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Thread: Third time's a charm, I hope

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2

    Exclamation Third time's a charm, I hope

    I'm a mom of 2 kids, and am pregnant with #3. This will be very long and drawn out, so TIA for bearing with me.
    After my first two breastfeeding experiences, I'm debating whether to even try. I would feel so guilty if I didn't give it a shot, yet I'm horrified at the thought of having the same problems again...
    With baby #1, soreness became blisters, then bleeding scabs (all within one week). I went to a lac consultant, who watched our positioning and said I was doing it right. She also told me, as I winced and cried, that there should be no pain if positioning is good. Huh? I tried lansinoh. I used only water to clean, I air dried. I walked around topless, much to the delight of my husband. I expressed milk and applied it to the nipples. The scabs never healed; they just got sucked off by my daughter and bled again. I would pump until I healed, then try again, and the scabs came back. I decided, darnit, she's getting it somehow! I started only pumping (no nursing, no formula) for 4 months. My milk supply was surprisingly good, she thrived. But constant pumping and bottle feeding takes a lot of time, and amidst post partum depression and panic attacks, I went to formula.
    Baby #2, I was determined. This was it. I would make it work. I did all the same stuff as before, used lansinoh before I gave birth, and added Soothies, an occasional nipple shield, breast shells, and help from my wonderful Mother-in-law who nursed 3 kids. Still had scabs and immense pain. At first, I figured I'd just pump again, but that was out of the question with chasing around a 3 year old and DH unable to take more time off. It was taking so much out of me, that I wasn't being a good mother to either child or a good wife to my very understanding DH. so, I went to formula again.
    I'm only 7 weeks pregnant, and I'm already losing sleep over this. I want so much to sucessfully breastfeed. I know the benefits over formula are outstanding. But I also need to be a happy, healthy, sane mommy, without scabby, bleeding nipples that get reopened 8-10 times a day! I know that some pain is normal, and that this takes time, but no one I know who's nursed has ever had anything like this. I've been told to try "toughening" my nipples, before birth, but it seems like every source I've found online says not to. Is there anything new I can try? How can I prepare for this before the birth? Any advice is greatly welcomed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Third time's a charm, I hope

    check out your local LLL group and go to a few meetings before the baby comes. That way you'll have a support system in place.
    You can do it this time!
    Some moms find that thier sore nipples and cracks come from thursh.
    If you get anti botics during labor that can cause it.
    Cracks and blisters can take a while to heal if you get thrush in them.
    Avioding bottles for the 1st 6 weeks will help with babies latch!
    Healthy babies don't need suppliment in the 1st few weeks.
    heres a link about getting breastfeeding off to a good start,
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBearlyweeks.html

    keep reading and asking ?'s thats the way to learn more
    you can do it this time!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Third time's a charm, I hope

    Your situation sounds so similar to mine! I tried bf'ing with my first two kids, was unsuccessful due to pain (blistering, bruising, and cracking) and the negativity of those around me (not my immediate family but extended family), and was determined to make it work the 3rd time around. (With #1, I made it through the first week but barely, with the help of a LC! With #2, I made it until the 2nd feeding after we were home from the hospital!). My newest LO is just about 8 weeks old and I've been exclusively bf'ing her from the start.
    Don't panic! It's hard work but you can do it!!! Surround yourself with as much support as possible (I was missing that the first two times around). And learn as much as you can before your baby arrives.
    And don't be afraid that this time will be like the last attempts. Every baby is different and as a Mommy, you learn so much from the past trials.
    Good luck to you!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: Third time's a charm, I hope

    I am so glad you are willing to try BF again after the problems you faced before.

    This site provides fantastic information/support on this forum..and in the resources section.

    Another great information site about BF and mothering is kellymom.com.

    Like ppers mentioned...being informed and having support is key..get as much information as possible now, and be prepared to contact people for help once you start BF. Sometimes all you need is someone to say what's happening is normal/can be resolved, to enable you to continue to BF.

    Ask any questions here..someone has probably experienced whatever issue you can come up with

    good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,353

    Default Re: Third time's a charm, I hope

    Hi! I'm a momma of one, and I had the experience you describe- cracked, bleeding, extremely painful nipples. In addition, I had low supply and a baby who wasn't gaining weight. I supplemented with formula, pumped day and night, took milk-increasing drugs and herbs, and hung in there with nursing. After 4.5 months, my supply was fine and my nipples finally healed. I think I was able to do this because I only had one baby to look after. I can totally understand why you would switch to formula, especially for your second!

    I don't think there's anything you can do to "toughen up" your nipples. However, extreme pain and cracking like you have had seems to always be the result of a bad latch. The LC who said you were doing it right but couldn't figure out how you still had pain should have been kicking herself! I suggest you find an IBLC- not just an LC- now, and lay in a few consultations ahead of #3's birth. If you can prevent the cracking, you may only experience soreness, instead of pain. The cracks take so long to heal when you have to use your nipples constantly.

    Personally, I found that I had less pain when I nursed in a side-lying position. I was able to use the bed to support the baby, and use both hands to position my breast. If I pinched my breast right behind my areola, compressing it into a more oval, less round shape, I could get my baby to latch on deeper. I would align the long axis of her mouth with the long axis of the oval, and move her on very quickly. If there's any position that works even slightly better for you, use it, even if it seems weird. Using the cross-cradle position caused a lot of my problems, as I was not able to get my daughter to latch well using it, but I kept trying it because it looked like my idea of proper nursing.

    Also, if you haven't had this done with your other two, you might want to evaluate #3 for tongue tie. A short/tight frenulum can cause a lot of pain and damage while nursing, and can easily be snipped.

    Good luck and stay positive! I wish you all the best with your new little one.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Third time's a charm, I hope

    You've been given some great advice. Start attending LLL meetings now and get a good support network for yourself. You might also read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and keep it on hand for a good resource manual.

    I wanted to address:
    I've been told to try "toughening" my nipples, before birth, but it seems like every source I've found online says not to. Is there anything new I can try?
    No, there's no need to try to toughen the nipples, and you can actually damage them by attempting it. Here's a good article that answers your questions about preparing the breast:
    http://www.lalecheleague.com/FAQ/breastprep.html

    HTH
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Third time's a charm, I hope

    wow, how did you know my story?
    You could think about an allergy to lanolin. It is a product derived from the oil on sheep wool. I am INSANELY allergic to lanolin, and for this baby have already bought the motherlove nipple cream (non-lanolin). I did a test run about a month ago, and the nipple that got lanolin got red and swollen and scabby... the nipple that got motherlove nipple cream was fine. I'm hoping this will do the trick for me...
    Just a suggestion

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Third time's a charm, I hope

    Thank you all so much for your new ideas and support. It's good to know that even though I felt I'd tried 'everything', there are still more things to try. It's especially good hearing from others who've had similar situations. I'm thinking there might actually be hope this time! I have about 31 weeks or so to do more research, attend LLL meetings, etc. I've found a local LLL group and have been given a list of lac consultants and also doctors who specialize in breastfeeding medicine (which I'd never heard of before!) Thanks again for your help, ladies.

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