I was you this time last year, give or take a few weeks. I especially remember how painful drying myself after a shower was, no matter how soft the towel! If I wasn't feeding and in pain I was thinking about feeding and being in pain. Horrendous.

Have you gone on www.kellymom.com and searched for thrush symptoms? Is the pain there after a feed? It doesn't matter if DC has no symptoms, it could still be thrush. GPs IME are not terribly clued up about thrush. Can you see the BFC again and see what she thinks, if the latch is good and tongue tie has been checked for, what is causing the pain? Something needs adjusting/addressing if it is still so sore.

My experience, for what it's worth:
Had antibiotics postnatally as I had a temp in labour and I had a prolonged rupture of membranes. Bf in the early days was pain free and fab. Was v v smug.

At about a week postnatally the pain started. Fierce, pinching, needle like pains in the nipples and in the breast, after a feed as well. DS had weird nappy rash that quickly cleared up with metanium. No white mouth.

As it was worse on one side I thought it must be latch related (most bf pain is) and I went to my local bf group, which had a bfc there every week (life saving wonderful lady). She agreed it was probably the latch and we worked really hard to improve it. It took ages and weeks passed. Like you I was just despairing. DS started to get pearly whitish stuff in his mouth and my nipples turned bright pink. They felt sunburned, really badly sunburned. I developed a crack which would just not heal due to the presence of the thrush.

Long story short I left it WAY too long in the thrush treatment. It took three lots of fluconazole for me, mystatin/daktarin for DS and Daktarin cream for mipples. I used every natural remedy going and cut out sugar from my diet. Eventually what worked was a combo of all of the above plus going away on holiday and swimming in the sea every day. (Off you go!) I NEVER thought I would feed pain free but it eventually went away. At 6 months. Oh my god, I hear you say! It gradually improved, it wasn't like it was at 7 weeks for 6 months. But if you thik it's thrush, treat it, aggressively. Is my advice.

DS was 1 on sunday and I'm still feeding him. It is a pain free joy. Best of luck and hugs. If you decide ff is the way to go you deserve a medal for sticking it out this long. Believe me I know! x

Murtette Thu 12-Nov-09 12:25:57

My little one is only three weeks so I haven't had much experience but in the first week or so her latch was terrible and she was destroying my nipples and, like you, I couldn't bear to have anything touch time so I ended up wearing nipple shells between feeds as at least that protected them from breast pads, clothes etc touching them. I then found the pain during feeds bearable - although I still dreading the latching on process. Since I saw a bfc, my latch has improved and the pain has disappeared.
I hope you manage to sort it out as it is the most horrible pain, isn't it?

wildscooterfence Thu 12-Nov-09 12:26:48

I would consider trying one of the topical creams you can put on your nipples for thrush. Just experiment with it just for yourself at first: if it makes a difference then move on to drops for the baby, diet and so on to try to eradicate it completely.

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Thu 12-Nov-09 12:30:54

I used nipple shields for about a week when DD was a few days old as my nipples were so painful I thought they'd drop off.
I know they're frowned upon but they worked for me and I went on to bf for 17 months.

QueenofDreams Thu 12-Nov-09 12:54:31

I was there as well just under a year ago. Local bf councellor was crap. I was crying during the night feeds, gritting my teeth during the day feeds. DP would just say, 'if it's that bad, feed on the other side' the other side was just as bad.
Second what the others have said, be sure that it's not thrush. sometimes there are no visible symptoms.
Also in terms of the let down, have you tried leaning backwards while feeding? (propped with pillows obviously smile) That would slow the flow somewhat.
oh and btw, ds is now 13 mo and still feeding. I'm trying to figure out how to get him to stop wink

Neon Thu 12-Nov-09 13:16:52

Poor you! Totally feel your pain as 6 wk old DS was latched on incorrectly (the only way) due to tongue tie which was only fixed last week. We are still trying to re-learn latch right now and I have only just stopped taking pain relief every 4 hours - just in the nights now.

Take ibuprofen to take the edge off - I mixed types every couple of days as I wasn't feeling the benefits after a couple of days.

Are you applying anything?
Lansinoh has really helped me - not only the ointment but the Lansinoh breast pads as they do not stick to yout nip - they're fab. Cannot recommend these more! I was also given Jelonet last week for the small cracks in both nips - which I am finding hard to apply as DS feeds often so I'm endlessly cutting up strips!

Perhaps buy the Medula nipple shields if it's that bad? My BF councellor said to do this but I perservered. I thought it may be harder to retry hardening nipples all over again when I had come so far...

I shed many tears last couple of weeks and DREADED 2am feed when I was most irritable and p**sed off! It still hurts but I want to battle through.

You can do it.

arolf Thu 12-Nov-09 13:23:18

ok, am going to try some thrush cream - my GP seemed more clued up than most, and did check both me and DS closely, but saw no symptoms, so can't fault him. bf counsellor seems ok, but since DS is gaining such a lot of weight and she checked how he is latching on, she said there isn't much more to suggest.

glad (?!) i'm not alone in this, but wish I had known that pain could reappear after the initial 'toughening up' - would have made me less upset by it i think!

thanks all - will see how it goes, as will see bf counsellor again next tues, so will stick it out until then.

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