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Thread: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

  1. #1

    Default "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    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.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    Can you describe the pain when they hurt randomly during the day? Is it a burning itching kind of thing? Or a bruise-y ache? Does it hurt while baby is latched on? What about when you leak or if water hits your nipples in the shower? Were you given antibiotics during/after your c-section?

    Basically I'm wondering if you might have thrush.


    Also, I had to add...I totally opened this thread solely because of the Princess Bride reference.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3

    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    It's a throbbing, burning kind of pain. No itching. It kills me when fabric brushes against them but is only uncomfortable when water hits them in the shower. Up until yesterday it only really hurt while he was latching on, not after the latch was established, but now it kind of hurts while he's nursing too (not nearly as badly as when he's latching). And I'm not on antibiotics. They gave me Motrin and Percocet, which I haven't been using. Although it might help a bit with pain relief for these damned nipples.

    Excellent! I'm glad that someone else is as goofy as I am. I almost removed the quote because I thought people would think I'm nuts.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never put up with a bad latch!"

    Oh, I love the Princess Bride.

    Still.here asked excellent questions. Just a couple more-
    - When baby unlatches, what shape are your nipples? Are they symmetrical, like pencil erasers, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/ridged/shaped like new lipsticks?
    - Do you happen to have a vaginal yeast infection, or does the baby have oral thrush or a yeast diaper rash?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    A good latch? I don't think they exist.

    Not perfectly round like erasers, maybe slightly wedged down at the very bottom? I keep reading the does it look like lipstick question, and if definitely doesn't look like lipstick, just slightly wedged at the base.

    I don't have a yeast infection. I don't think he has thrush or yeast diaper rash. He does have a little white spot on his gums, but we asked the doctor about it and he said that spot is a plugged saliva duct.

    I keep thinking something must be going wrong inside his mouth, since everything looks fine out here. Honestly, I have no idea how I'm ever going to get enough areola in his mouth since my breasts are so large and his mouth is so tiny. His opening wide isn't that wide at all. I keep thinking we'll have fewer problems once he grows a little and his mouth gets bigger.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*goodmorningstarshine View Post
    A good latch? I don't think they exist. I keep thinking we'll have fewer problems once he grows a little and his mouth gets bigger.


    It may get better, I've heard the size can be an issue with larger breasts or even with small breasts with large nipples.

    I still think thrush could be a possibility, mainly because when I had it I said the same thing- that it drove me nuts when fabric would brush against them (the chest part of the seat belt was pure torture) and when the water would hit them in the shower. Any time they got wet, actually. When I would leak, when I would first put my breast in baby's mouth, etc. And I was about three weeks postpartum when I realized what was going on (I'd never even heard of thrush), I'd thought all along that I just needed to get used to nursing.

    HOWEVER, that said it sounds like you may also have latch issues. Has he been checked for tongue tie?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7

    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    I don't think they did. I was wondering about tongue tie. I think I'm going to call the lactation consultant at the hospital today. I'm pretty sure the insurance isn't going to cover it. Grrr.

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    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    I, too, have been enjoying these Princess Bride references

    I also vote thrush. Just because you're not on antibiotics now doesn't mean you didn't have them in the hospital. I can't imagine that they didn't give them! Several docs told me it wasn't thrush too -turns out it was, and I suffered for months! Especially since the baby doesn't need to have those classic white patches for thrush to be present.

    Check out Dr. Newman's candida protocol http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-CP

    Also, some good info on tongue tie and upper lip tie http://www.kiddsteeth.com/articles.html

    I do agree with you that a small mouth can play a part in pain issues, but best to get other things ruled out too

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    Oh mama!! I went through a similar situation with my nipples. Oh the pain....how it lingers in your mind and feel it when someone describes it. What I did (and this does not mean you have to do it too...just want to share my experience) was I went to exclusively pumping and giving him a bottle with my breastmilk. I pumped for about 3 weeks to get my nipples completley healed. I did put him at the breast at least 3-4 times a week to remind him of my nipple. Little babies are so resilient. We did not deal with nipple confusion completely. When it was time to go back on the breast we did struggle a little bit and it seemed he did protest for about a day but because he was a little older and it seemed that his mouth grew he latched on a lot better and we have been successfully breastfeeding ever since . Hang in there mama....it will get better. I am glad I did not give up
    Happy Mama of 4 beautiful boys ages 14, 10, 7 and the newest member of the family:
    Damian Gabriel 2/13/13 , , twice a day at work, and finally successfully. We never gave up and we are as happy as can be !!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "Life is pain, Highness." 3 week old killing my nipples.

    Yeah, I'm also thinking that antibiotics must have been part of the c-section. I'd call and ask. The throbbing, burning pain that's worse in the shower... Sounds so thrush-y! Also, if your nipples are basically symmetrical, and only slightly wedged, then latch issues are less likely. If you had a really compressed, lipstick-looking nipple, you'd almost surely know it because it's just so obvious.

    Hands-on help with the latch sounds like a really good idea at this point. Ask if the LC can show you the "breast sandwich" technique- it's really useful for cramming maximum breast into a small newborn mouth.

    You are right that problems tend to disappear with time, as baby's mouth grows.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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