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Thread: bloody boobs

  1. #1
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    Jun 2006
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    Default bloody boobs

    My baby is six days old. She's had a hard time latching on and she fights me, throws her head from side to side, and when she has a good latch either screams and spits it out or takes a few sucks and stops.

    She also bloodied both nipples. One wasn't so bad and is recovering, the other had scabs which she sucked off and now can't seem to produce much even though I can feel it's full.

    After baby spat up blood (mine) and I understood what was happening, I started pumping for her, and only feeding her off the relatively whole breast. I've given her formula twice - she doesn't care for it - but she downs the expressed milk. My nipples are so painful it's hard to even look at her when she's hungry. What can I do? Is this all worth it? My first daughter bf for 6 months and although I was sore for a while she was a little eater and never drew blood.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: bloody boobs


  3. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: bloody boobs

    Oh, my -- you must be intense pain with that kind of nipple damage. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

    It's good that you have experience breastfeeding your first daughter, so you know that this is not normal. There are so many different things that could be causing this nipple damage -- poor latch or positioning is the most obvious choice, but it could also be tongue-tie, for example.

    I urge you to get some hands-on help from someone experienced in lactation support -- either an IBCLC or a local LLL Leader. They should be able to help you figure out why your baby's latch is causing so much trauma to your nipples, and show you how to fix it.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
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    Default Re: bloody boobs

    That sounds awful! Get to a LC this week! If you weren't referred one by your hospital often you can find them through your PEDI. If your haven't been given acess to one then find your local LLL mother and they can usually help!
    It sounds like it could be a combination of things. A latch problem for the bleeding nipples and a let down problem probably accounts for the thrashing about in frusteration. (Thus causing a latch issue)
    Now, it is best while your nipples are wounded that you keep pumping! Not only because she's getting your milk but also so your supply doesn't dwindle during this very trying time. You said she's taking the bottle and the breast and that's great! Because when your healed there shouldn't be a problem getting back on both your breasts and since you've already started pumping, and she's willing to take a bottle of EBM you know you can hand her off to DH or another loved one when you really need a break! (Any time now) So while it does sound terrible, I can already see so many positives in your story. Don't give up! You asked is it worth it? It's obviously a personal choice......but it seems your little one doesn't like formula and a lot of those other things you've described are probably just about getting used to this new way of feeding. ( For the last nine months she didn't have to work to get her food.) So I would hang in there. I was someone who was very nervous about nursing and thought I would only do it exclusively for about 4months or so and thought I'd wean at 6 months. My son is 6months old and hasn't had a drop of anything else yet! Beyond the financial benefits, I can't imagine what it would add to getting out of the house having to prepare bottles! As it is it's such a chore to go anywhere with him and the diaper bag, and the wrap. We don't even take the stroller anywhere because I don't ever have time to load and unload another thing! So ultimately the decision is yours. But if you decide you want to keep trying hopefully with the help of a Lactation Consultant and possibly some local LLL guidance you'll find the support you need. Often I talk to women who when faced with difficulties in the beginning , just couldn't find the support they need to continue and gave up. This community will hopefully give you the support you need. Keep us posted and congratulations on you LO.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2006
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    Wink Re: bloody boobs

    Sounds just like me! When I had my first daughter Karley I had a horrible time breast feeding and many times thought about quiting. I had it pretty rough. Karley had to be on formula when she was 2 weeks old because I got my wisdom teeth out--couldn't wait any longer. She was only on formula for 1 week but she hated it. When I tried to put her back on, for a full month and my nipples were chapped and bleeding. Worse thing was THEY WEREN'T HEALING. I would visit my lactation consultant and she said that I was doing everything right and so was Karley. She was puzzled why I was having a hard time.

    In the end I pumped strickly for 1 month. Karley got used to the bottle. Going from bottle to breast takes a lot of time; or at least for Karley it did. After my nipples completely healed, took 1 month, I put her back on and I breast fed her for 12 months after that without a problem. I hope your situation gets better, I'm sure it will. Just don't give up!

  6. #6
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: bloody boobs

    Thank you so much for all your comments and support. I live in Eagle Butte, South Dakota - the nearest LLL is 187 miles away, but I plan to call her today. In the meantime I've kept pumping, and the ducts in the more damaged breast seem to be healing - at least I can drain it with the pump now, even though there's still some scabbing. I tried giving baby the other breast at one of the night feedings, and we worked together a little better, even though I had to follow up with the bottle to fill her up. I'm using the adjustable suction on the pump to measure my nipples' pain tolerance, which is also improving. I am hopeful that we may yet work this out; thank you again for the information and support - it means so much when a mom is isolated and under such emotional strain.

    Hanging in there, Daylesmom

  7. #7
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: bloody boobs

    I'm glad you're seeing some improvement, and that you are finding this board to be a source of encouragement. It can make a big difference with the isolation.

    With no IBCLC nearby, I wonder if there might be a LLL Leader who is closer or who could maybe even visit you at home. Here's the LLL group directory for Minnesota and the Dakotas:

    http://www.lllusa.org/web/MNDak.html

    Even if the closest group is at some distance, give the contact person a call; there maybe a Leader without a group who lives closer to you.

    Another idea might be to look for a midwife in your area. Especially in remote areas without a developed network of lactation support, I would think that most midwives would have experience helping moms nurse -- especially if she's a midwife who does homebirths.

    In the meantime, look closely at these links from the kellymom.com website (not a LLL resource) for the best ways to heal the cracked and raw spots on your nipples:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...ml#sorenipples

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...lehealing.html

    Good luck, and let us know how you're doing.

    --Rebecca

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