Ugh. Nursing has been such a struggle for me. My daughter is just over a week old. She is gaining well and having a great diaper count despite having jaundice and being pretty sleepy. But since she was born my nipples have been so sore. The cracks are gone it seems, but they are still pretty sore. It is the worst when she is latching on but the pain is bearable when she is taking good, deep swallows. It's so hard from about 4 pm until 10 pm when she wants to cluster feed. I have a really good supply (at the ICBLC's office she took in three ounces during the feeding and then I pumped another 1/2 ounce in five minutes when she fit me for a pump).
Here is what I have tried:
-I have seen an ICBLC and her latch is as good as it's going to get...my daughter has such a small mouth. The LC says that I have good techniques, baby has no issues with her tongue, latch, or sucking. She suggested either using the hydrogel pads, a nipple shield, or pumping. I REALLY want to avoid a nipple shield. I also want to avoid artificial nipples until she is at least 2 weeks old.
-I went to Kellymom and looked at all the info about healing sore nipples, and all the info seems conflicting.
-When she starts sucking faster or it gets too painful I usually unlatch her, burp her, and then offer again.
-The Medela hydrogel pads don't stay on well and it hurts more when I nurse her after taking them off.
-I put lanolin on after every feeding, which does help a little.
-I express milk onto my nipples after some feedings and let them air dry.
-I use the sandwich technique, compressions, and check her latch often.
Am I going to be able to heal while she's still nursing? What can I do to help that process along? Every LC I have seen tells me we'll have an excellent nursing relationship once I heal and the jaundice is gone. I just need to get through this pain until then!