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Thread: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    i have an 11 day old daughter who came into this world naturally. i thought that would be the hard part. But at least once it was over, it was over. I want to cry everytime i realize she's hungry. I was so excited to breastfeed, i really believe breast milk to be best and want to give my daughter that head start in the world. But i dont know how long i can do this.

    She had a hard time latching onto my left side at first, and so i ended up feeding her more from my right. Now she's got the latch down, but when she feeds on the left I want to cry the whole time, it hurts so badly. So I end up still feeding her twice on the right for every time on the left, and now the right is bigger.

    I wish i knew why it hurt so bad. I thought maybe it just wasnt toughened up yet since i fed less, but i think it should've caught up by now, and sometimes the right ends up aching too. She was born already chomping when they tested her sucking reflex she bit down, so maybe that's what it is, but then why the left so much more than the right?? Maybe I have the latch wrong, but i cant see how it could be any different.

    anyway, sorry for the long post, i just dont know what to do, i never thought it would be this hard. help??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    987

    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    Congratulations on the natural birth of your daughter! Your body rocks!

    I am sorry that Bfing has been a struggle so far. You are doing a great thing for your LO. Keep it up!

    You shouldn't have to "toughen up" your nipples. I would think that the latch isn't perfect. I would call a local LLL leader they are there to help. (Even if you haven't been to meeting yet.)

    Here is some info on proper latching.
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/a-when_latching.html

    HTH

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    It will get better! We had a perfect latch, but my nipples were still sore for the first 6 weeks. I know that seems like a long time, but bf was a breeze after that...we went on the nurse for 16 1/2 mos. Don't give up!! Your nipples have never been sucked THIS MUCH before in your life, I'm quite sure. I remember looking at my daughter's little toothless cry like she was a piranha coming at my breast, then it turned into something enjoyable and beautiful and you deserve to see that side of it, so hang on!!!
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    Our breasts and nipples aren't the same, and that probably has something to do with why one nipple hurts a lot more than the other. The fact that one hand is dominate also make a difference with positioning. I had a hard time latching DS on the right side and it hurt more in the beginning, but eventually latching him on either side was the same. Now at almost 17 months, he's teething, an active nursling, and my nipples are sore from ovulating. Actually, just one. The right one again.

    DS was also chomping instead of sucking in the hospital and it was because of tongue tie. Has he been evaluated for tongue tie? Even if a latch looks good from the outside, sometimes with tongue tie it still kills your nipples b/c they aren't sucking properly. Tongue tie can easily be fixed with a quick office procedure (although it is sometimes challenging to find someone to do it.) After DS's tongue was clipped at 9 weeks, his nursing gradually improved and he figured out how to use his tongue to suck.

    I know it's really hard when you have a great natural birth, then something that you think should go naturally like bfing isn't going well. Bfing is an art and it takes support to get it figured out sometimes. I know how hard it is when you are sleep deprived and in pain. You won't regret working through this and getting the help you need to successfully bf. It's really important to get some in person help. Do you have a LLL Leader or IBCLC in your area? Hang in there!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    Congrats on your baby. Remember that eleven days is so young! Do you have access to any Lactation Consultants (preferably IBCLC- that means they're certified)? They could check your latch and make sure it is correct. Or try calling your local LLL leader who also can help. I had nipple pain for 9 weeks (much longer than normal) due to engorgement, then thrush. I DID NOT believe my friends who said nursing didn't hurt. But now Henry is 8 months and we are still nursing and of course it does not hurt. All I can say is you will be so glad if you can stick with it and get through these early weeks. I remember dreading every feeding, and the excruitiating pain, but with the help of my LCs and LLL i was able to get through and so can you!

    Call your LLL leader first... they can help. Go here http://www.lalecheleague.org/webindex.html
    to find your local chapter and if no one is really close just call whoever and closest and they may be able to help over the phone.
    Oh and your uneven breasts will even out eventually when you get all the latch issues and pain resolved. Don't worry about that!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    470

    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    Congrats on your newborn! My nipples were very sore for 6 weeks too. Sometimes I would cry when feeding my baby. But the pain eventually wore off. I guess it had hurt because my nippes aren't used to being sucked on constantly, and so hard!

    Do you use lanolin on your nipples? That helped me a LOT. I used Lansinoh. It was a life saver. Also if you are able to, going topless (at home of course) and airing/sunning the nipples helped.
    Caylen Koen Chew (25/05/06)
    Lost No.2 in Aug 2008 ... Lost No. 3 in May 2009 Hoping for another ... Enjoying No.1



  7. #7
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    First, congrats on the natural birth! I had a natural birth too, and I think it's awesome that you did it!

    Quote Originally Posted by danischmell View Post
    I want to cry everytime i realize she's hungry. I was so excited to breastfeed, i really believe breast milk to be best and want to give my daughter that head start in the world. But i dont know how long i can do this.
    Wow, I could've written this post myself back when DD was 11 days old! We got off to a bad first two days with BF'ing because the LC was on vacation and the nurses were unfortunately very little help. I had watched videos and read books, so I knew intellectually what to do, but I needed hands-on help to get started. Finally I got a nurse who was able to sit down with me and really help LO learn to latch on, but the damage had already been done. Besides just being sore, sore, sore, I had an inch-long gash on the left nipple that made me want to scream every time she latched on.

    I got to the point, just like you, where I just dreaded nursing my baby, because I felt like the soreness was never going to heal. (And the growth spurts, where she nursed constantly? Awful!) I used lots of lanolin and visited my LC often to be sure we were doing everything right. I used Bradley Method techniques to get through nursing sessions. I thought it would never get better. And, like you, I thought that surely it wouldn't take so long to get better, so something must be wrong, even though my LC assured me that I was doing it just right and I just needed time to heal.

    Then one day I suddenly realized that LO was nursing on the right side and I had NO PAIN at all! I couldn't believe she was really getting any milk, because it certainly couldn't be that easy! (That's what I thought until she spit up all over me to confirm that she had, indeed, gotten plenty of milk.)

    It took my left side longer to heal, but I was able to keep at it because I had seen success with the right side and had something to compare to then. Slowly my left side started to feel more like my right. That nasty gash lasted about 5 weeks, and then, though I'd thought it would never go away, it did. Now we're nursing great, and I don't dread feedings anymore.

    My point? There is hope. It will get better. Sometimes, once the damage has been done, it takes a while to heal, but it WILL happen. Visit your LLL or LC for support. Visit these forums. And work on relaxation. The more you relax, despite the pain, and enjoy the intimacy with your LO, the easier it will be. (Sort of like how you got through natural childbirth, right?)

    Hang in there. You're doing great, even if you don't feel like it. Go ahead and cry when you need to, but trust that it will get better. I know words don't help much when you feel so crummy, but I hope they will at least help you stick to it and look forward to the day when you're actually enjoying nursing your LO! You're doing great, mama!

    P.S. My LC recommended "soothies," little round gel pads (all lanolin) that you can wear for a couple hours at a time. I only used one, but it really felt good when I did. You might want to check them out.
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    I am sooo sorry that you are having troubles too. I went through the same thing when my LO was first starting to nurse. I ended up contacting my local LLL leader and she came to my house (for free ) and helped me figure out the problem. It turns out, I was holding her a little different on that side and it was messing up her latch. I could not tell on my own but with a little help we ended up working it out. I had to nurse her cross cradle on the left and football hold on the right.
    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

  9. #9
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by marymud View Post
    I am sooo sorry that you are having troubles too. I went through the same thing when my LO was first starting to nurse. I ended up contacting my local LLL leader and she came to my house (for free ) and helped me figure out the problem. It turns out, I was holding her a little different on that side and it was messing up her latch. I could not tell on my own but with a little help we ended up working it out. I had to nurse her cross cradle on the left and football hold on the right.
    Oh, yes, forgot to say in my previous ridiculously long post that my LC also said this can have to do with hand dominance, how baby was positioned in utero, etc. She said most babies have a preferred side and sometimes it can be a really strong preference, which can cause them to have some trouble learning to latch on the other. Also, I was so tense about the gash on the left side that LO probably sensed that and didn't do as well on that side as a result.
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    344

    Default Re: sore nipples, starting to think of giving up, help!

    I had it rough the first 7 weeks and I am so glad I hung in there with it. Try some Soothie gel pads, those worked wonders for me. I agree with the others about contacting LLL or going to a meeting. My cousin has a 9 day old newborn and she came thisclose to giving up until she went to a LLL meeting last night and they really helped her and worked with her.
    My daughter also had a side perference, she will not nurse laying on her right side, only her left.

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