My daughter is 5 1/2 weeks old. I experienced sore and bleeding nipples when first feeding her, even though lactation consultants and nurses said our latch looked perfect. In order to get my nipples to heal I started using a nipple guard at about 1 week. It made a huge difference. Once my nipples healed I was able to switch back and forth between using and not using the guard with no problems, but using it was always a little more comfortable than not. I used it less and less.
About a week ago my daughter's poop started becoming very green, watery, and sometimes bubbly. I researched and discovered that we had every symptom of an over supply problem/ getting too much fore milk. I realized that when I didn't use the guard, I was only letting her nurse for about 10 or 15 min per breast because as my breast got soft, I started to feel a pinch around my nipple. If I removed my nipple from her mouth in the first 5 min of a feeding, it was a normal shape, but after about 10 or 15 min it would come out lipstick shaped. It's as if she loses her good latch as my breast "deflates." because of this I've been using the guard full time for the last few days so that she can stay on for as long as she wants without pinching me. Her poop is returning to the proper yellow color as a result, but now I'm dependent on the guard.
Has anyone else had this problem with losing latch as the breast softens? I tried to take her off the breast once it starts to pinch and relatch, but usually she is sleepy after feeding for a while and won't open her mouth wide enough take it again. Since the whole point is to keep her on as long as possible, that isn't a good solution.