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Thread: still in pain at 7 weeks...

  1. #1

    Default still in pain at 7 weeks...

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Default Re: still in pain at 7 weeks...

    I really sympathise with you, my baby is 8 weeks and the sore nipples only stopped about week 6,she is my sixth child and I never had any breastfeeding problems with the others. I used Avent moisturising nipple cream all the time and it seemed to help.the pain and bleeding was unbearable so I had to resort to some bottles of formula and I had a c section which made it all worse.the only advice I can give is to push through it and maybe get the doctor to check you over and your baby's mouth for tongue tie?especially if the experts have had a look and haven't helped much.i have always used the principle of putting as much of the breast in the mouth as possible to avoid baby sucking on the nipple which must never be done.good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: still in pain at 7 weeks...

    Have you thought about the possibility of thrush? Especially if you had antibiotics during your labour/delivery. Your baby does NOT have to have the classic white patches in order for thrush to be present. I too had pain for the first several months of nursing. I thought it must be a latch issue, and kept working to fix that (including getting lip/tongue ties cut, which helped a little), but for the life of me, couldn't get my nipples to look round when they came out of her mouth. A LC at a breastfeeding clinic said she thought it might be thrush. I did everything on the Dr. Newman thrush page and the Dr. Jay Gordon site, but eventually needed oral diflucan to get rid of it. My baby is 7 1/2 months now, and my nipples are still smooshed when they come out, but it no longer hurts. The burning in between feeds could be vasospasms - do you ever notice the nipple tip turning white or blue? That can also be a symptom of thrush.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: still in pain at 7 weeks...

    Ohh, the nipple pain
    I struggled with the same kind of pain, burning and squished nipples and never got any definitive answer either. However, by about 12 weeks after much trouble shooting I was suddenly pain free and nursing was a breeze. Here are some suggestions:

    Talk to your doctor about the possibility you could have thrush, which can be caused/aggravated by antibiotics and sometimes there are no obvious visible signs. This article may help you figure out if that is the problem.http://breastfeeding.hypermart.net/thrush.html

    Try the "nipple sandwich" (squeezing your breast flat like a sandwich so baby can get a deeper latch with her tiny mouth)

    Laid back nursing. Baby may be pinching the nipple in an attempt to slow down a fast flow.

    Taking lecithin supplements to reduce episodes of clogged ducts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: still in pain at 7 weeks...

    I think the above suggestions are very good. But it really concerns me when a mother is struggling this long despite getting hands on help.

    I am a bit confused about how long your lactation consult was and when it was. In any case, I understand you saw experts, but were they the right experts for you? It sounds as if the experience was not helpful, and it should have been. If there is one thing lactation experts should be able to at least have suggestions for, it's latch pain. Yes sometimes it is very hard to figure out the source of the pain, but in that case more has to be done-mom cannot be simply sent on her way in agonizing pain!

    If the free clinic is no longer around, what IS there?
    Here is a general outline of what is supposed to happen if you see a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) for a private consult. http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

    Why is it important to see an IBCLC? of course people can be experts in breastfeeding and helpful to mothers without being IBCLCs. But an active IBCLC is periodically tested and has to maintain a certain level of continuing education. much more is known about lactation now than was known even 5 years ago. So continuing education is vital.

    Also it is important to see someone experienced in nipple/latch pain and with this age child. If their concentration is in days old newborns, they might not have enough of the kind of experience you need.

    So I would suggest, finding out if there is any way you can see another IBCLC for a private session.

    Meanwhile, here are my favorite latch/positioning ideas
    Tips on latch and positioning http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Here are two simple pictorials, one on latch, one on tongue tie http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: still in pain at 7 weeks...

    Since you have burning pain in between feedings, but only some feedings, you might want to consider vasospasms as an explanation: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/moth...ple-blanching/ Vasospasms often go hand in hand with latch issues, since compression of the nipple can trigger them.

  7. #7

    Default Re: still in pain at 7 weeks...

    Thanks all for the suggestions. Part of the problem may well be thrush - I had antibiotics during delivery due to risk of GBS and have recently had a course of oral antibiotics to treat mastitis. To cut a long story short, earlier this week, I had a pretty chewed-looking nipple on one side and baby was bringing up very pink blood-stained milk! I'm now on another course of oral antibiotics, antifungal cream, and have some antiseptic gauze to apply. My doctor also advised me to exclusively pump on the worse side for a few days to give it a chance to heal. (I do find it hard to watch my baby guzzling enthusiastically from a bottle rather than directly from me though!)

    Obviously all of this is only a short-term solution if the problem is partly bad latch, so I've been in touch with a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and I'm hoping to be able to see her next week. Though interestingly the side that I'm still feeding from has been much more comfortable during feeds over the last 24 hours - maybe that's coincidence, but maybe something has just clicked?

    It's really encouraging to know that others have overcome similar chronic difficulties so that feeding is eventually comfortable. Really looking forward to getting to that point, hopefully sometime soon!

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