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Thread: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    11

    Default Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    My DS is 3 weeks old and we've been struggling with breastfeeding PAIN since we brought him home. I had no pain during the hospital stay, but after a few days of being home, I started experiencing extreme nipple pain, soreness, slight bleeding etc.

    We've since seen a lactation consultant from the hospital twice and I thought I figured out how to properly latch, but the extreme pain and soreness/slight bleeding still continues. I also have major pain not only in the nipple area, but also an achy and sometimes sharp pain in my whole breast. Also, it feels like the areola area is bruised.

    Some days I want to fight through it hoping the next feeding will be the magical one that doesn't hurt, but mostly these days I'm dreading the next feeding. I occasionally pump, just to give my breasts a break and let my husband help feed him.

    My DS is also very aggressive and takes about 5 seconds for him to become totally frantic. He will slam his mouth forcefully onto my breast which makes it hard for me to control his latch positioning; so I have to constantly pull him off and try again which of course makes him even more frantic and frustrated. In the meantime my nipple is being gummed and pulled. Not to mention trying to keep his hands from ripping off my nipple. ouch!

    Just want some encouragement that this will all work out in the end. Should I see a lactation consultant again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,512

    Smile Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    I am sure someone else will have great words of wisdom but I just wanted to offer support and encouragement. My LO did not begin nursing until 3 weeks of age but when she did she was the same as yours. She calmed down in a week or two. I do not know if it was that we finally were getting better at the latch or if she began to trust that I would feed her once we actually got her latched but it did get better! She is now just over 3 months old and still is not perfect but most of the time I can get her on pretty good. I too had to pump because the pump was "nicer" than my LO - now it is the opposite and I prefer her nursing!

    One thing I did find is that if I waited for her to cry or give obvious hunger cues it was Too Late and she was too frantic and upset to latch nicely. You may want to try feeding a little sooner - before your LO is Really hungry. Again, my LO and I are not perfect yet so would look forward to what the other moms and LLL Leaders say.

    Good luck and it will get better!
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    Hello - this is my first time posting, so forgive me if I mess something up .
    Your post caught my eye since my son is 3 weeks old also. I'm still experiencing pain during feedings and my nipples are generally sore all the time. It was really bad the first few days and then it sort of leveled off. Last weekend, though, they started hurting again as if we were back at the beginning again. Then he wanted to eat every 2 hours for about 24 hours, so that wore me out. Thankfully that growth spurt seems to be over. But we're still struggling with a good latch, I think. I have slightly flat nipples and he spends the first minute or so drawing them out, and in general he gums pretty hard - ouch!

    I would suggest you talk to a lactation consultant just to get some support and suggestions. It might make you feel better. Plus they can see what is going on with your nipples and suggest something based on what is going on there. I use the Lansinoh lanolin and that has kept my skin from cracking and bleeding. I'm going to schedule a visit with a consultant from my hospital in the next week or so to see if we can get some extra tips.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    If I were you I would go back to the lactation consultant. It may or may not help but at least you will know if you still have the correct latch. I waited to long to see mine and ended up with major damage. My LO is 16 weeks and I have just recentlly had pain free nursing. I think that if I had seen my LC before all the damage I would have had an easier time.

    It does get better but the pain can be intense. I remember feeling nauseated everytime she latched on from the extreme pain. I found that finding something else to focus on helped. I choose to count and usually by the time I got to 20 it didn't hurt so much. I thought I would give up multiple times but stuck it out. It does get better but I think the actual amount varies by person.

    Hang in there. I know it is awful at times but at some point it will get better. I thought I would never have a painfree feeding but I finally made it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/mastitis.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/sore.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/thrush.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/heal.html

    heres some info on sore breasts and nipples.
    Sometimes it takes a while to get used to nursing, and if you have cracks and bleeding it will take a while to heal.
    if your having and buring or stabbing pains deap in your breast that might be thrush and you might need an antibotic from your doctor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    Your post hit home, so I just wanted to say that I saw FOUR different lactation consultants and talked to two lactation counselors (one was my doula) over the weeks that followed my son's birth. For me, the bleeding and scabbing healed up after 3 weeks or so, but the latch was a continual struggle.

    I had sore nipples and sore breasts for about 3 months. I remember crying in the middle of the night from the pain I would experience during growth spurts. Some babies have a steep learning curve.

    I would continue to see people and get lots of input. I would also use every comfort measure available to you... lansinoh, etc. Ameda makes these reusable gel thingies that you refrigerate and put in your bra over your nipples. Ahhh, that offered a few moments relief.

    The good news is that is does get better. DS is 5 months old and can usually latch himself on. I enjoy breastfeeding now. Still, things come up and soreness may return, but I think one of my big problems was thinking that bfing should be pain-free and blissful all the time. That's not always the case. In the meantime, be kind to yourself.

    Take care,
    Theresa
    Theresa

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    hello and welcome to the forum!
    The first 3 weeks are very difficult, and it take some time for mom and baby to really cue into eachother! At that point in time I had pinching and aching in one breast. Turns out it was the sensation of a strong letdown, and it has subsided now at 9 weeks. I agree with ppl about checking for hunger cues so maybe you can try to get your lo to the breast before he tries to gobble you up! Generally, poking out the tongue,rooting behavior, or panting-like noises, oh-yeah and anytime after they wake up from a nap .
    I also has alot of nipple sensitivity, even the spray from the shower hurt; totally normal. However once again I side with people about being checked out for thrush if its extremely ouchy. There is a solution for all of this, just hang in there! hth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    Hi, I had exactly the same problem as you have described: soreness, little bleeding and extremely pain the first few minutes my son latched on. And he is only 11 days, so I think I have a long way to go to the pain-free breast feeding. I am going to see a lactation consultant hopefully by the end of this month. I am using a boppy to nurse him at the moment, it helped greatly with not needing to hold him any more, but the latching seems extremely painful. I found it easier with holding him by my arms which I can control his mouth a little bit. Plus I took 800mg Motrin at night to give myself a bit of reliefe. I heard other people saying usually after 1 month this will get better, so just hoping that will work for me and all of us new mothers.

    best of luck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    This is my first reply on La Leche, recommended by my midwife, so apologies if I mess up. My son born Jan 5th '07 is causing extreme pain to each breast/nipple every feed. My midwife, also a breast feeding support worker, agrees he is positioned correctly yet each feed it feels as if my nipples are being pulled and squeezed by some cruel power tool/device. I have tried counting backwards/smiling/positive thoughts etc but nothing seems to stop the floods of tears tears rolling silently down my face. I read comments not to give up yet I dread each feed. Bleeding nipples, full breasts and a combination of deep/sharp pain are all pointing towards giving up. Where is the special bonding experience I was promised?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Extreme pain--what's wrong?

    oh if your having shooting pains it might be thrush..
    do you have a local lll leader to call?
    she can help beter on the phone then we can on line..

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