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Thread: 3 Week old, nothing but problems!

  1. #1

    Exclamation 3 Week old, nothing but problems!

    I would love some input or to hear some awesome success stories from anyone who has dealt with the same issues I'm going thru! I'm currently bfing my 4th son. I was only able to nurse my 3rd - NO problems whatsoever, and I bfed for 13 months. After I had him, we thought we were done having kiddos, so I did the whole mommy makeover thing, including a breast lift with a slight reduction. I'm not sure if that's causing some of my problems, but I thought it'd be worth mentioning.

    In the three weeks since he's been born, I've been dealing with cracked, bleeding nipples (even with a good latch, as seen by my lactation consultants), thrush and mastitis. All in three weeks! Now that we've got the thrush and mastitis under control, I'm still having major pain at the time he latches on - only in the nipples. Then after I nurse, I'll have a sharp/burning pain throughout my breasts. It could be when they are "refilling" but I don't know for sure. I just know it hurts. And my poor poor nipples - ugh! The last meeting I had with my LC, she finally said I needed to try a shield, just temporarily to give my right nipple a break to heal. That helped for 2 days - while he was still opening wide. Now he's not opening his mouth so wide, so it's causing pain again - even with the shield. He will still take both breasts without the shield, but I honestly can't handle that pain any more!!!

    Any advice? Anyone been through similar pain that got better? I'm pretty stubborn and feel like I can continue on - as long as there is hope it'll get better. But my dh hates seeing me in pain, and is not being very supportive of bfing right now!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,843

    Default Re: 3 Week old, nothing but problems!

    Welcome! How is your baby's diaper output and weight gain? The biggest concern with any type of breast surgery is decreased supply. This is particularly a risk if the surgery in question involved any severing/reattachment of the nipple. If your baby's diaper output/weight are fine, then you have the basics down and what you really need to do is work on tweaking the finer points. That's not to minimize the pain you're experiencing- cracked nipples are no joke!- but if you're able to produce plenty of milk that's really a great foundation for future success.

    The burning pain you're experiencing could be thrush. If your baby wasn't treated along with you, it's possible that he reinfected you. (It's not enough for someone to take a look in a baby's mouth and declare him thrush-free, since it is common for one member of the nursing pair to be asymptomatic though both are infected.)

    The pain could also be caused by vasospasms stemming from compression of the nipple. (See this link for more on vasospasms: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/...blanching.html). The type of cracks you have could be informative here. If you have just one large crack per nipple, it's quite probable that the cause of your pain and the nipple damage is a poor latch, which generally means a latch that is too shallow. If the cracks are small and slit-like, perhaps radiating around the nipple or even onto the areola, that would be a much better indicator of thrush.

    It is almost certain that things will get better if you are just stubborn enough to hang in there. Many breastfeeding issues resolve with time, particularly latch issues. I encourage you to read your unsupportive DH the riot act and let him know that right now he needs to support you. Tell him exactly what you need to here- heck, write it down for him!- things like "Honey, you are doing a marvelous job and I can see how strong you are and I think you are a marvelous mom".
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: 3 Week old, nothing but problems!

    Was your son treated for thrush? It's possible that he is in some discomfort that is causing him to restrict the movement of his mouth and throat. I know that a lot of your discomfort is related to his latch, but is it certain that YOUR thrush is gone? Another possibility would be having him assessed for tongue or upper lip tie, although it seems odd that it would present problems later like that, after a period of good latching.

    Here is a link for a technique that may help your son open wider for a deeper latch. http://www.lovingbaby.ca/parenting/b...r-training.php

    I wish I had more ideas for you, but hopefully others will be along with more questions or recommendations.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  4. #4

    Default Re: 3 Week old, nothing but problems!

    I'm not 100% certain that the thrush has cleared up, but we were both treated at the same time. I took my 2nd dose of diflucan on Monday (only 2 doses). I'm still doing his meds right now because I was told to continue for 2 weeks after symptoms are gone. And his mouth is completely clear now - it cleared quickly.

    I have multiple cracks or open areas, though they seem to be healing. (I think.) The cracks I have follow the curve of my nipple - like crescents. Does that make sense? And also, just some roundish open areas towards the middle of each nipple.

    Oh, and Cannon's output and weight are awesome. We weighed him before and after a feeding when he was 2 weeks old - he'd taken in 2.6oz from one breast. He has lots and lots of wet and dirty diapers. And he's gained a little over 2lb since birth. So I know he's getting plenty. Actually, we think that part of the original nipple damage was from his little tongue trying to stop an over-active let down and over supply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,843

    Default Re: 3 Week old, nothing but problems!

    Multiple cracks, especially ones that radiate in a concentric fashion around the nipple, definitely points to thrush. The large open area in the center of the nipple, however, points to a crack caused by a shallow latch. Sometimes babies adopt a shallow latch when trying to deal with a fast letdown, so you certainly could be putting your finger on the root cause of the central crack!

    Have you tried adopting reclined nursing positions? That can help slow milk flow and allow baby to use a deeper latch because he's not trying to stop a firehouse letdown.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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