My baby is 7 weeks and exclusively breastfed. She is gaining weight fine but I'm still finding feeding painful, which is getting depressing. The level of pain varies a lot between feeds from pretty minimal to agonising. I usually seem to get a few feeds in a row at the same comfort/pain level but it can vary dramatically over the course of a day. Unlatching and relatching sometimes helps a bit but not a lot. Ditto trying different positions - we normally use cross-cradle but underarm and side-lying aren't really better. Pain type varies - I get pinching, burning (incl between feeds), and bruising at different times.
I suspect the (main) problem is the latch as my nipples tend to look creased after a feed. However, I'm not sure how to fix it. I have had several people, including world experts Sally Inch and Chloe Fisher, watch a feed (am SO fortunate to have had them running a free drop-in clinic near me until recently) and they say the latch LOOKS fine, but obviously isn't as I shouldn't be in pain. Unfortunately their clinic was busy so they weren't always able to spend a long time with me, and also they are no longer running it. I guess, though, I found it a bit discouraging that they seemed somewhat at a loss to know how to help me...
Other possibly relevant info:
- I'm feeding on demand which probably means every 2-3 hours per 24 hours.
- I'm just recovering from a bout of mastitis (treated with antibiotics) on one side and blocked duct on the other side.
- I've never had any letdown sensation (which I know doesn't matter), I hardly ever feel engorged (excepr for localised engorgement with blocked ducts/mastitis) and my breasts don't leak. Thus no problems with oversupply!
- baby has been checked (briefly) at the drop-in clinic for tongue-tie and that doesn't seem to be the problem.
- we get 0-3 dirty nappies/day (usually 1 big one!) and about 4-7 wet ones. I'm a bit worried that the number of wet ones has been low over the last couple of days - could my supply have been temporarily affected by the mastitis? How long would that last if so?
Sorry for the long post - have tried to provide all relevant info. Any advice on how to improve things (reduce pain, get nipples to heal, stay positive despite everything!) would be much appreciated.