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Thread: pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Unhappy pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

    my son caleb was born june 1. i have breastfed him from day 1, no bottles, no formula. and every painful moment has been horrible. i need some help here! on the inside of each nipple i have a gash/sore..not sure what to call it. not sure if he is rubbing there with his gums, or if this is due to latch. the nurses and lactation consultants i have seen say his latch looks good but maybe his tongue isn't in the right spot?? that is the main source of my pain. the whole nipple does hurt though. the doctor did give me a prescription for this cream that would kill germs and bacteria in case i had an infection and it seems to help a little, but the gash just isn't able to heal.
    i also have flat nipples.. and i know this is part of the problem. i have pumped a little to try and bring them out.. but maybe i should more? also have done some exercises to help bring them out, but maybe not enough?
    definitely no supply problems at all. he is also gaining weigh fine, in fact he gets flooded so quickly he chokes and gets upset and cried-is there a way to fix that?
    also one side has a better supply than the other. how can i get the other breast caught up? lol. i have pumped a little. is there a certain amount i should be pumping to get it caught up?
    also he is having issues where after nursing a while on that side-time varies-he starts pulling hard on the nipple-and lets go and reattaches and keeps pulling-YOW. why? lol.

    any advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.
    thanks. krystal

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

    Congrats on your new baby! It sounds like you are experiencing many of the common, early bfing problems.

    I experienced lots of pain in the early days and although all the experts said Henry's latch was good, I think he was doing something funny with his tongue. I have a strong let-down reflex (it sounds like you to do) so he had to do funky things to slow down the milk flow. One thing you could try is pumping a little at the beginning of a feeding through the first let-down, or pull him off when he starts to sputter and let the milk spray into a towel and then re-latch him when it slows down a little. We just sort of pushed through and eventually Henry was able to manage the flow. Definitely use the cream as much as possible, it will help.

    Have any of the lactation consultants suggested using a nipple shield? That could help your baby get latched on better. Also, have you tried breast shells? You wear then in your bra and they are supposed to pull flat nipples out.

    As for the lop-sidedness, just try to make sure you are using both breasts equally. If you start on the left side at one feeding and use both breasts, start on the right side at the next feeding, since you son probably sucked more hungrily at the right side. It will even out over time if you use each equally- our bodies are amazing like that!

    Not sure why he's pulling on your nipple? Maybe the milk flow is slowly and he wants to switch sides?

    I had pain due to various reasons for the first NINE weeks and didn't believe my friends who said bfing doesn't hurt. But now Henry is 8.5 months old and we're doing so awesome. It really does get so much better. Have you looked to see if there is an LLL chapter near you? They are wonderful and could really help you out!

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

    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

    I had the sore nipples too. i would guess it is the latch. i exclusively pumped for awhile while my nipples healed and then started nursing again. not everyone agrees with this technique because it can cause the baby to have an even worse latch, but it worked for me. good luck! it get's better and much, much easer. I promise!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

    For your fast let down try this suggestion (from my LC at the hospital where I gave birth) - it worked for me because my ds has a very strong sucking reflex, and that coupled with my fast MER caused him to choke (an then get frustrated) a few times.

    When your baby is nursing and you feel the letdown (or if you don't then do this until you see that he is sucking differently - slower) put pressure on the breast he is not feeding on with your arm/hand. This will slow the flow of milk so that he can keep up. As he gets older you will not need to do this, but this worked like a charm for us.

    I did not have any nipple problems, but I think that is partly because I religiously applied my lanolin after EVERY feed. I give that stuff credit for keeping my nips in pristine shape. Once you heal use that stuff like it is free...you will not be sorry. I kept four tubes around at all times - one in the nursery, the living room, my bedroom, and the diaper bag.

    One last thing, make sure you are getting air to your breasts and avoiding soap!

    Breast of luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

    Are your nipples just flat or inverted? If they are just flat (mine are flatter also) try sandwiching the breast before he latches on to make sure that as much breast tissue as possible is going into his mouth. That would probably help. I also agree with the previous poster about the breast shells.

    My DD does this also will pull off the breast at times and want to take my nipple with her. I haven't figured out why she does it, but when she starts to pull off and take my nipple with her I don't let her. I keep her head there until she opens her mouth to come off. She doesn't like it, but it gets the point accross and she is getting better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

    It sounds like a nipple shield would definately help you. I used one when my son was born b/c I also had flat nipplese (never knew until then!).

    It definately helps to pull out the nipple over time. I used it for 6 weeks. Once my son became stronger and I pumped more my nipples pulled out and I didn't need it any more. However...I do still keep it b/c there are those sore nipple moments where I rather put the shield on to not create more pain. You probably only need to use it while you heal so don't get freaked out by my mention of 6 weeks!

    My advice would be to try the nipple shield while your nipple is healing so that it doesn't hurt so much. I would also suggest putting Lansinoh on it while you aren't nursing so that it may help with the healing. I also had a gash and slathered this on until a breast pad to protect my nipple while it was healing.

    You can buy nipple shields at Babies' R Us near the BF section. There are 2 sizes (I think). Good luck and be patient while you heal! You WILL HEAL.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Red face Re: pain, sore nipples, gash...HELP..quite a few questions here...

    we are almost at same stage! my girl was born June 7

    i had the gash in my nipple too-it seems as though it will never heal but it will! i used the sheild they were wonderful but be careful with the lanolin and the sheilds cuz the sheilds will keep your nipples moist and with the lanolin it was to moist for me and was prolonging the pain by not allowing the gash to heal.

    i also have been using the sheild its great while your in pain!


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