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Old 11-13-2010, 05:41 PM   #1
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Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

My newbie arrived on 10/19 and breastfeeding is not going like I had hoped. The first week was horrible. I had cracks and bleeding and HORRIBLE pain. I saw the IBCLC at the hospital. Baby was latching correctly, but had a very strong suck which she thought might be causing so much pain. I pumped and syringe fed for 24 hours, then used a shield to help me get through feedings for a couple of days.

After a couple of days of using the shield (this helped tremendously with the pain), I started weaning her off of it and the pain returned. She slightly creases my nipple sometimes, so I went to see a different IBCLC and the same thing. Her latch is correct. She gave me more advise, but I am still having pain.

I am still having toe curling pain with the initial latch. I usually have let down soon after and the pain does get less, but is still there. It feels almost like a pinching/biting feeling. My nipples are still tender to the point where it hurts if my shirt touches them. I always make sure her latch is correct, so I do not what else to do. I also have nausea every time I nurse her, which I read can be normal due to hormone release. The nausea and pain are getting to me. I hate dreading to feed my baby.

My nipples do burn sometimes, but I have no other symptoms of thrush and do not see any symptoms of thrush in my baby. The burning is usually after and not during feedings. She is not tongue tied and does not have a recessed chin. Her palate is slightly high, but nothing abnormal. I always make sure she gets a big wide mouth with her tongue down when latching.

Things I have tried / do:

Using EBM on my nipples and letting them air dry

Lansinoh (did not seem to help)

Gel pads (made my nipples burn)

Tea bags

Using different positions each time she eats

Compressing/ flattening my nipple and making a "breast sandwich" (I also continue to hold it like this while she is nursing sometimes)

Is it possible that my nipples are just that sensitive and it's gonna take them a while to toughen up? Anyone else with a similar experience or positive stories? Any suggestions?

Thanks ladies. Breastfeeding is something I have always been determined to do, but I always imagined that it would be better than this.
Melissa- wife to my high school sweetheart Jamie
mama to our precious miracles from above
Natalie Reese 10/19/10 and Ella Kate 11/13/12

#3 due 1/23/16
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:06 PM   #2
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

Oh mama it gets better!

Maybe go back to the shield for awhile or pump and bottle feed once or twice a day so you get a little break? I used so much lanolin for the first few weeks, but it got better.

Do you wear nursing pads? I got some velour nursing pads from a ds mama that were very soft and felt good in raw nipples.

Hang in there!

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Old 11-13-2010, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

After this long I would expect the pain to have subsided. I checked Jack newman's site ( ) and thought this might what you are experiencing: 2nd page
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

Please mama don't give up! I highly recomend a nipple cream called Motherlove it comes in a 1oz gar and is amazing to help with nipple pain, cracks, and bleeding. My first son was this bad I cried so hard from the pain. It will go away. I bet most your pain is from the sore nipples. Please try this cream as it really does help a lot.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #5
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

My dd had a high palate, and I used a modified football hold that made all the difference for us. I'll explain it here in case it is helpful for you two, even if her palate is only slightly high.

I started by positioning her in a traditional football hold, but placed my hand behind her head and neck and raised her into a sitting upright position while still in a mostly football position. I often had pillows under her bum to raise her up a bit. From there I got a nice latch; the pressure was off my nipples a bit in the first time I nursed like that, then I started healing. My dd's mouth grew as she aged, and it got better. I also recall reading about asymmetrical latch--can anyone attest to that? Those first weeks were so hard, hang in there.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:06 PM   #6
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

with ds(now almost 6 months) i had toe curling, teeth clenching pain for 4 months. but it did go away. every feeding i thought about stopping but im sooooo glad i didnt. you can do it
JoAnna,wife to my first love Michael and SAHM to Mackenzie Grace(7 years), Makaela Lynn(5years),^^Meaghan Elise^^ born sleeping July 18, 2009. and Malakai Vincent(3 years) and Mackenna Kate(1year)and one DOG
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:43 PM   #7
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

1 of my nipples it took 2 weeks to heal up (I used APNO - All Purpose Nipple Ointment, it is prescription). The other nipple it took 2 months to heal.

I found nursing in the football hold was much better for me, and actually not putting anything on the nipple at all was how it eventually healed over.

Do you have flat/inverted nipples? Mine was flatter; I don't think that it was flat but it did not nearly have the stretch that the other one did. It could have also been that DS' mouth was too small to get a good deep latch on that nipple because it wasn't nearly as stretchy.

I also dreaded feeding on that breast. It wasn't until I got pregnant & started losing supply that my breast sizes evened out because I def favored the not-painful one!

If the shield makes it less painful, use the shield. No reason to torture yourself. If you want to make sure she can nurse without the shield just alternate every other feeding with/without shield to give yourself a break.

ExtBFing, ERFing, CDing, bedsharing mama to Lucas (2-21-09), Gabriel (4-16-11), Elliot (1-17-14), and loving wife to Rodd
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:56 PM   #8
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

It will get better! I went through that time where it was excruciating when DS latched, seems like around 3 weeks in, but it did go away after a week or two and after that it didn't hurt at all. I know it hurts really badly, but all I can suggest is to take extra special care of your nipples when you're not nursing

I hated Lansinoh lanolin, it hurt to put it on. Medela makes a smoother nipple cream (Tendercare) and I used it and also the Medela breast shells so that my bra/shirt didn't touch my nips when I wasn't nursing. I also had some Ameda gel pads that I kept in the fridge and those were soothing as well.

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Old 11-13-2010, 10:29 PM   #9
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

It hurt for me for probably six weeks.... the toe-curling pain that makes you want to cry every time they latch. I visited an LC, used the lanolin, etc, etc, etc... and none of it worked. Then, one day, I realized it wasn't really hurting anymore. And a few days later, it was fine! So, I don't have any tips or tricks for you to make it better, but I can tell you it DOES get better, even if it feels like it never will. And once it's better, it is completely worth it, from a bonding, financial and convenience point of view. Good luck, Mama... you're not the only one out there curling your toes every time your baby eats.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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Re: Pain 3 1/2 weeks in, getting discouraged :(

I had pain right through 6 weeks, I think it's just harder for some people and the baby's latch has a lot to do with it. For me, it was crucial to let my nipples heal from the initial trauma. Here's my advice from my experience:

Use the nipple shield - it was a life saver for me for the first 6 weeks and really helped me heal.

Pump to heal and give a bottle if you need to - my babe never got nipple confusion because I kept trying to breastfeed everyday, I just used the bottle to give some relief

Keep using the nipple cream and BM on your nipples, along with the nipple shield it will eventually heal you
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