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Thread: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 weeks

  1. #1

    Default Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 weeks

    Hello there,

    I need some moral and technical support!

    Daughter is one month old today. I have had cracks since Day 1 and have seen LCs about 4-5 times since then, but all tell me the latch is pretty good. No tongue tie or thrush. I have been using the APNO since coming home from the hospital but I am not seeing much if any healing, and definitely no improvement in the pain. It is often excruciating and always at least very painful at the latch as the cracks are stretched out and only sometimes (when boobs are less full or she is sleepier) do I feel 'comfortable' while she nurses. I am crying in pain and frustration at most feedings. The cracks are on the part of my nipple that matches with her top lip (I am using cross-cradle hold mostly, but all positions are painful. I cannot figure out football hold).

    I have a fast letdown and she chokes a bit during the beginning of feedings (esp at night/early morning) but she nearly always makes these clicking/slipping sounds (again esp when boobs are very full and less when supply is a bit lower, in late afternoon). Sometimes the slipping/clicking is painful on the nipple. I am now trying to nurse uphill but it doesn't seem to help much.

    I have a hospital rental pump that we have been using intermittently (now about once a day) to give my nipples a break but I am worried that using it has contributed to potential oversupply. I can pump 4oz in 10 minutes on the right boob in the mornings and get about 1.5 oz on the other side.

    I am getting lots of conflicting advice - stop using the APNO, go topless all day long, use Soothies all day long, use saline, use the pump only till they heal ( I have only managed this for 24 hours before I started panicking about loss of contact with her and her forgetting how to latch). She has good output and is gaining >1oz a day so she is doing fine. It's just me.

    If one more person tells me breastfeeding isn't supposed to hurt I will lose my ****. I know something isn't quite right but I cannot figure it out and I am so frustrated that the cracks don't seem to be healing. I don't even know how long it should take to heal them. They often ache between feedings esp if exposed to air/breezes/ac (but I haven't seen any blanching/color change). I feel like a failure during the tough moments and really really want this to work, but it is ridiculous to keep going like this. It hurts worse than pushing her out!

    thanks for any support,

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 wee

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*oldhomeplace View Post
    If one more person tells me breastfeeding isn't supposed to hurt I will lose my ****.
    I know exactly how you feel! I read that so many places, and I just wanted to scream because it did hurt so very much.

    OALD was the root of my problems. My son was biting to slow the flow, which was causing damage to my nipples. Once I started nursing in a reclined position he stopped biting and the pain started to go away. It takes a little practice and fine tuning to figure out a "laid back" position that works for you and your baby. I would lean back on a few pillows (so not flat on my back), put my baby on my stomach, and let him latch. In the beginning, I sort of held him up a bit over the nipple and lowered him as he latched. It took a little while and some tweaking to get it right, but it saved our nursing relationship.

    Some women unlatch the baby at letdown, let the milk spray into a towel, then relatch the baby to deal with the OALD. Some hand express a little before nursing. My baby had no patience for any of that, but it certainly works for some people.

    I also did some minor block feeding for a while. In the thick of it I fed on the same breast for two feedings, then the other breast for the next two, and kept switching off like that.

    If you can tolerate just nursing and not pumping, it will probably help. Pumping can aggravate both OALD and OS.

    If you haven't tried laid back nursing, then I highly recommend you give it a try. I promise it gets better. My baby also grew into the insane milk spray. I sprayed until 15 months, but it was only an issue for the first 2-3 months (it probably would have resolved sooner, but I didn't start nursing while reclined until 8 weeks). Hang in there! You can do this!!!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 wee



    also, what's up with your LCs who told you the latch "looked good" when clearly it's not? are they IBCLCs? did they have any suggestions for you about improving the latch? can you get in to see a (different) IBCLC?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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    Default Re: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 wee

    With OALD often the latch itself is fine, but the baby is biting down or doing something else that causes the pain. Mine had a pretty good looking latch, but the suction wasn't great (because it doesn't need to be when the milk sprays like a fire hose) and he was biting down.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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    Default Re: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 wee

    Also, for nipple pain, I used lanolin (which helped some, but APNO is supposed to be best from what I've heard) and tried to let them get air. I also used cold compresses for engorgement, and found that the cold gave me tremendous relief from the nipple pain as well.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 wee

    The LCs have all been CLCs but not IBCLC. I will try more of the laidback nursing and block feeding. There are a couple groups I am going to next week for more support so hopefully I can find an IBCLC through them! One day at a time...one feed at a time I guess.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 wee

    If you can find an IBCLC, that would be great. Nothing beats hands on help. I absolutely swear by laid back nursing for OALD. I really hope it helps. At least keep in mind that it does improve on it's own as your baby grows. I had to take it one feeding at a time too in the beginning because of the horrible pain. It sounds like you've got some great support groups, so that should help lots! Good luck!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Severe pain at latch, OALD and cracks not healing, 4 wee

    good luck, and keep us posted!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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