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Thread: Need a little help

  1. #1

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    Default Need a little help

    DD is only 3 days old and we are having problems. Day 1 in the hospital was great, no pain and I was really excited. Day 2 my nipples got a bit red and irritated but nothing major. The nurses checked us out and said all looked fine. Now we are at home and things are going downhill. Feeding off my right breast is actually ok, its a bit irritated and hurts for a few seconds when she first latches but then feels fine. My left breast is not doing as well. The nipple is cracked along the base and no matter how I attach her it is serious agony when she latches on. It eventually settles into a more bearable pain as she feeds. My milk is in so both breasts are already hot, swollen and uncomfortable so I tried pumping that side but it still hurt. I also tried a nipple shield but it hurt just as much as without. My nipple looks a TINY bit flattened when I unlatch her but really not much. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. We had issues with DS too and it took 4 month before we fixed it, I hope it doesn't take that lng this time. I'm hoping to see someone Monday but I still have Sunday to get through. DH is out getting me some nipple cream. Any tips would be appreciated. She has such a small mouth and my breasts are quite large so it's not easy for her.


  2. #2

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    oh you poor thing Do you feel unwell at all? (could be a sign of mastitis).. could it be thrush? Try giving the ABA a call and see what they think, or even the nurse on call. Just put them in google and it will give you the number. If u cant handle the pain (it will be fine just to feed her from one side until you get it looked at if its just way too sore, just try and express a little out in the shower) head down to emergency and let them know... im sure there would be something they could do for you.

  3. #3

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    Hun, what a tough time you are having It's such a shame that mums don't get better help with breastfeeding before they leave hossy.

    There are a couple of things to consider here. Firstly, it is mostly likely that your DD is not latching on just quite right yet. This is why it hurts, and why one of your nipples is damaged. Has anyone shown you Baby Led Attachment at all? Often this can help with fixing attachment issues. It is basically allowing the baby to find and attach themselves using their own instincts. Many mums find it works best in a reclined position, and with a calm baby (it won't work if she is screaming with hunger). When she is calm, try placing her between your breasts, skin to skin if you like, but you can both have tops on if you prefer as long as they don't get in the way. Gently support her as she either bobs or lunges towards one side, and allow her to attach herself with little or no assistance. If you would like to give this a go, there is more information here - Australian Breastfeeding Association - Baby-led attachment and the ABA 24 hour helpline - 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 2 686, drop the last 6 for VOIP) can also talk you through it if you like. This doesn't always work, but very often mums find that this is the best way for comfortable, pain free feeding.

    The other issue is that your nipple has already been damaged on the left side, so that will hurt anyway at this stage until it has healed. Often putting some hind-milk on at the end of a feed and leaving it to air-dry works better than creams. Breastmilk has healing properties and also anti-bacterial ones, so it reduces the risk of an infection getting in where the skin is broken. If you use a cream, be especially careful with applying it, making sure your hands are clean. Germs can transfer into the wound from the cream, especially after a few uses. If feeding from that side is just too painful, expressing is an option although this will probably hurt also as you have found. If you can continue to feed on that side it will help empty the breast better.

    The full breasts are also something that can lead to mastitis. Are your breasts always full and hard, even after a feed? How many feeds a day is your DD having and how many wet and dirty nappies? Feeding frequently (usually 8 - 12 times or more in 24 hours) is really important for establishing and maintaining your milk supply going forward, and also helps reduce engorgement. If you are feeling uncomfortably full, it is a good idea to express enough for comfort. If this continues and your breasts are really painful, some mums find a once off full express (getting out as much as you can from both sides) can really help. If you do this a few times it can delay your supply from settling down, but doing it once can help the excess blood and lymphatic fluid to drain away so that when your milk refills it is usually more comfortable than it was before.

    All the best with it hun. I know you don't believe me right now, but this is the most difficult time and soon things will be easier

  4. #4

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    It's also worth trying to express (either by pump or just by squirting into a towel) a bit before you latch bub on - if you're really full and hard then she can find it more difficult to attach properly.
    Big hugs!

    Also - the ABA helplines aren't going to be much help in canada (for legal reasons) - try http://www.lllc.ca/ instead

  5. #5

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    Thanks so much for your replies, I really appreciate it.

    I have been feeling a bit unwell but then I felt that way my whole pregnancy so I think I'm just recovering from everything. My breasts are always hard and warm even after feeding but my milk only just came in and I remeber with DS it took a few days for them to kind of normalize again. She's feeding quite regularly too, every 2-4 hours in the day, every 1-2 hours in the evening, and every 2-4 hours overnight. She is having 2-3 (big) poops a day and and additional 3 plain wet diapers on top of those.

    I have tried pumping again today but can barely get a drop out with my pump, even when DD is feeding off the other side (a tactic which worked really well with DS and it's the same pump). I might go rent a really good electric pump and see if it works a bit better.

    We actually have been trying bay led attachment overnight so I can lie down and let her attach but the results were the same, maybe a bit worse, at least if I position her she gets a bit more in her mouth and it's a bit less painful.

    Last night I am sure she was biting instead of sucking at one point. When I removed her my nipple was not flat at all but was all white at the end and I could feel her move her jaw back and forth with my nipple clamped down in her gums.

    We're coming up on a feed here in a couple of minutes and I'm just dreading it as it's the extra sore sides turn.

    I live in a really small town with some support, so I will try to see soemone tomorrow. The hospitals one LC is out of town at the moment but hte public health nurses or nurses at the child development centre might be able to help us out a bit.

    I'm willing to grit my teeth and get through this as it was amazing to nurse my DS, I just hope she picks it up quicker than her did. She's calling......

  6. #6

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    I said this on another thread too ...

    Cracked nipples take a few days to heal and they do hurt every time bub latches until they are healed. As long as you aren't using the same latch position that gave you the crack, they WILL heal despite hurting like bejeebus. I've had a couple of cracked nipples, all in the first few weeks. Making the end white means there's nowhere near enough nipple in bub's mouth. If you can't get her latching on with more (at 3 days, can't expect the world) what I find works until they get a bit bigger and grab more boob in (which bubs WILL learn, its very early days) is you can sort of poke extra boob into their mouth while they're already latched on just using your little finger or something, which might be enough for now.

    My current baby was just nibbling on the end of one nipple on day 1, he made a raised white spot, which hurt and after a few days it had gone black and dropped off. Gross, eh?

    Edit: and since I just happen to have a 3 week old baby on my lap, I've just noticed that I tend to sort of pinch the aerola together with my fingers a bit (like a cigarette hold, fingers lining up with his lips) when he's ferreting for boob, which means he gets a good mouthful - otherwise he only gets nipple. If you're very engorged it is very hard for them to get a good mouthful cos all the ducts in your aerola are full and they wind up with a mere morsel of nipple, which makes cracks
    Last edited by deletedit; July 26th, 2010 at 09:38 AM.

  7. #7

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    I had similar issues to yourself for the first 4 weeks of my breastfeeding journey. It sucks and I send you huge hugs!!

    I expressed from the most painful side, allowing that to heal for a few days then switched over to let the other side heal. I was also unaware (despite seeing a LC, numerous midwives and my GP) that we were latching on incorrectly which is why my nipples weren't healing (they had huge holes in them) and it was a friend who pointed this out to me - thank god for her.

    Anyway, once we were latching correctly, my nipples healed despite me using them to feed bubby - it was amazing.

    I hope that you get some good support and advice today - let us know how you go!!
    Sue xxx

  8. #8

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    Hugs hun, i was expecting 2nd time round to go a lot smoother too as though the first few months were hell i ended up feeding DD until she was nearly two. I had issues latching on to my right side this time round and it was excruciating... I know what you mean, i used to start to dread feeds from that side.

    Just wanted to let you know that it does get better, i think it was about 7 or 8 weeks when i realised i wasn't dreading feeding from that side again. I used lots of Lansinoh cream and had my (.)(.)'s out constantly with some expressed milk on them. I also found a position where he seemed to latch on a lot better and there was less pain (lying down in bed), and bought a really good breastfeeding pillow for when i had to feed sitting up. I also paid careful attention when he was latching on to that side, and used rumpled elfs trick of the cigarette fingers to make sure he got a good mouthful.

    You will get there! Good luck And welcome to your gorgeous girl!

  9. #9

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    Thanks so much for your support guys, it really means a lot to me. I will try all of your tips and see what helps. I have an appt with the LC consultant tomorrow so hopefully she can help a bit too. It's frustrating as I know what I am supposed to be doing but just can't seem to actually do it. It helps to know you guys have been there and made it through ok.

  10. #10

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    I was having a similar problem when DD was quite young, cracked nipples at the base, painful feeding. The LC said - as the others have pointed out - that my DD was only getting the nipple in her mouth and not enough breast. The LC gave me a really good technique for getting her to get more breast in her mouth, I will try to describe it but it is a bit hard to convey it clearly in writing.

    Basically my LC said that the nipple really needs to be hitting the roof of the babies mouth so that it is drawn right in to the back of the throat when she starts sucking. To get this to happen, as DD was opening her mouth to attach, I put one finger on the breast on the 'outside' of the nipple (so a few centimeters towards my elbow or ribs) and applied enough pressure to make the nipple point out (towards the armpit or ribs). This meant the nipple was going into her mouth pointing towards the roof of her mouth instead of pointing directly into her mouth/down her throat. I am not sure how you would replicate this position/angle using Baby Led Attachment, but this technique REALLY helped me out, I hope I have worded it so it makes some sense!

    That fixed our attachment so it didn't get any worse or create any new cracks, but it didn't help to heal the crack that was already there. The best thing I found for this was a bit of breast milk put onto the nipple and left to air dry. I also used a nipple shield for maybe 2 feeds. This didn't actually stop it from hurting during the feed, but it did give my nipples a few hours break from that direct contact and gave them time to heal a bit.

  11. #11

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    TS, you are doing really well - trying all the right things. I hope the LC is able to help you There could be something else going on like tongue-tie or high palate, which can make it hard for a baby to attach properly. A good LC should be able to pick these up. All the best hun.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the kind words and tips, and Sagre - that did make sense thanks


    So we saw the LC today. She said I was doing really well and liked my hold and technique, she just had a few slight adjustments for me. She positioned Paige a bit more forward accross my chest, moved my hand a bit lower on her body (I was holding her head instead of her neck and shoulders), and she got me to pull her to the breast a bit more forcefully to get more breast in her mouth. She also said I to let go of my breast once in her mouth as her suck is hard enough to hold her on and by holding it I was likely pointing the nipple to the roof of her mouth instead of the back of her throat which could be causing some rubbing. We've tried a few times at home now and I think there is some improvement so I'll keep it up and see how the nipples heal. She said to go see her again tomorrow if still struggling.

    You guys are awesome

  13. #13

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    That's great news hun. My fingers are crossed for you.

  14. #14

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    Still hurting but things seem to be improving a little. We'll just keep plodding along.

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