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Thread: Need Advice: Blisters, cracks etc former tongue tied

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Need Advice: Blisters, cracks etc former tongue tied


    I’m very sad and frustrated and would love advice. Some history:

    Henry is 6 weeks old now. He was tongue tied and had pretty much chewed my nipples to shreds before we figured it out. We then had the frenulum clipped at 10 days (couldn’t find an ENT to do it without anesthesia; called around and finally found a doctor who specializes in breastfeeding to do it). By then, he was accustomed to the bottle and had major nipple preference. It took a week of screaming, kicking you name it to get him on. But I did.

    Then the nipples started hurting. A lot. The LC at the hospital said it was from the previous trauma. So I’d let wait a week and hen I would try again. I noticed that he was causing blisters: milk blisters, blood blisters, fissures.

    I examined the latch many times and it appeared to be fine. It doesn’t hurt all the time (except when there’s healing blisters.) I visited the LC three or four times who also said his latch looked fine. I recently tried again and more blisters. The LC repeated that the problems were from the previous trauma. I’m not sure I buy that one... If the nipples were fine going in and coming out with a blister how would this relate to the trauma from five weeks ago?

    Other things to note, the nipple comes out looking OK, not lipstick like. Henry does seem to have a dome shaped palate. He has a little ridge/bump in the middle of the roof of his mouth (maybe all babies do - dunno) and it’s exactly where the fissure he creates on my breast.

    I have made numerous attempts to get more help with no success.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been pumping and pumping. Supply is getting low as I’m tiring of pumping so much. It does hurt. Sometimes there’s plenty of blood. It’s a lot to deal with and my husband keeps suggesting that I thrown in the towel.

    I’ve never had Henry exclusively on the breast so I have not been able to increase my supply.

    So my questions are:

    Any thoughts on the latch? Looks OK, but something’s not right. The ears are wiggling nicely. He’s open nice and wide.
    Thoughts about production. I know I need to pump more often but am I better off using a nipple shield rather than the pump to increase supply? Keep in mind that he’s never been on the breast so I would not see a decrease like some mom’s using the shield.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Need Advice: Blisters, cracks etc former tongue tied

    Hi there
    I'm sorry that you're still having trouble despite the frenulum clip. Have you checked to make sure that the frenulum didn't re-close?

    What you are describing definitely sounds like a latch problem, which I know is probably frustrating for you to hear since you've been working so hard at a correct latch. At this point, since your current LC has been unable to help you, maybe another pair of eyes would be a good idea. See if you can get ahold of a LLL Leader in your area (click the link in my signature to find one) or another LC.

    Is it possible that the pumping is also contributing to your nipple irritation? You may find turning down the suction or speed could help. I know some regular pumping moms like to "lube up" with lanolin (like Lansinoh) before pumping, too.

    It sounds like a nipple shield may be an alternative to consider, BUT that should only be done under the guidance of a Leader or LC who can help you in person. I can't tell you to use one, because I can't physically see you.

    Hang in there and keep us posted!
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Need Advice: Blisters, cracks etc former tongue tied

    Hi Kitty,

    I am suffering the exact same problem. Here is a question I submitted to the LLC help page. I can understand exactly how you are feeling as I have had loads of ups and downs with this. I keep thinking get to the next health visitor meeting or get to Friday etc etc. I am also pumping, but It takes an age and you only just finish only to start again. I have also drawn blood feeding and had to bite on my shirt to help the pain. I just can't figure this out?!! Keep me posted and I will you if you find a solution!

    My question to LLC
    I would be very grateful for your help with my problem.

    I had Luca 3.5 weeks ago and we have struggled with breastfeeding from the start. It has become more and more painful as time has gone on. I have had 8 different midwives and health visitors watch me feeding him and none note any problem with my technique.

    He feeds for about 5 mins, but after that time I suffer greater and greater pain until it becomes unbearable. When I extract my nipple it is flattened at at 45^ angle and the tip is rigdged and had red sores on. Initially 1 midwife wondered if he was tongue tied, so we had his tongue snipped. Having read your articles on tongue tie this seems to be the exact same symptoms I am suffering from:
    1. Sore Nipples that become more painful the longer we feed.
    2. Long Feeds - he never comes off from his choice and will feed / suck for hours. I tend to take him off after 40 mins.
    3. Very frequent feeds (he is not getting milk out effectively?)
    4. He is chomping at the base of my nipple / areola which begins to feel bruised.

    He didn't put on any weight until 3.5 weeks, and kept loosing weight. We had a weigh in before and after 15 mins of feeding and he put on very little weight 20g.

    As breastfeeding has become unbearable I am mixing breastfeeding with expressed milk feeding. I am also offering top up feeds with formula as he seems so hungry. Sometimes he takes 3 fluid oz and sometimes non - 0.5 fluid oz. I am trying to limit the formula, but he is unsettled and hungry so I feel this is the best solution.

    I have also been treated for Thrush as has Luca as one midwife wondered if this was the cause. We are finishing off the treatment, though I was never convinced I had this and the treatment does not seem to have had any effect.

    When expressing I am able to express 2-4 fluid oz at each session (every 3 hours during the day, 6 sessions per 24hrs) I have been feeding Luca every 3 hours as feeding on demand did not work for us. He was very sleepy week 1 and 2.

    Luca has also done lots of wet nappies, but was almost 2 weeks without a dirty nappy. He is passing lots of wind.

    Our birth was very straight forward. No drugs and water birth. We had skin to skin for 1hour after birth. He is a very contented baby and only unsettled when hungry.

    We did give Luca a dummy at in week 1 as 1 midwife suggested he might be a sucky baby. The dummy has settled him after a feed, but he only needs a dummy if he hasn't had enough. If I feed him then top up with either expressed or formula he is very settled and no need for a dummy.

    My theories:

    1. My technique is poor?
    2. My nipples are too big (they are big) - but he is a big baby.
    3. His mouth is too bit / small?
    4. He developed a habit prior to the tongue tie op and is continuing it (he had the tongue tie op at 2 weeks.
    5. I have over sensitive nipples?
    6. He has a very strong suck - he is a big strong baby.

    Any suggestions very welcome as I am totally at a loss!!

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