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Thread: Help!! Getting desperate...still in pain

  1. #1

    Default Help!! Getting desperate...still in pain

    Hello All! This is my first posting and I'd really appreciate any ideas or help.

    I'm in the UK and Tiddler is coming up for 20 weeks, I have never been pain free when feeding - and I'm now getting very despondent. I'll try to keep the story brief...

    - baby no 3 (1st BF for 2 months, 2nd BF for 9 months - so I know I can do it!)
    - I was incredibly sore and in tears before I even left the hospital and I was only there one night. I called somebody at everybody feed to come and watch/check latch and everybody said it was good.
    - lots of clicking through feeds. I have a super fast let down and lots of milk, and erm....am well endowed!!
    - about 6 weeks mild posterior tongue tie diagnosed and snipped a week later.
    - midwife who did snip said it looked like I had thrush on nipples so to get myself to GP.
    - GP not very helpful, anyway came away with creams for myself & Tiddler.
    - a couple of weeks later, shooting pains in right breast after some feeds (not all feeds though). I'm super worried about getting mastitis so constantly check for lumpiness, redness etc - none of that.
    - back to GP who prescribed 3 week course of Fluconazole.
    - no improvement so another 3 week course of Fluconazole (all while taking grapefruit seed extract and probiotics).
    - pain getting worse (still only on the right but there is a crack on left) so back to another GP who looked confused and said I should have been given antibiotics with a low dose of Fluconazole for a course. She felt it was some low grade bacterial infection.
    - no change after first course of ab's so now on second course of ab's.
    - painkillers on and off since Christmas.

    Aaaarrrgggghhhhh I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel! I WANT TO BREASTFEED!! But I don't know what to do next.

    Tiddler is nearly 20 weeks, I am still in pain although I think now it's a pain I am just used to. My nipples are tender but don't have the typical thrush look. I'm fairly certain this is not mastitis. I'm not sure it's thrush. I've had latch checked all along, everybody says looks good. But what is the problem?????

    The pain is not after every feed but my goodness after a bout of pain my breasts become very tender/sore for the next few days (even more than normal!). So I take some ibuprofen for a day and that helps. But I can't keep taking painkillers without resolving this. I feel sure this is 'fixable'.

    Tiddler is thriving and gaining weight beautifully so it's not affecting her.

    Any help or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: Help!! Getting desperate...still in

    Welcome, congratulations on the new baby, and kudos on hanging in there for 20 weeks! Can you tell us a few more this about your situation? It would be helpful to know:
    - When baby unlatches, what shape are your nipples? Symmetrical, like pencil erasers, or asymmetrical/creased/wedged, like new lipsticks?
    - When do you have the most pain- when baby first latches on, during the feeding, at the end of the feeding, or after the feeding concludes?
    - Do your nipples ever change color after nursing, perhaps blanching (turning white), then gradually returning to their original color, perhaps turning blue-purple as well?
    - Was baby ever treated for thrush?
    - The crack you have- is it a slit-like crack, or more of a wound?
    - Is the crack located at the tip of the nipple?
    - How would you evaluate your supply- is it still really high?
    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

    Default Re: Help!! Getting desperate...still in

    - When baby unlatches, what shape are your nipples? Symmetrical, like pencil erasers, or asymmetrical/creased/wedged, like new lipsticks?
    - Mixture. Sometimes symmetrical, but if I let her feed to sleep and she sort of comfort sucks then the right will look creased across the middle (and whiteish), the left can look like a new lipstick sometimes. Generally this happens when she has stopped feeding/drinking and is just sucking (which I don't tend to let happen if I'm honest, I usually take her off when she stops swallowing for this reason).

    - When do you have the most pain- when baby first latches on, during the feeding, at the end of the feeding, or after the feeding concludes?
    - All of the above! For a while it has just been when she first latches on then it's been fine during feeding, on the right often feels grazed/tingly when she finishes, but the shooting pains start 15-20 minutes after feed and last for about an hour (less if I cave and have painkillers). But the last few feeds on both sides have been sore throughout feed, no matter if I take her off and relatch.

    - Do your nipples ever change color after nursing, perhaps blanching (turning white), then gradually returning to their original color, perhaps turning blue-purple as well?
    - Yes they do, as you describe (I wondered about Raynaud's and also vasospasm). Not always.

    - Was baby ever treated for thrush?
    - Yes, she had gel for her mouth (twice a day).


    - The crack you have- is it a slit-like crack, or more of a wound?
    - Slit-like crack.


    - Is the crack located at the tip of the nipple?
    - Crack is on the tip in the middle.


    - How would you evaluate your supply- is it still really high?
    - Yes supply is still very high, I call my boobs hurty & squirty!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: Help!! Getting desperate...still in

    Wow, that's a puzzler! You have so many different things going on that it's hard to point to just one and say "Yes, that's it!"

    Okay, here's what I am thinking. You probably have oversupply. Often babies who are trying to deal with oversupply will compress the nipple as they feed, since that will slow down the milk flow, rather like crimping a hose. Compression will cause lipstick or creased nipples, and can also cause vasospasm and trauma (like cracking). Ideally, nipples should be symmetric when they emerge from baby's mouth. So to test that hypothesis, I think you try the following:
    1. Slow the milk flow to baby by adopting reclined nursing positions, and see if that changes baby's latch at all.
    2. Consider block feeding to control the oversupply.
    3. See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for help with the latch and for an evaluation of whether or not you are suffering from oversupply. You don't want to block feed unless you are sure there's oversupply, since block feeding reduces supply and it is possible to go too far and wind up with insufficient milk.

    Now, hopefully that will work. But I don't know. Thrush, bacterial infection... Those still seem very much on the table. I think I would ask the doc for a culture of your milk/breast, and see what sort of bacteria you have growing in there. I have a friend who suffered recurrent bouts of mastitis for 6 months, and after repeated courses of the wrong antibiotics finally got the right antibiotics and killed off the bacteria that were troubling her.
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help!! Getting desperate...still in

    Thank you for the advice. I've been trying a reclined feeding position since I read your reply. First attempt was hilarious because Tiddler had a better view of me and kept popping off to grin at me!! But it was still more comfortable. When she popped off I nearly squirter the ceiling so yes over supply/forceful letdown definitely an issue.

    I've been thinking about it a lot and I do believe that most of my problems have stemmed from this and lack of good advice on how to deal with it early on. My DS never really had a problem with it when I BF him.

    I'm going to get myself to doc and convince them to culture/test for infection or thrush.

    Question re: reclined nursing positions - can it give rise to plugged ducts because baby is essentially leaning into breast? Or have I not quite got it right? Due to the....erm.....larger nature of my assets I'm finding that when she drops off feeding like that her nose gets buried in my breast. Any tips?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: Help!! Getting desperate...still in

    You never know what's going to happen with plugs. It's so individual. I can wear underwire bras and never get a plug from them other women can't even look at an underwire without getting a plug. If reclined positions and having baby lean on you gives you a plug, then you try something else.

    If you're well-endowed, it can be a challenge to keep baby from getting buried in larger, softer breasts. Try supporting the breast throughout the feeding using your hand or by putting a rolled-up washcloth under the breast. That may help.
    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!"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help!! Getting desperate...still in pain

    We had a rough time breastfeeding too! I think it was due to being tongue-tied. He had to have his tongue clipped twice, which is pretty common. It took awhile, but I'm finally more comfortable while nursing (lo is 8 months). Have you had her tongue reevaluated? Just another suggestion :-) Hugs!
    Here's a great website for tongue tie: http://milkmatters.org.uk/2011/04/15...eed-your-baby/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Help!! Getting desperate...still in pain

    I admire you for sticking w bf and not giving up!
    Mommy to one little boy who changed my life 8/30/11 , loves mommys milk

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