I'm scared of the next feed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...ugh I'm trying to take this all in a stride, but I feel like I've tried everything and my boobs keep getting more and more sore. I've posted a few questions in the Breastfeeding forum, I've seen 2 home-care nurses, spoken to someone from Nourri-Source over the phone, but I can't seem to get through a feeding without pain. I feel like a failure! Alia is happy as a clam to nurse all the time, but every feed makes me more and more sore, and I'm starting to dread them.

I'm supposed to go a breastfeeding clinic on Tuesday at the local CLSC (health clinic in Montreal) and then I'll be able to have someone help me one on one, but Tuesday seems real far away and I'm hoping that my breast soreness is due to not being used to nursing rather than a poor latch. Even if I do get someone to help me latch her on once or twice, that doesn't mean I can do it well by myself!

Does it get any better after the first week or two?
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#2 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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have you tried shields? The are mostly for woman with inverted nipples but they might help give you nipples a break. also try shells between feedings to get maximum healing between feedings. I hope you find some thing that will work for you.

: mom of Gavin Rhain and Grant, Doula
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#3 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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When I was first nursing my oldest, nothing I did helped my nipples. For at least the first few weeks, every single time he latched, I cried. I bled, had scabby cracked nipples, and the only thing that helped was time. My first baby was the only one I had issues with, though, so I think there is a lot to be said for toughening. Or maybe I did have a bad latch...who knows at this point.



does it get better after a little while of nursing, or does it hurt the same all the way through the session? If it hurts just for a little while (even if it's toe curling tears in your eyes pain) and goes away, it's probably not your latch...and it will get better eventually.

Misti, mom to DS (12), DS (9), DD (3), and Mr. Man (October '10)!

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#4 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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It DOES get better.

-Angela
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#5 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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I was pretty sore this time for 4-5 weeks. I used my birthing breathing techniques to get through the initial latch and let-down when it got better.

Does your pain go away, even partially, at some point during the feeding?
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#6 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, it does go away at some point during the feeding, but then she gets uncomfortable half way through (I think due to gas) and arches her back. This makes her yank on my nipple really hard and brings the pain right back. Then I have to unlatch her, burp her and start over, which hurts even more the second time.

I've really tried to pay attention to positioning, making sure both her top and bottom lips are pursed, her nostrils flared, and getting her mouth open as much as possible, but she's got such a tiny mouth it's hard to know if I'm doing it right, and my anxiety over feeding probably doesn't help...

What are shells?
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#7 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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Hold her head until she learns to not arch.
Initial latch-on pain is really really normal (I got blisters and then scabs the last 3 kiddos) - it got better within 2w by far!!, you just don't want the pain to continue the entire feed.

Be sure to use nipple cream of some sort! Lanolin or otherwise...

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#8 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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i dont know, if you are actually dreading the next feeding, this is more than just needing to get used to nursing imo. i would get help RIGHT AWAY, especially if tuesday seems like ages away. call LLL? someone might come over and help you.
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#9 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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I hated nursing the first week too. I'd want to yipe every time he latched and would have to bite my lip until the pain subsided. It's normal to have pain/small scabs/bleeding/cracking the first week until your nipples are "broken in". There's conflicting opinions about this of course, but this has been my experience, and I've done my share of (extended) breastfeeding.

Good to get it checked out just to be on the safe side. Another way to know if you have a good latch is to listen. Is she swallowing air?

Midwife apprentice and mama to 6, including three UC babies: Jude River, 06/04/08, Elora Wren Isolde, 9/27/10, and our newest addition, Eilish Neve Isebeul, 6/12/14!
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#10 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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Shells are http://www.breastfeed-essentials.com...outshells.html
here is a mothering article about them also http://mothering.com/articles/new_ba...seashells.html
unfortunately in the US it is very hard to get real shells we have to settle for the plastic ones

: mom of Gavin Rhain and Grant, Doula
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#11 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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Have you checked for tongue tie? It can wreak havoc and is not commonly checked for anymore. It is very easy to fix while your baby is still young.
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#12 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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The first week with DS was awful for me, and I got a crack due to poor latch. He got lazy latching b/c I tried side-lying nursing too quickly with no experience. I was so tired I was desperate, but it wasn't worth it once I got the crack!

Definitely call LLL if you haven't already. I always try to do a home visit if I get a call from a mom like you! It can be so hard those first couple of weeks

I would not use a nipple shield though, as I've seen way too many problems weaning off of them. They are really only for times the baby won't latch at all to a soft nipple. They can cause as many problems as pacifiers/bottles.

It definitely does get better, but if you have a latch issue you need it corrected immediately. You still may have pain b/c of the nipple trauma, and that will go away eventually. So don't think that fixing the latch will bring immediate relief if your nipples are already traumatized, kwim? I recognize nipple trauma without cracks as the nipple looking like ground meat, if that helps any. Red and just... I don't know how else to explain it like ground meat. Ouch.

2 weeks is often a "magic" point for first time moms, I've found, and it was true for me the first time.

WAHMama to Allen (2-10-05) and Alexa (6-27-08)
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#13 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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Hugs mama.... I had sore nipples the first 10 days with both of mine. And the latch was perfect. The first few days with this one were really bad because he always wanted to nurse. I would bite my lip and tears would come to my eyes. But he was peeing and pooping a lot, my midwife checked his latch and it was perfect (and no tongue-tie, he sticks it out just fine!), I just needed to get used to it. It did help to switch positions with each feeding, but MAN do I have a hard time with the football hold. Once I got him in the position, it was the best feeling one, but I just couldn't seem to get him into that darn position! Hang in there! Both of mine seemed to have small mouths, and I think that had a lot to do with it too. I got slightly scabbed for a day or two...
My midwife had me do this:
Once my milk was in, express a little bit of milk and let it dry onto the nipple. THAT really seemed to help it out. She did say that the saliva in baby's mouth is acidic, and milk is a base, so it neutralizes the sting, and that helps out a lot.
But obviously we don't know if you're latched right, so definitely see if you can see someone sooner. But I know the feeling of dreading the next feed. I definitely felt it more with my first. I wanted to give up, but was proving my DH wrong (he had stupidly made a comment some point during the pregnancy that I could never breastfeed because I was too much of a wuss. I HAD to prove him wrong). It was tough, but I stuck it out (luckily a friend had just had her first baby a month before me and told me that after 2 weeks her pain was completely gone), and after 10 days, it was perfect!
So this time around I KNEW that it would go away and what I was feeling was normal.

Oh, and I did want to mention, that I think on day 3 this time, I still had a slight bit of pain all the way through the feeding, until I figured out to switch positions each feeding, then that helped out! Hang in there mama, you're doing great! It WILL get better!

Aubree, wife to a wonderful DH, mom to Colin 12/05, Hudson 6/08, and Gavin, 1/12/11.
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#14 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I promise it gets better... but you can appreciate why so many moms just give up at this point. Stick it out for 2 weeks and you'll be glad you did because 90% of your issues and pain will be gone. You've gotten some good advice from the other moms here so I won't repeat it. I had cracked bleeding nipples with James for many days and especially when he latched it really made my toes curl it hurt so much. I also had some problems with engorgement on one side due to some ducts not draining well b/c of previous nipple piercing. I had that this time around too and it sucked, but it worked itself out after a couple weeks.

Can you get some of those gel pads - soothies gel pads i think they're called? If you can get something similar at a drug store, stick them in the fridge and use them on your breasts after you nurse - it helps. Also cabbage leaves help with engorgement, but they also just feel sort of good because they're nice and cool. Hang in there!!! Just think - your baby is almost a week old so you're almost half way through the worst part.

Mom to James (ribboncesarean.gif 5/2006), Claire (vbac.gif 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis. 

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#15 of 30 Old 07-17-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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As the PPs have said, it does get better!

But HAM, I'd urge you to get Feldman to get you in to the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic run out of the Herzl. They're the best in town. I learned a whole new latch technique the other day that is SO much easier and less painful and results in Daniel swallowing less air. Honestly, this clinic has a world class reputation. It took me only 2 or 3 days from the time my Herzl doctor referred me to the clinic to the time they called with a last-minute cancellation and asked if I could go in that afternoon. I was there for an hour with an expert Lactation Consultant. I'd already seen an LC on my own at home in the previous weeks, but the ones at the clinic are the top of the top.

All this aside, I can really relate to major breast pain. I recall crying hard through many of Daniel's first and second week nursings. It was really challenging. Now I'm pain free! We have all kinds of other issues (persistent thrush, colic, reflux...) but my breasts are not hurting on latch-on at all.

Good luck.
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#16 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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Just chiming in to offer my support and to say hang in there! I agree that 2 weeks seems to be a magic time period, after which a lot of problems seem to ease up.

I would also not recommend the nipple shields, since it could cause a baby to get a poor latch. I used them with dd and ds (only a few days though) due to tongue-tie, where they just couldn't get the latch wihtout it. I noticed after even just a few days with ds that he was starting to latch on like a baby would a bottle, which made me appreciate nipple confusion (dd had a bottle and the breast from day 1 since she was in the NICU and never had any problems).

Anyway, breastfeeding is natural, but not always easy. I would try to get as much help asap as you can!

Good luck,

jacqueline
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#17 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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I'm not an expert - but I believe that what you are experiencing is completely normal.
I felt like that when I started and I actually thought that Noah was clamping down on my nipples with his little jaws, because it hurt so much. I was still in hospital during that time though, so I just asked the nurses and they assured me, it was quite normal and that was enough for me. And it really gets better after a while.
DP was always watching me in awe when Noah was latching on and he could see this display of pain on my face... I was also kind of warned because I had talked to my best friend on skype a short while before (video) when she was bfing her 2 weeks old baby and she actually had to stop talking for a bit when her LO latched on - so that gave me an idea... :

don't get discouraged - I find those nipples can actually endure a lot more than I thought they would. I would also recommend some nipple cream to help them recover a little between feedings.

Franziska , DW to )oi , SAHM to Noah 06/2008, Sophia 08/2010, and Junis 11/2012

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#18 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 01:28 AM
 
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s I hope that it gets better soon for you. I agree with trying shields.

CPST and SAHM to DS (4/20/06) and DD (6/13/08)
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#19 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 02:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by skg_7 View Post
As the PPs have said, it does get better!

But HAM, I'd urge you to get Feldman to get you in to the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic run out of the Herzl. They're the best in town. I learned a whole new latch technique the other day that is SO much easier and less painful and results in Daniel swallowing less air. Honestly, this clinic has a world class reputation. It took me only 2 or 3 days from the time my Herzl doctor referred me to the clinic to the time they called with a last-minute cancellation and asked if I could go in that afternoon. I was there for an hour with an expert Lactation Consultant. I'd already seen an LC on my own at home in the previous weeks, but the ones at the clinic are the top of the top.

All this aside, I can really relate to major breast pain. I recall crying hard through many of Daniel's first and second week nursings. It was really challenging. Now I'm pain free! We have all kinds of other issues (persistent thrush, colic, reflux...) but my breasts are not hurting on latch-on at all.

Good luck.
Not from this DDC, but from this city.
Do get help from that clinic. I do not know what neighbourhood you are in, but even in very 'crunchy' places like the plateau, the breastfeeding meetings they have are awful. Even nourri-source has been a great disapointment for me.

If you need, you can always PM me and I can come over and try to help you or just offer some middle of the night reassurance. I am not officially certified as anything, but I have been BFing for 4 years and have gone through all the different kinds of pain, blisters, cracks, bleeds, mastitis you can think of and I am ...obssessed... with everything breastfeeding related.

And pain is to be expected sometimes. Please promptly throw out the Tiny Tot to Toddler book they gave you with the big bold letters saying that breastfeeding should never hurt.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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#20 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Halfasianmomma View Post
but she's got such a tiny mouth it's hard to know if I'm doing it right, and my anxiety over feeding probably doesn't help...

What are shells?
This sounds just like with my first. . .dosen't help when they only eat for a few minutes (maybe) and then bob off the boob or get gassy like you discribe. It does get better don't give up but it is such a challange sometimes especially the first time around. Your nipples will not feel like this in a few weeks(i know it's hard to believe but really they get tough, so much so that the normal stimulation you once had in them is gone for a while.) Anyway position might help but I think the anxiety is a big part your anticipating PAIN and her fussyness so you are edgy before you start the feed which she picks up on so it's an perpetual thing. Try to get real relaxed maybe even one dark beer or one glass of wine or a soothing bath before hand. Then try to really get the best position for you and her perhaps football hold? You could try the creams Lansinoh for your cracked nipples, but honestly that never really helped me.
Mama don't give up one day you'll realize that your feeding like a pro cooking and cleaning at the same time Just hang in like you did so well waiting for her arrival.

Mama of 4 all born at home : Mothering
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#21 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you tell I'm an emotional postpartum mess? I was crying while reading all the responses to my post

Thank you mamas for your support. It helps a lot knowing I'm not alone, especially after being trapped in my tiny 2 bedroom apartment for the past week.
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#22 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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Just wanted to add to the chorus of yes- btdt. With my first, I was crying over cracked nipples for the first few days but then my wonderful midwife came and worked with me and the baby to fix the latch for like an hour and after that it got a lot better. I had similar problems this time around but this time I knew what to do and was able to fix the latch without help.

Contrary to popular belief - breastfeeding should NOT hurt. If it does, there is a latch problem. I hope you get the help you need.

Also here is a link to a similar thread:http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=920782
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#23 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 11:19 AM
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It WILL get better!! We promise. Hang in there.
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#24 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kltroy View Post

Can you get some of those gel pads - soothies gel pads i think they're called? If you can get something similar at a drug store, stick them in the fridge and use them on your breasts after you nurse - it helps.
This is my third time BF and it hurt for the first few days. The hospital gave me these and they were a lifesaver!

I hope you can get some hands on help. Can you contact a post-partum doula to help with some eyes on/ hands on help and reassurance?

Hang in there!

Quoteriginally Posted by aswbarry~A~ Mama to DD 6y, DD , DD 3y and DD 1y
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#25 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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Not in your DDC but saw your post title and had to respond. I was there, it is tough, I was screaming in pain at latch on. In my case, it turned out to be tongue tie, which was easily fixed and made a world of difference for me. Please get help sooner rather than later, and keep on getting help until you don't need it anymore.
It will get better.

Good luck
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#26 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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I had horrible pain the first couple weeks. I really does go away eventually, if latch and positioning are good.

You said latch looked OK, what about positioning? Baby should be facing you to feed, and at breast level, don't slouch down or bring your breast to her, use pillows under the baby (or a Boppy type thing) to get her to the right position.

Something like Lansinoh helps sometimes. And rub a few drops of the hind milk on the nipples and let them air dry (ie under t-shirt or whatever, but not in the bra) after each feed. Your milk is good for more than just baby

And try to get out a bit, even if it is only for a few minutes. The fresh air and sunlight are good for baby too.


oops, just realised this was a DDC, sorry for crashing.

nothing more to say I guess :
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#27 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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((ham))

Midwife apprentice and mama to 6, including three UC babies: Jude River, 06/04/08, Elora Wren Isolde, 9/27/10, and our newest addition, Eilish Neve Isebeul, 6/12/14!
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#28 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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GL w/ getting assistance. It sounds like that expert clinic SKG recommended is the way to go.

I am always bothered when people say that breastfeeding should not hurt. I am very, very fair skinned - so much so that prior to having children and BFg my aureolae were almost invisible - and it hurt for a short while w/ all 3 kiddos. by far, it was worst w/ #1 - he was trying to suck my nipple in like a straw! With the MWs help we got that fixed, but that was only the first day. After that he got it and had no latch problems, but my nipples still blistered, cracked and bled. Once they got used to the friction, etc, BFg took off like great guns.

BFg can hurt, esp. for first time nursers. But, hopefully w/ a skilled LC or a referral to that clinic, you will be able to look forward to the next feeding, not dread it (but having BTDT, I understand the feeling totally).
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#29 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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I had some horrific nursing pain in the beginning too. My nipples were cracked and bleeding and hurt like nothing else whenever she'd latch on. Honestly, a lot of it was my own fault. I had a c-section (totally unplanned) and was in too much pain and couldn't move to really care about positioning her properly. She was born on a Saturday and I saw her ped. on Wed. The ped is an LC and she immediately referred me to her on-site LC for the next day. I went home that night and looked at pics, read a ton of how to position and really worked with my boppy. That seemed to really fix everything! I was just bound and determined to stop hurting.

I know it's so hard, but try not to think about the pain. It hurts and it's not fun, but it can and will go away!
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#30 of 30 Old 07-18-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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I was in the same position as you and I promise, it got better. So much better, in fact, that I'm now nursing a 15.5month old!

Take the poster that lives near you up on her offer and see someone (even if she's not a professional) sooner rather than later.

Breathe when baby latches and try to relax. If you dread the pain it makes it 10 times worse! I forced myself to concentrate on relaxation when I latched and it made things so much better. Before I was doing that I was experiencing toe-curling, scream-inducing pain ...

Good luck - you CAN get through this and you CAN do this. The first few weeks are always the hardest.

BFARing mama to Haley (3/07) and Abigail (11/10/09)
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