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Thread: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

  1. #1
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    Default Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    How do I get past the pain. I keep taking him off and putting him back on but it still hurts and I assume it will hurt until I heal and he has a good latch. How can tell if he is latched on correctly and is it possible for him to go from latching on great to this, he is 4 weeks old.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    Oh, hon, OUCH! I'm sorry to hear the soreness is worse instead of better.

    OK, in general, it's best to keep nursing even through sore nipples -- BUT we need to figure out what is causing the soreness. If it's a bad latch, then fixing the latch will help them heal even as he nurses. If it's something else (like thrush), then you will need to treat that problem even as you are nursing.

    Can you contact someone local for hands-on help? Either a LLL Leader or an IBCLC can observe you nursing, examine your nipples, and help you figure out what is going on and how to start fixing it.

    If the pain is just too unbearable in the meantime, you can pump and give the EBM by cup or spoon or syringe or eyedropper ... but remember that this is a stopgap measure and may impact your supply and his latch even further. Bottom line is, if you don't fix the underlying cause of the soreness, it will just start up again when you resume nursing.

    Hang in there, be a detective, get some local help, and let us know how you're doing, okay?

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    Well I know it's not thrush because he had his 1 month visit today and the doctor said that the milkly flim on his tongue was just residue. The thing is when I compare to what his mouth looks like to the LLL book and the diagrams on to have him latched it looks correct. I have tried other positions but they are still sore. Do you what the approx. LC charges to come to the house and about how long do they stay?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    Try contacting the hospital where you gave birth to find out if they offer LC services. Where I am the hospital has a breastfeeding clinic on Mondays and LC appts available Wed. & Fri. at no cost. If not, try calling the Maternity floor at the hospital and they might be able to give you some advice over the phone.
    Eva
    Mom to Alyssa (11/26/05)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    Quote Originally Posted by mamatoluka
    Well I know it's not thrush because he had his 1 month visit today and the doctor said that the milkly flim on his tongue was just residue.
    OK, it's good to know that the baby isn't showing symptoms -- but that still doesn't rule out the possibility that you might have thrush on your nipples. It can manifest in different ways, and so it isn't always a simple thing to rule it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamatoluka
    The thing is when I compare to what his mouth looks like to the LLL book and the diagrams on to have him latched it looks correct. I have tried other positions but they are still sore.
    Here's one diagnostic question: after he nurses, what does the nipple look like when it comes out of his mouth? Is it basically round like it was when it went in, or is it shaped more like a new lipstick, sort of beveled on one side? Pinched at the corners? White like the blood has been cut off?

    Quote Originally Posted by mamatoluka
    Do you what the approx. LC charges to come to the house and about how long do they stay?
    A LLL Leader might make a home visit to help you, and that will not cost you anything. An IBCLC (and you want to be sure that any lactation consultant you see has that credential after her name) may or may not charge for her services and may or may not make a home visit. Some IBCLCs are in private practice; some work within hospitals or as part of a larger program; some even work for pediatricians. So it varies too much to give you a ballpark figure.

    Check http://lalecheleague.org/leaderinfo.html to find a LLL Leader in your area. Try http://gotwww.net/ilca/ to find an IBCLC in your area. It's fine to ask up front about what costs to expect, and once you know, then you can decide how to proceed.

    --Rebecca

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    I had cracked bleeding nipples, too. I feel your pain! ((hugs))

    I'm allergic to lanolin, so that kept me from using a lot of different products, but I had great luck with the Gerber "Breast Therapy" stick. It's like a giant stick of chapstick, only for your breasts. It's a petrolium jelly based one, but it worked! I don't know what I would have done without it. I still use it on occasion when they get dry (usually from rubbing in my bra). I highly recommend it!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    Here's one diagnostic question: after he nurses, what does the nipple look like when it comes out of his mouth? Is it basically round like it was when it went in, or is it shaped more like a new lipstick, sort of beveled on one side? Pinched at the corners? White like the blood has been cut off?

    It looks the same way it went in, erect. Nothing is beveled or pinched. As far as color sometimes it is pink sometimes white like their is milk on thier. This morning when I nursed him the inital suck really hurt but then it subsided somewhat, it was tolerable. My left one on the other hand hurts to the touch so I just pump that side and give him my right.

    ETA: I just looked up a link someone posted on another post I put up and I noticed that his lips aren't flanged when he is sucking and I also lean into him rather that him coming to me. I use a bobby as my support and his body is facing me. I hold his head and guide him as I lean in.
    Last edited by mamatoluka; May 13th, 2006 at 07:27 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do I continue to breastfeed if my nipples are sore

    Mamatoluka -- the description of your nipples' appearance sounds good -- no pinched or beveled shape. Any cracks, blisters, other signs of trauma? Raw spots? Bleeding? I'm trying to help you play detective, to get a better idea of what might be causing your pain.

    It's helpful that you've noticed that you are moving the breast to the baby instead of bringing the baby to the breast. Can you put a pillow or two under your boppy to bring him up higher? And can you support your back more solidly with extra pillows so that you can rest comfortably in a basically upright position? We want to get you comfortably arranged so that your muscles don't have to bear much weight (either your own or the baby's).

    About his lips not flanging out -- are you waiting until he gapes REALLY wide open, as wide as a yawn, before you latch? Once he is on, try gently tugging his chin down a little further, to get/keep him on nice and deep.

    Have you seen this description of an asymmetric latch? The basic idea is that his bottom jaw should cover more of the areola than his upper jaw. This is because as he nurses, his bottom jaw is the one moving and doing the actual "milking" of the breast.

    http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing...latchtalk.html

    I am concerned that the help we can offer over a messageboard is very limited; for latch and positioning issues, there really is no substitute for in-person, hands-on help from someone trained in lactation support. I encourage you again to contact a local LLL Leader or an IBCLC. Nipple pain is just awful, and no one can be expected to endure it indefinitely -- but with the right help, it can be diagnosed and fixed before it seriously disrupts a breastfeeding relationship.

    Good luck -- keep us posted.

    --Rebecca

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