Okay, I've just quoted "The Princess Bride" there. But this is a very serious problem.
When I first started breastfeeding I was an idiot; I knew my son's latch was wrong, but I thought I should just bear with it and I would toughen up while he got better at it. This was very wrong, of course, and I wound up with large scabs on both of my nipples. It was terrible.
I had a C-section, so I was in the hospital for 4 days and had daily access to a lactation consultant and l&d nurses. They watched us nurse/latch and explained the things we were doing wrong. I corrected those things and after we got home my nipples eventually healed. A fresh start, thought I!
No, not really. A few days later I noticed my left nipple was feeling sore, and around 5 days ago I guess my son started going through his 3 week growth spurt and has been feeding constantly throughout the day - up to 9-10 hours straight some days.
Now my left nipple has a huge crack/hole in it and although my right nipple doesn't have any sores (yet) it feels incredibly bruised, like someone has been hitting it with a sledgehammer. I could cry when I think about him latching onto the left side and both nipples seem to start throbbing randomly throughout the day and all night, even when nothing is touching them.
I am making sure he grabs areola and am detaching him and trying again when he only gets nipple. I watch for hunger cues and always feed him before he starts crying. I always feed him on the less sore breast first. I make sure to flange his lips out. I use my hand to shape my breast into a C or a U, depending on the position.
I don't know what to do. I'm not prepared to give up, but I don't see this getting better the way things are. The only thing I can guess is wrong is that I have very large breasts and my baby has a small mouth with a recessed chin and just can't get enough in there - or keep enough in there - to keep from hurting them.
I am reaching the point where I am tempted to feed him breastmilk from a bottle until my nipples heal, but I am SO worried about nipple confusion. I don't want to make the problem worse and then get even more hurt a few days from now.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I REALLY need help.