Edited by birdie.lee - 5/9/13 at 7:38am
yes it gets better! I remember those 48 hours, and yes it only lasts about 48 hours. I did have to pump an ounce on one side when it became so engorged she couldn't drink from it. Nipple soreness may last a little longer, but not too much longer if the latch is correct. There are always different "norms" for each woman, but in general, you just have to hold on a little while longer! You can do it!
My nipples were sore for at least 2 weeks. It was awful. I would tense up and have to breathe through the pain when she latched on for the first 15 seconds or so. Nipple butter and reusable cotton nursing pads helped a lot. Like spa slippers for your nipples :)
I have nursed 2 babes now - 1 for 16 months and my current nursling who is 9 months. I had nipple soreness for the first couple of weeks with each. I found that dipping my nipples in a mug of hot salt water after nursing seemed to help toughen them up or something (never thought I'd say that on a public forum either!) I would also strongly suggest having a LC check your latch. I needed to do this with each of mine. Hang in there, Mama! How gratifying to know that you are baby is thriving and growing from your hard work and love!
Congrats on your baby!! What you are experiencing is NORMAL! I second lsmama's advice, it never hurts to have a consulatant check baby's latch, but the truth is this is new for your nipples an will take some getting used to. Ibuprofen saved my bf relationship with DS, we had serious issues that required nipple rest (exclusive pumping) at 7 weeks, and I wasn't pain free until 8 weeks out. I happen to have super sensitive skin and so even now my nipples get sore pretty frequently. Lanolin is great between feeds (you do NOT have to wipe it off before latching baby on),though if you have cracks I would recommend some all purpose nipple ointment. Oh and the mug of warm salt water is excellent, continues to be a savior for me.
Good luck mama, and I promise you...I PROMISE you, it gets easier.
Actually, mamas on MDC telling me that helped me keep going throught the worst of it!
I may get in trouble for saying this on here, but I think for most women that I know anyway that it does hurt a bit in the beginning for a whole slew of reasons. For some reason, I think people are loathe to admit it for fear that it will turn people off. For me anyway, I wish someone had told me that b.c then I wouldn't have felt like there was something wrong with me. Trust me - the needles on the nipples agony will fade really soon. Hang in there, mama. It will get better and it is SO worth it. Just seek out help when the challenges arise. Help is out there/here!
Newman's Nipple Cream. You need a prescription for it and get it filled at a compounding pharmacy.
It is God's gift. Seriously. I only discovered it just before I had baby #3, and now I refuse to go without it. (In fact, I just filled the prescription for it today, for baby #4, due in a few weeks.) I had cracked, bloody nipples with baby #1 and #2 (which turned into mastitis with #2), with toe-curling pain when they latched on for about the first 6 weeks. Baby #3 was a BREEZE with this stuff.
How often is baby nursing? If he is ravenous he'll suck harder and that can cause nipple soreness.
If you find that is the case just offer the breast more often, Feeding several times an hour is not uncommon, plus it keeps the fatty milk (hindmilk) closer to the nipple and more readily available. Where as foremilk accumulates as time passes.
Best wishes with your new bundle of joy!
Oh mama you are doing such an amazing job! I can totally relate to the anger though. I couldnt BF side lying until 8 weeks out, and I was furious because I'd wake to a hungry baby, and then have to spend 5 minutes getting situated. You'll get there sooner...I bet you'll be nursing side lying by the next growth spurt!! As for getting help, if you see an IBCLC (NOT and LC, can't stress that enough) and she has some tips for fixing baby's latch or positioning, just remember, it will still suck at the begining even if you do everything PERFECTLY. It's like sex, totally natural biological process, and yet I dont think I enjoyed it until I'd been doing it at least a few months, if not longer!! You are doing a wonderful job, but maybe a little additional hands on support would be good for you? Heck, I used my IBCLC as a therapist at least once, I cried so hard the first time I saw her, and it was amazing!!
Keep voicing your frustration...it's healthy. I still say lanolin is great so long as there are not cuts/cracks...and Jack newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment always, but especially if you do have open wounds. Also, Ibuprofen. Hospital told me to take 600 mg every 6 hours, though their rx ran out after 2 weeks, I just loaded up on Advil. I would have given up without the pain relief. I took it in that dose around the clock for 6 weeks and I would have gone another 6 weeks if thats what I needed to get through the rough patch.
I know what you are saying about being housebound. I expected to have my baby and head out for coffe the same day and BF in Starbucks first thing. Instead I was literally stuck in my house topless for 6 weeks. You will get there. I don't know how to help you believe that, but you will. I promise.
You are doing such a wonderful thing, you are everything your baby needs. Keep feeding him, and sleep whenever you can (SERIOUSLY) to keep those baby blues in check. You are strong and capable and you've totally got this, I have no doubt.
Oh honey I totally remember nursing baby and then having to hand him off to someone because I couldn't hold him :( I was so excited to use my Moby and I didn't even get to use it until Kai was almost 2 months old!!! Have you tried the Medela breast shells for sore nipples? Kind of goofy looking...make your boobs look WAY perkier than they are...but they were a lifesaver for when I absolutely had to go out because they keep all fabric off your nipples (not the same as the breast shells for flat/inverted nipples) and you can get them pretty cheap on amazon. They took a little more maneuvering when bf in public but worked well. Also disposable breast pads (lansinoh has disposables that stick to the inside of yours bra) to begin with...I switched to my unbleached cotton ones once my nipples healed a bit. Target has these super soft cotton maternity bras...ugly but comfy (they come in black or white, no patterns) that were light enough for me to handle, and I still live in soft cotton v-neck shirts (easiest to pull down).
Dont worry, the time for wraps will come and you will make up for all of the hugs and cuddles...so much so that eventually you'll be feeling OVERTOUCHED :)
I third or fourth ibuprofen, 600-800 of ibuprofen will work MUCH better than tylenol--and lasts longer-- and, I loved those gel nipple pads that you keep in the fridge; I also used lanolin prior to every nursing session for awhile.
That said, I found nursing tender/painful for at least the first month--and that was with a baby who latched like a barracuda, but it was a "good" latch and all in all things were going well, he was just very enthusiastic :) I started to say to myself, "well, I can only promise that I'll nurse you one more time" at every feeding, LOL! Then one day I realized, to my surprise that it didn't hurt anymore.
Now, it occasionally is uncomfortable, but then I just tell my 19 month old to pop off and open his mouth bigger!
Good luck, it sounds like things are progressing pretty well from your updates!
Hi woo hoo for you, hang in there girl its not that bad and it only gets better :)
To relieve engorgement cold cabagge leaves work great. just put the leave inside your bra.
and use your nipple butter, if they ever crack just be carefull cause that could catch some bacteria and cause further complications like for me i got thrush, so if they crack just clean yourself after feeding with some gse or something.
but it should be fine !!! Keep up the good work !!
It will get better! It definitely took me a few weeks, maybe even a month, to get side-lying nursing with my babies. You will get there, but in the beginning when they are so tiny and just learning it is too tricky to maneuver. Ditto for public nursing. I can totally sympathize with the cabin fever, but look on the bright side - it's cold & flu season. Maybe Starbucks drive-through?