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Problems with nursing?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
We're working on getting the hang of nursing. This initial week has been much like it was with dd1 in that there's been lots of pain, very difficult time latching on correctly, lots of crying from both of us. We were reaching the point of just toe-curling pain with latch-on. Thankfully, I have a wonderful LLL leader who has held my hand and gently convinced me that a nipple shield would be OK to use for a short time and that it wasn't permanent, etc. In the couple of days I've been using it, it has made a world of difference. The scabs on my nipples (sorry if TMI!) are starting to heal and her latch is getting better.

Anyway, she's crying and ready to nurse, so I just wanted to start this thread really wuick to see how everyone else is doing with nursing.
post #2 of 22

I came on to post about this! It seems to me that bf has been harder this time, which I totally hadn't expected! After 2 1/2 years, I thought I knew what I was doing and this time nursing would be easy! I have massive oversupply. My breasts were terribly engorged and sore, getting really lumpy and painful. I have a friend that is almost a lac. cons. and she came over Wed., saw my poor breasts... She talked with a few other LC friends and together we came up with a plan. I am pumping just to relieve the pain and make the areola soft enough that DS can latch. He wasn't latching correctly because they were so hard, making my nipples sore, one of them was scabbed and bleeding. I'm icing my bbs and using cabbage leaves btw. feedings. Taking lecithin too. Ony nursing on one side per feeding/2hrs. I'm finally not in pain 24/7 and my production seems to be slowing some. I think I've avoided mastitis but I think we are getting thrush now. This has simply been awful. I keep reminding myself that this is temporary and the rewards are worth the effort, but man, it's hard to remember that when you are crying in pain and dreading having to nurse!
post #3 of 22
Seriously painful nipples here too.What scared me is I was on pain killers for the c-section and it wasn't helping with any of my pain while nursing : It was really bad for a couple days and now they are finally healing. (scabby nipples suck ) We just gotta keep hanging in there ladies!
My biggest issue is that I had supply problem with DS and I'm still paranoid that my little girl isn't gettin enough. OF course she goes through plenty of diapers so I know in reality everything is fine but my hormones have been known to get the better of me. She REALLY wants to nurse a lot which complicates things when it comes to me trying to pay enough attention to my 2 yr old. Poor guy, he's such a trooper. Alright I'm off to have a cup of fenugreek tea (not too tasty but seems to help with my milk supply)
post #4 of 22
I'm just popping in from February - One thing to try in the beginning that has helped a lot of moms is to get the baby on asymmetrically - you will want to aim the nipple toward baby's nose or the roof of his mouth, instead of straight in. You'll see quite a lot of areola below his nose but not much, if any, at the lower lip. Also making sure both lips are flipped outward, like fish lips. It can be hard to see the bottom lip so having DH or someone take a look might help! Baby's chin should be touching your breast, and the nose touching it just barely, or just really close.

That positioning helped me so much when I was getting the hang of it with DS! It can be frustrating and painful in the beginning when you're both just learning. I have been nursing my toddler right through this pregnancy and I am so eager to nurse an infant again. I am just wondering how things are going to go! It's kind of exciting and scary at the same time!
post #5 of 22
This time nursing is going so much better than before. Engorgement didn't last near as long. We were having some latch issues which are mostly resolved. Troy seems to want to suck more than he needs milk and I was getting quite sore, so I gave him a pacifier. I know, taboo in bf circles. Really though, it seems to have helped with is latch issues. Plus, he doesn't get too full with a paci and then spew everywhere. He gained 12 ounces in 9 days, so no worries about how much he's getting.

to you all with scabby nipples. I've been there and it HURTS!
post #6 of 22
Lansinoh after every feeding has helped me. Nipples are no longer scabby and bleeding, but they're still sore and healing.
post #7 of 22
It's been much easier for me this time. With DS #1 I had huge over-supply problems that never seemed to resolve themselves. After a month I just started pumping and donating because I couldn't take the pain any longer. We had latch problems. We had spit-up problems, etc. etc. This time DS#2 took right to nursing, the engorgement resolved at about 2 or 3 days after milk came in (until then though: owie owie!). No latch problems. DS#2 gives lots of good feeding cues.
post #8 of 22

why the scabs?

Will the scabs just heal or is it from doing something incorrectly? What I want to know is: how come I am not better at this? I did have nearly FOUR years of practice with DS.

Actually DS (3.5 yo) really wants to nurse again now that there is milk. I say that's fine except when he nursed in tandem with Baby Peter yesterday, I had to stop nursing both of them because the afterpains were excruciating. They can be as painful as labor for me. I called my mother b/c I thought something was wrong as I am now 6 days postpartum. So, even though big DS keeps asking, I just tell him over and over that he can have it in a few days when my body is better. It is very hard for him to understand why Peter can nurse and he can't. :

And are any of you second time plus moms experiencing not leaking very much? I hope it is okay. Yesterday, I tried to express milk to see whether Baby DS was getting any, and I zapped him in the eye! I guess I got milk! I am just surprised not to be leaking. It was insane with older DS.

Let's hang in there. We will all be feeling better soon! And even though nursing hurts, I still it! I love those chubby cheeks just drinking away!!
post #9 of 22
I used a nipple shield with my son for four weeks it really helped get things going. I am glad it has worked for you!!
post #10 of 22
Both of my kids have had a great natural latch and I really didn't have any problems nursing either of them. I never even experienced engorgement when my milk came in -- presumably because they were both nursing all the time.

The new baby does like to spend more time nursing than his sister ever did. She was always a 20-minutes-on, 90-minutes-off kind of gal, while he's more into nursing off and on for hours. I'm sure that'll sort itself out as he gets a little older!

She's been weaned for six months, but has been asking to nurse while her brother is nursing. She just puts her mouth to my breast for a second and then tells me she's done; she doesn't actually remember how to nurse.
post #11 of 22
Its good to hear that i am not the only one that is having issues in this dept!!after my less that desirable induction and hospital birth and now the bfing problems i was starting to think that something was seriously wrong with me. I too am using a nipple shield for a little while, my nipples were so messed up that the lactation consultant that came to my house kept asking if i had used a bottle, even though i kept telling her i hadnt! things are getting better now, but I would recommend this nipple cream that I had to get a script for, it is called APNO - and it is a compound, so it needs to come from a compounding pharmacy - but when i called the mws from the hospital asking for the script that the consultant had recommended they knew right away what it was and I have to say it has been helping in the healing of the cracks and scabbing that everyone else has been talking about.

anyway - goodluck to everyone else having issues!
post #12 of 22
After uncomfortably nursing through the pregnancy I thought my nipples would be ready, but sadly for the first time I got blisters! Yowch! I finally sterilized needles and popped them because I was in tears every time the baby or my DD latched on. Finally now a little over a month later they have toughened back up and it is no longer painful to nurse either of them (or both at the same time ) Lansinoh really really helps to prevent scabs from forming and for softening any ones that do!

Hang in their ladies- nursing a newborn is by FAR the hardest part! (I keep repeating that to myself over and over.... and over...)
post #13 of 22
Oh yea... I want to echo the painful nursing part. My nipples are flat (sorry if TMI) but the nipple shields were just like torture devices for me... so, I just toughed it out. Annan is definitely a hard sucker, so I think that has contributed to the toe-curling nipple pain as well. I also seem to have a somewhat painful let down which just complicates things. I've gotten to where I'm having to psych myself up to put my breast in DD's mouth. Once we get past the intial expansion of the nipple and let down, I'm alot more comfortable, but those first few minutes... :

DD would prefer to be on the breast 90% of the time, I think... and we've been having problems with eating, eating, eating, then spitting up everywhere. I don't really want to rely on a pacifier, but I'm not sure how else to satisfy her sucking need. But then, I'm also worried that she'll be calmed with a paci and then I'll miss the supply increase at the next growth spurt.

Good news though, we've had to start introducing a bottle b/c I have to go back to work on Thursday, she did just fine with the bottle, but then wanted to come back to mommy

Has anyone else experienced one breast that is way larger than the other? Does it matter (besides the way it looks)? We nurse just fine on both sides, it just seems like one side is more likely to get engorged than the other, if that makes any sense...
post #14 of 22
i will admit that my fiance started giving her a pacifier because it was just too painful to have her using me as one even though she had just fed. i can tell you that it does not make her not want to nurse when she is with me, it only helps him when he is trying to comfort her and me when she has just fed, but still had that need to suck and be comforted. i know what they say about the nipple confusion, but she is pretty aware that one nipple gives her milk and one doesnt!!
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
We used a pacifier with DD1. She did fine with it and never really developed any nipple confusion. I know some babies do, but not always- and it really can be a relief for them to have something else to suck on when you'e hurting, especially when you're pretty sure it's just a need to suck and not hunger.
post #16 of 22
Avery and I are now seven weeks into this, and all has gone well until this week when we have both developed thrush! Very painful latch-on, but getting better with meds and probiotics.

I also have one breast that makes like double the milk. Kinda weird, but doesn't seem to matter.

Both my sons have been insatiable suckers and have used a pacifier. No nipple confusion or supply probs; when he's hungry the binkie just gets spit out unceremoniously! Also seems to cut down on the gorge and spitup cycle.

My biggest "fear" or worry is that I won't be able to pump enough once I go back to work, so I've been trying to squeeze extra ounces out here and there to stock my freezer. Then last week I got a kidney stone and had to have IV pain meds; good thing we had the milk and Avery took to the bottle for a few feedings! It does make me happy that he still prefers his mama. I was crying from the pain and from the worry that he would have nipple confusion, etc.

It's good to hear how everyone is doing...and that even veteran breastfeeders can run into pain and challenges!
post #17 of 22
Originally Posted by hannah8ball View Post
DD would prefer to be on the breast 90% of the time, I think... and we've been having problems with eating, eating, eating, then spitting up everywhere. I don't really want to rely on a pacifier, but I'm not sure how else to satisfy her sucking need.
I'm experimenting with block feeding for this same kind of issue -- basically only offering one breast for an extended period of time. We'll see how it goes!

post #18 of 22
I nursed my DD on one breast exclusively for 2 1/2 years. She refused the left one. We never figured out why! My DS doesn't seem to care, but the right one makes more milk and is easier to pump. You can nurse on one side, no problem, you'll just look a little uneven I was a bridesmaid in my SIL's wedding during that time and wore one falsie to even things out!! Normally though, it wasn't noticeable under every day clothes.

I've finally turned the corner. I attribute it to pumping. I am down to pumping twice a day-- about 10 ounces total-- I am going to donate it all, I think, since I don't need all this milk! I've got over 100 ounces in the freezer already! I'll give him freshly pumped milk most of the time, but I don't go back to work until he's 14 weeks, so that's three months from now. Anyway, pumping has made my areola soft enough that he can latch on correctly, so the scabs/pain have gone away. My supply seems to be less every day. We'll probably introduce a paci sometime this week or next (he's two weeks today!), bottle shortly after, once I am sure we have nursing down. We did with DD and she didn't have problems. Plus, I have to go back to work and want him to be able to have the comfort of sucking.
post #19 of 22
Sore, crunchy nipples here too. The aysmmetrical latch thing a pp mentioned has been a big help. That & changing to the cross over hold instead of cradle. Both have made a *huge* difference in how sore my nipples are in the last 48 hrs.

I also wanted to pass on a link that my LLL leader gave me. Some of you may have heard of Dr. Jack Newman --- kind of the Yoda of bf'ing. Here's a link to his site that has really, really good videos of the correct way to latch a baby & lots of other stuff: http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...d=18&Itemid=42

It's so much easier to do once you see what it's supposed to look like you know, instead of just step by step photos or descriptions.

I'm also a bit paranoid about my supply since DD1 ended up being supplemented. But at her 4 day ped visit she was under the 10% weight loss & the ped was happy to wait to see her back at the 2 wk appt unless we felt something was wrong before then. She's having lots of poops, but I'm going to have to start writing down the wets now that she's getting older. It's just too hard to remember the exact number with the new Mommy brain thing. :

post #20 of 22
Thanks for the info and links...

One question - how do you know when the baby is "done" with one breast? Mine will come off the breast and look done (ie fall asleep) but 2-20 minutes later she wants more...

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