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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping to find some advice on this forum, recommended to me by a friend. I am exclusively breastfeeding my son and he's 3 weeks 2 days old and every day has been painful. I live in Thailand where there are no lactation consultants, so I've been sucking it up (no pun intended!) and just dealing with the pain.

My baby has a good latch. It's textbook, everything I do looks just like the step by step pictures and I do exactly as described: Aim the nipple to the roof of the mouth, move the baby not myself, he's got the fish lips and enough aereola. He's gaining weight well, filling lots of diapers, so he's getting plenty of milk. He DOES have a very strong suck though. So I'm stumped as to why I'm in so much pain to this day. I look in his mouth for the white patches they say thrush looks like but don't see it. Any advice?

Amy and Aidan
 

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Hang in there, mama!
Can you describe your pain a little more? Is it just when he is nursing or all the time? Just your nipples or your whole breast? Do you feel any lumps, and are your nipples cracked or bleeding?

I'm certain someone here can help!
 

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He can have thrush without necessarily having white patches. Can you describe the pain? Is it just when latching and then it subsides over the course of the feeding, or is it the entire feeding, or is it all the time? What does your nipple look like when he's done nursing? Is it shaped differently than it was when he started? Is he tongue-tied?

Hang in there mama, it shouldn't still be hurting but your baby is doing well and you WILL get through this. You're doing a wonderful job, let's see if we can help you figure this out since you don't have the benefit of an LC near you.
 

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Hi! I just want to post some encouragement. You can do it! When I started nursing it was terribly painful and I had a lot of lactation consultants helping me. I had everything perfect, just like you, but there was still pain. I got little blood-filled blisters and it hurt a lot! I kept going and at some point the pain at each nursing was a tiny bit less each time. For me that turning point was about 5 weeks. And then one day, no pain at all!

One bit of advice I do have is to look at your nipple after nursing and make sure it is flat instead of pointed to one side (does that make sense?). Sometimes when I would nurse in the beginning everything looked perfect but afterwards I had those weird pointed-to-one-side nipples. I knew then that I hadn't gotten the nipple in there straight. Someone told me to break latch every once in a while if it hurt just to check for those. That way I could correct and be more comfortable nursing.
 

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More encouragement from me


My nipples were sore for a little over 6 weeks, to the point of being scabbed, blistered, and occasionally bloody. My problem was no doubt bad latch, but I thought at the time I was doing everything correctly and didn't really have access to a lactation consultant to help me out.

When your babe latches on and starts sucking, do you feel a pinch in the nipple? Or do you feel a pull from deep in the breast? I used to let the pinching feeling slide because I didn't want to unlatch and fear that my babe wasn't eating enough. I do know there are many wonderful websites out there to help with latch (links anyone?)

Stick with it, though. It WILL get better. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your feedback, ladies. Your encouragement is very much appreciated. Well, I found a link to some sites that describe thrush in more detail. I have the nipple pain and it continues throughout the bf session. Afterwards, my nipples sometimes feel like daggers are being stabbed in them. Nipples are pink and raw and when I pull out of baby's mouth, it does have that odd pointed shape, formed to his palette. I also used to have terrible recurring yeast infections before I became pregnant. I hope the pediatrician can recommend a thrush treatment. I didn't know the pain could last 5-6 weeks or longer, as some of you had mentioned. I plan to tough it out, but hope it's gone before then. Again, thank you!

Amy n Aidan
 

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It sounds like you may have thrush - if you do, you need to treat YOURSELF and the BABY at the same time, or else you'll just keep passing it back and forth. Gentian violet is a good way to treat thrush, and it's cheap and safe. It sounds like your latch could use some tweaking too, if your nipple is shaped funny when you're done. Hang in there mama, it might get better on its own but I'd hate for you to be in pain one minute longer than you have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the support mamas! Aidan will have his one month check up in less than a week, and hopefully the pediatrician can help both of us. I don't know what sorts of remedies are available here in Thailand vs. the US, so this is why I must rely on a native Thai for help. I'll let you know how it goes and what a wonderful warm group of people you are for this newbie!

Amy and Aidan
 

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so happy you are here for advice i love it here first i want to say
my first month was terribly painfull with tears every time he latched it will get better just give it time and i know i dont speak for only myself when i say were all here for you you can do it
 

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My baby also had/has a very strong suck, was sore at first, took weeks to get used to it - now I don't even feel it - it takes time. BUT - a couple of suggestions - seemed like my mantra with him became "chin and nose". I would always make sure the tip of his nose and chin were resting lightly on my breast, and in even amounts (kwim?) and then he was positioned ok. Otherwise I might think it was ok, but he was actually tugging to one side or the other. (I am sleepy, hope this makes sense). I would also like to caution against gentian violet. It often does nothing for yeast and is messy and possibly carcinogenic. You also need to find a doc who is willing to Rx both you and baby, in appropriate doses to kill the yeast, especially if it is a severe case. I would try positioning and using a pure lanolin ointment first, though. Lanolin saved my nips, for sure!!! Put a dab between the fingertips, soften it with your body heat and apply very gently to the nipples. Use it ALL THE TIME at first, before and after each feed if you are hurting (lanolin will not hurt the baby - but he will have beautifully conditioned lips!) One day you will just be like, OH! I didn't even need to use it today!
BTW, are you making good use of pillows/furniture/props to get comfortable? Can seem like a hassle at the time, but get a system down and then it becomes no big deal to position. Also, if you drift off while feeding babe, make sure he/she is not sliding down your nip while you drift off and relax your arms. These 2 things were also things I recognised and changed. PS - can you find lanolin where you are or order it somehow? If not, I will help get some to you! hope this helps and hang in there mama!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for your advice, Dove.
One problem DS has is that he squirms and pulls his head back, taking my boob with him -- OUCH!!! Yep, yep and yep, all those things you suggested. I think I have enough pillows properly placed -- this is why my problem is so frustrating -- I've checked and double checked EVERYTHING. I also use this stuff my mother brought me from the US called Nipple Butter from Earth Mama Angel Baby and it works great. I'm sure THailand also has SOMETHING for sore nipples here... the doctor I'm going to go see on Friday might recommend something. Again, your encouragment has been very much appreciated and I'll let you know what happens tomorrow.

Amy n Aidan
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by amyji
One problem DS has is that he squirms and pulls his head back, taking my boob with him -- OUCH!!!
That sounds like a reflux baby. I'm nursing my 2nd reflux baby. I had to cut out all milk (casein & whey) from my diet. She still pukes & cries but not as bad. I do try to keep her head in the bend of my elbow. A gentle pressure to keep her from pulling off.
 

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Yep, could be reflux. I had 2 reflux babies. Thankfully, my 2nd was able to be taken off of the meds fairly early and treated just by positioning and such. Good luck with whatever you find out. Nursing your baby is soooo worth it and you'll be glad you stuck it out!
 

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Amy - thanks for the thanks
hmmm...baby pulling off nip at mach3? yeah, that could definitely be the problem, to say the least. Could be reflux, could be just your kiddo, it might be too early to tell. You might want to take it step by step to find out. For now, try easy things like being hyper-vigilant to when babe is about to pull off - keep a finger right by his mouth so that when it looks like it is about to happen you can zoom in and cut off the suction so that you don't get pulled. Some babies also pull off if the milk ejection reflex in the mom is strong - they are getting a little more milk than they can handle in that moment, so they sort of panic and rear off. Do you feel your milk let down hard or does baby sputter when he pulls off? These could be clues. If this is a possibility, get started with the feed, and when you start to feel your milk let down, unlatch babe (yes there may be crying involved) and let the excess milk run onto a cloth/diaper. Then re-latch. If it also happens thru the feeding as you feel your milk let down again and again, then you can try to repeat. This might help if that is the issue. If it is, it will not be forever, these things go in spurts (no pun intended :LOL ) and baby will "grow into" your supply. If the finger trick doesn't totally do it, and it's not overabundance, it might be reflux. In which case, you can try elimination diets, etc. But for now try this. Oh, and the nipple butter? That brand is really nice, has lots of great ingredients (got some for my sis-in-law, she is due 7/18, and I made her a breastfeeding success basket and put that in there), but I would still try lanolin if I were in your shoes. You may need the heavy duty coating that the lanolin can provide. Couple other things I thought of last night - make sure bra pads are not wet, change them often, and keep your top off if at all possible, even if it is just at night or sometime in the day when you have the opportunity. Just let extra milk drip onto a dipe or piece of soft flannel (flannel is perferable - supersoft and no scratch). Soft wool breast pads are the bomb, if you can get them /afford them. Hope you don't mind more suggestions, it was just not that long ago for me, so I keep thinking of things that helped me along - they haven't faded from my memory (memory? what memory?) :LOL yet. hugs! -Kimberley
 

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If your nipple takes on a slanted look, like a new lipstick, he probably has tongue tied and may need to have his frenulum clipped. Do you get a "blood blister" in the upper edge of your nipples? Some babies outgrow or acomodate for tongue tie but if it is severe, the frenulum probably needs to be clipped. All 3 of my kids had ti but the pain and shaping subsided by 10 days.

Or he may have a high palate and have a hard time getting the nipple back far enough in his mouth.

As well, it definitely sounds like you have a case of thrush. This can be quite painful to baby and cause the pulling off.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dove
( Oh, and the nipple butter? That brand is really nice, has lots of great ingredients (got some for my sis-in-law, she is due 7/18, and I made her a breastfeeding success basket and put that in there), but I would still try lanolin if I were in your shoes. You may need the heavy duty coating that the lanolin can provide.
Lanolin is not recommended for thrush! It will make it worse!
 

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Hi. I just wanted to encourage you to take a look at everything that could be causing this before you decide it's thrush (unless, of course, you look in your babies mouth and it's definately thrush) before you start on medication. I had the textbook definition of thrush for 3 months...only it ended up not being thrush and both me and my dd ended up being on medication unnecessarily. It turned out I had sensitive nipples, dry nipples, an overactive letdown (OALD), an oversupply of milk AND even though latch looked great, my dd was not sucking (using her tongue) properly.

People had great ideas and suggestions here! Check them all out and good luck!

S.
 
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