I'm 3 wks pp with DS#1. BFing has been painful from the beginning. I just recently figured out we have thrush, but I also think we have latch issues, and probably some nipple confusion as well. I'm trying all sorts of stuff to get rid of the thrush--probiotics, genetian (sp?) violet, vitamin C, and anti-fungal liquid to paint the inside of DS's mouth before feeds, and an oral antifungal pill for me to take. I'm also taking ibuprofen every four hours to help deal with the pain, but it still makes me cry sometimes. I'm just so sore. I know artificial nipples shouldn't be introduced before six weeks, but there have been a couple of evenings that he's wanted to nurse for four hours straight and I just couldn't handle the pain anymore so I gave him a bottle of expressed milk.
I have sores on both breasts. At one point the right one was so big and bad that I stopped nursing on that side and hand expressed only to let it heal. It's been nearly a week and it still hasn't healed, and my milk supply has dropped a lot on that side. I know I need to start nursing again on that side, but DS is such a vigorous sucker, even when half asleep, that I'm afraid I'll be back to square one after only one feeding. The thought of nursing at all fills me with dread. When I hear DS start to wake up after he's been asleep awhile and I know he's going to want to eat, I get that pit-of-the-stomach, "Oh no" feeling of impending doom.
I'm living in Eastern Europe at the moment, and there aren't any LLL or IBCLC consultants or groups in my area. I can't afford a breast pump, and there aren't any facilities for renting one. I know only one mother who nursed (I only know one mother at all, really--for some reason DH's and my circle of aquaintances is made up entirely of divorced old men), and she didn't have any problems at all and so had no advice for mine. She even gave me her unused tube of lanolin because she never felt like she needed it.
I've read countless articles and watched countless videos on getting a good latch, and I think our latch isn't awful, but I know it's not perfect because my nipple is almost always slightly flattened when he's done (and because it hurts!).
I guess I just want some encouragement that this, too, shall pass, that things will get better, that it will eventually get less painful, and that it really will be worth it in the end.