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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the story--
My nipples were mildly sore for the first week or two after Erin was born. Then they were only sore when she first latched on. After about a week, they started getting sore again.
This morning I decided I'd had enough and called the LC and she had me come in so she could watch Erin latch on. She seems to be latching on fine. LC thinks that I had/am having nipple trauma that just isn't getting a chance to heal. The only cause I can think of is that sometimes after nursing a while, Erin will all of a sudden draw her legs up and then push her face into my breast, mushing it around--while my breast is still in her mouth! Ouch! I try to hold her head still, but I can't completely control it. It happens too fast for me to break the seal and pull her off. Often she'll pass gas after this episode, so I think she's just having gas pains.
I'm sore enough that a few days ago I started giving her a few bottles of formula a day. I hate doing this, but I need a break since Erin is a baby who wants to be at the breast ALL the time. I've tried expressing milk, but haven't been very successful yet. At least with the formula, she'll get that feeding and she usually has a good, solid sleep afterwards, giving me a break. My nipples are still just as sore as they were last week, but at least I have these few hour breaks during the day where she isn't nursing.
The LC didn't have any recommendations except to make sure that she's latching on well and to really hold her head when she does that mushing around thing. She wants me to call her back in a few days. I know it's pessimistic of me, but I can't see how things are going to change in a few days.
I'd love to hear if anyone else has been through this or if anyone has other suggestions.
Thanks!
Jill
 

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What kind of soreness is it? Burning, itchy, bruised-feeling? Are your nipples pink or cracked? Could it be thrush?

Have you had the baby checked for palate or mouth problems?

You probably know this, but giving formula can mess with your supply. Are you sure she is still hungry and not just wanting to nurse for comfort? What about giving her your finger or a pacifier to suck when you are tapped out?

I know how hard it is when nursing hurts and BFing is not the nice experience you anticipated. It also sounds like you did not get very useful advice from the LC. Is there another one you could see? Do you have La Leche League in your area?
 

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I was also going to say that your LC didn't appear to be all that helpful. I also suggest finding your local LLL. Most of the leaders are godsends when it comes to nursing problems.

I had the same experience in the beginning. Quite honestly, the pain didn't go away until about 8 weeks. I swore each day was going to be the last, but I was determined to make it work. I also tried supplementing with formula once a day to give me a break, but all it did was open a whole other bag of worms with my supply (which I battled until she was 4 months old) so I try to strongly suggest staying away from the supplementation process unless it's medically necessary. It just seems to cause more problems than solutions.

I used a lot of ice packs on my nipples in between feedings and took tylenol when it just got to be too much.

Hang in there and know that you are doing the absolutey best thing in the world that you can do for your child!! It is hard in the beginning, but before you know it, it will be second nature and it won't give you a second thought.
 

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It could be thrush as well since thrush can really take off well in traumatized nipples. So it could be that you had some minor abraisions when your DD first starting nursing and then got thrush in them before they healed and now the thrush is still there even though you may not have anything that looks like nipple trauma. The nature of the pain can be your first clue- is it burning, itching? Some moms describe thrush to feel like the baby is nursing on the breast with a mouthful of broken glass (ouch!!).

Try to get in with another LC- get the latch checked and consider the possibility of thrush. If possible, drop the supplements before you start having supply problems, as the others have suggested.

Also, if your DD is having gas problems you could try burping her more often during a feed so that she doesn't get the big gas bubble that causes her to squirm. If she gets mad at being taken off the breast, you could try nursing her in a more upright position, so that the air can come up on its own.

Good luck to you~ hopefully the pain clears up soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all of the thoughts.
My nipples are very pink at the tip, but I don't think they're cracked. Wouldn't the LC have noticed if its thrush? We went to the pediatrician last Friday, would it have been obvious then?
The pain I'm feeling is just an overall soreness. It's more intense when she latches on and for about 1/2 hour after she stops nursing. Sometimes its slightly itchy, but mostly just sore. An overused, chafed, bruisy kind of feeling.
I am concerned about supply, but right now figuring out the sore nipple thing is my priority. It is difficult for me emotionally to supplement, but I was so miserable--I didn't like the person I'd become. I feel much more sane now that I have a few hours break from nursing and can give my nipples a break.
I think I'll try reaching one of the LLL leaders tomorrow for a second opinion.
Any other thoughts are welcome.
Jill
 

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Hi there-

I don't think the LC would have noticed if it was thrush unless she was looking for it. Pink nipples are a sign of thrush, as is pain that continues *after* a feeding.

You could try treating it as thrush to see if the pain gets better. Acidophilous, grapefruit seed extract, and gentian violet can all be bought over the counter. I know one LLL leader who also suggests that a twice-daily rinse with a weak vinegar and water solution can really help as well (thrush cannot survive in an acidic environment, so the vinegar can help kill it and is not harmful to the baby or you!)- be sure to let it dry well after. Then if it gets better or clears up you know what it was.

Good luck with the LLL group in your area!
 

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I had soreness also that was persistent, starting from latch-on to a little while after nursing, even hurt to wear a bra for a few days. There was no obvious trauma, just a little pinkness to the tips. It was minor at first but by time ds was about 1.5 weeks, I really did not want to let him latch on. I knew he was tongue tied. I also think he has quite a high arch to his palate. Both things can lead to soreness in Mom. I was about to the point I really did not want to breastfeed--and I am 100% into breastfeeding. Apparently there is a range of how much this can affect bf. Other things I noticed were he nursed 30-45 min every 2 hrs, broke latch frequently, and his tongue did not cup the breast like in pictures or videos. I had his frenulum clipped at 3 weeks of age (delayed almost a week due to holidays and getting a referral). His was paper thin and I could have waited for a couple months for improvement or just clip. I nursed him immediately after and noticed a small difference on the more sore side, 48 hours later I had completely healed and no pain. About a week later I could nurse in just about any position and he was start to finish 15 min due to how efficiently he could suck after that. I didn't want something done to my little baby, but it kept the BF from stopping.

This may not be your situation, but may help check one more thing off the list of possibilities.
 

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Baed on your description, I would definitely ask to have someone assess baby's mouth. It sound similar to my pain which results from DD's high "bubble" palate. As I understand it, this is easier to fix early than late.
 
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