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Thread: first time mom and sore nipples

  1. #1
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    Default first time mom and sore nipples

    HELP! My son is nine days old and it appears that he has a good latch when nursing. He takes in a big mouthful of my breast, swallows frequently, and is having wet and poopy diapers all the time. HOWEVER....my nipples are REALLY REALLY sore. So sore, in fact, that I dread him latching on. My nipples are sore (not excruciating, but uncomfortable) during nursing, and are even sore in between feedings. I am committed to breastfeeding, but the sore nipples, combined with all the post-partum hormones have me close to tears at times. What can I do to relieve the discomort? How long will it take for the pain to go away? I have a lot of books and written material about breastfeeding that says it shouldn't hurt, and sore nipples should go away after the first few days of nursing. Like I said, I really don't think it's the latch. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: first time mom and sore nipples

    Frankly I don't know anyone who's nursed who hasn't had at least sore nipples. I know it shouldn't hurt, but so far everyone I've asked has said it did, at least at first! For me, it took a good 3 weeks before we got over all the problems we had getting started nursing. It was around 4-6 weeks before I could say I was pretty good at it and the soreness was totally gone.

    I don't know who these people are that nurse for the first time with a perfect latch and never experience anything but abject joy, but I wish I were one of them! I cried every time she nursed for at least the first 2 weeks!!!

    If you're really having trouble, it pays to see a lactation consultant to help evaluate the latch, etc. But as much as anything, I think time is the key. Good luck! It really does get easier!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: first time mom and sore nipples

    boy can i sympathize! it sounds like you have damaged nipples, like i do. my ds is almost seven weeks, and i still have occasional severe discomfort, but mostly now it is just momentary pain when he actually latches. all i can advise is to be patient. it does get better. try using some cold compress on your nipples in between sessions and letting them air dry after nursing. sometimes this hurts me further, but it does help them to heal. also, use lanolin religiously to help them heal. try not wearing a bra and going topless when you can so there is nothing irritating them. i used soft shells for a while, too, but they made me leak even more, so i used them sparingly. i did notice that nursing hurt less after using them, however, so you may want to try them. otherwise, just scream and cry at will, and stay the course. you are doing a good thing!!!

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...la+soft+shells

  4. #4
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    Default Re: first time mom and sore nipples

    What do your nipples look like after baby finishes nursing? They should be the same shape (albeit more elongated) coming out as they were going in, if that makes sense. If you were to rate your pain between a 1 and a 10 w/ 10 being the worst, what would you rate this pain at? Does it hurt throughout the entire feeding or just at initial latch-on?

    I'd say that 99% of all sore nipples can be attributed to baby's latch and/or baby's positioning so pay close attention to both of those things. Also, sometimes you can get a better latch if you simply change the position (ex. go from the cradle hold to the football hold).

    Did you receive antibiotics during labor?

    The good news is that you're sure to get this kink worked out probably very quickly Can you call a LLL leader?

    NAK,

  5. #5
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    Default Re: first time mom and sore nipples

    incidentally, my nipples are flattened a little and have white patches on them after most nursing sessions, even if i do not have any pain after latching. also, i did have anti-biotics during delivery.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: first time mom and sore nipples

    Eryn, you mean that the tips of your nipple are white/blanched after baby nurses? How flattened are they when baby comes off the breast? If you had antibiotics during delivery it's possible that you and baby have thrush and that could cause you some pain. Do your nipples look red and irritated? Are they itchy at all? Have you looked inside baby's mouth for white patches? Baby can be asymptomatic though.

    If you have pain when baby latches sometimes, but not always then you can probably already tell the difference between a good latch and a bad latch. That is good! You know your baby best but if baby latches on poorly, unlatch him and latch him back on. Some babies tolerate this just fine, other's get hysterical. Like I said, you know your baby best

  7. #7
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    Default Re: first time mom and sore nipples

    some of the nipple is white, but not the whole thing. and by flattened, i mean elongated and flat, not flat against my breast: just to clarify. his tongue is white, but i can't tell if other parts of his mouth are. it is funny that you ask about itchy, though. i hav ebeen try to quantify how it feels,. it is itchy, but also kinda ticklish-y, too. and i have been having a kind of shooting pain in the breasts, too, after nursing. this isn't normal?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: first time mom and sore nipples

    Eryn,
    Based on what you've told us here, it sounds like you've probably got some latching/positioning issues (you nipple should not be coming out of baby's mouth flat and depending on the whiteness of the nipple, that could be another indication of an improper latch as well) and you may have thrush too. Shooting pains through the breast are a general indication of thrush along with some other symptoms -- pain, burning, itching. There are tons of over the counter remedies for treating thrush that are very benign so if you don't have it, it's not going to hurt anything to treat yourself and baby anyhow. Here is some info on thrush for you. I don't think I'd call sharp, shooting pains through the breast "normal".

    I don't remember if you told us already or not but have you contacted one of your local LLL Leaders? You might want to have her take a look at baby's latch and positioning to see if she can help. Here's some LLL info on proper positioning as well: http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/positioning.html Also, don't be afraid to take a look at that page and go through the latching/positioning steps one by one, slowly and meticulously. You'll get it! You're obviously very patient -- that is a fantastic quality in a mom

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