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Thread: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    I've been reading on the internet for a week now and keep getting conflicting advice! I'm so tired of dealing with constant leaking, sore nipples, and engorgement (which I have read is only supposed to last 12-48 hours)...I am going on a week now. I've tried cabbage, massage, cold compresses & hot compresses (again, due to conflicting advice), lansinoh, pumping a little to relieve engorgement so my baby can latch on, breast feeding often (like this site says), allowing my breasts to remain full to slow production (like another site said). I am so confused and frustrated. My daughter is a great nurser, so I am very fortunate there (my first, a boy, was not, and I had all these same problems in addition to his problems). I'm very determined to breastfeed, as I did with my son (though I had to pump the entire time). I don't want to pump with my daughter, it isn't necessary - but I have GOT to resolve some of these issues. Especially the constant leaking. I can't even go anywhere, it's not just when I'm nursing or when my milk comes in...it's almost constantly. PLEASE HELP if you have any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    Hi there! It is really frustrating to be dealing with these problems, but reat job on sticking it out!

    Are you block feeding? You say you've tried everything, but what are you currently trying? I still leak when I have a letdown on the opposite side from the one being nursed on, and I leak from both if I have a spontaneous letdown. Block feeding worked great.

    Are your sore nipples a result of the fullness or a poor latch? Have you checked the latch? Is baby having lots of wet and poopy diapers? I will check back in hopes that you answer a few of these questions so that I might better help you.


    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    Thanks for your reply (I also just found the other threads on milk production problems which I am relieved to see cover alot of my issues), well lets see. I had been trying to slow production alittle, because of over-fullness, very frequent let-down (my daughter is cluster feeding during the day...sometimes only 15-30 mins between feedings, to as long as two hours between feedings; and every 3-4 hrs at night at the most, sometimes, like last night she wakes up 4 or 5 times to eat) but still my let down is way more frequent than she is eating (and ALWAYS happens on both breasts simultaneously...maybe I should have had twins?) - hence the constant leaking and fullness. The cabbage leaves, and/or leaving my breasts somewhat full (except when she's eating, I let her eat as long as she wants on one side) seems to be helping alittle bit in the past day or so to decrease the production alittle bit. I am pumping just a little bit if I am too overfull to point of pain, and she doesn't want to eat. Or, before I feed her, because she is unable to latch on right away because I am too full. I do suspect that a poor latch is part of the problem with my sore nipples, because I am always so full of milk. But from what I read on other sites, the more I pump (in addition to her feeding), the more I will produce. So, I am just trying to do it enough to relieve pain, and enable her to latch on. Another consequence of always leaking is having to have something to catch it. I am running out of dish towels and baby towels, and wash cloths to catch it! Plus, always having moistness on my nipples is probably contributing to the pain. My daughter has lots of poopy and wet diapers, and is gaining weight. I'm not too familiar with block feeding, I think it means to stay on one side for two or three feedings??? I have also done that sporatically, in order to relieve pain in one nipple or the other...gotta go nurse now. Thanks for your time and help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    8,591

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by roaringaslan View Post
    Thanks for your reply (I also just found the other threads on milk production problems which I am relieved to see cover alot of my issues), well lets see. I had been trying to slow production alittle, because of over-fullness, very frequent let-down (my daughter is cluster feeding during the day...sometimes only 15-30 mins between feedings, to as long as two hours between feedings; and every 3-4 hrs at night at the most, sometimes, like last night she wakes up 4 or 5 times to eat) but still my let down is way more frequent than she is eating (and ALWAYS happens on both breasts simultaneously...maybe I should have had twins?) - hence the constant leaking and fullness. The cabbage leaves, and/or leaving my breasts somewhat full (except when she's eating, I let her eat as long as she wants on one side) seems to be helping alittle bit in the past day or so to decrease the production alittle bit. I am pumping just a little bit if I am too overfull to point of pain, and she doesn't want to eat. Or, before I feed her, because she is unable to latch on right away because I am too full.
    Here is a good LLL link, with tips for dealing with oversupply. It discusses block feeding a little bit, but basically block feeding is nursing for a period of time on one breast, regardless of how many times baby wants to nurse. So, even if baby wants to nurse 6 times in, say, 2 hours, you nurse on one breast. Then you switch and do the same. 2 hours is a good starting point, but you can increase the time blocks until you start to notice a difference. Engorgement is caused by milk, but also by lymph fluids, so you want to limit the amount of heat you are using to treat it to the time period just before nursing. You should use cold compresses and/or cabbage leaves in between nursing session.

    I do suspect that a poor latch is part of the problem with my sore nipples, because I am always so full of milk. But from what I read on other sites, the more I pump (in addition to her feeding), the more I will produce. So, I am just trying to do it enough to relieve pain, and enable her to latch on. Another consequence of always leaking is having to have something to catch it. I am running out of dish towels and baby towels, and wash cloths to catch it! Plus, always having moistness on my nipples is probably contributing to the pain.
    Do you know about reverse pressure softening? I've linked the LLL site describing this. This might help with a bad latch. You also want to make sure you are keeping your nipples dry, as much as possible. A couple good pairs of cloth nursing pads are imperative if you have leakage. Wet nipples contribute to your risk of developing thrush, and you might already have it. Check out that link to help you determine if you have thrush or not (hopefully not!). Pumping contributes to engorgement and can damage the nipple. If you can hand express you are better off.

    My daughter has lots of poopy and wet diapers, and is gaining weight. I'm not too familiar with block feeding, I think it means to stay on one side for two or three feedings??? I have also done that sporatically, in order to relieve pain in one nipple or the other...gotta go nurse now. Thanks for your time and help!
    Stick with block feeding for a few days--it might take a while to notice the difference. You are doing a great job. Keep watching those diapers and let me know if the links helped!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    Wow...that's a fantastic response! Thank you. I am going to do the block feeding and see how that works out (I started last night). I read all the links that you provided and, I am concerned about the thrush. That sounds awful! Well, aside from soreness, we don't seem to have any symptoms - but I really set myself up to be a candidate for getting it (with the cracked nipples, almost always moist, plus my husband is a great cook and we use our bread machine ALOT for homemade bread, cinnabons, pizza dough, rolls, bagels, you name it! So, I am going to cut back on that stuff and keep an eye out for thrush in the meantime. Hopefully, we do not have it.) Just wanted to say thank you again for your response.

  6. #6

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    How old is your baby, OP?
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    She is eight days old today!

  8. #8

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    Okay. You're still VERY VERY early into this. It may not be best to jump into block feeding just yet. As far as engorgement goes, you're doing the right things--pumping or hand expressing just enough to relieve discomfort, encouraging baby to nurse.

    You mention in an earlier post that you think the baby's latch might be off. I think this is an excellent place for you to start, because if you're right, she's probably not draining your breasts the way she could (it could also explain the very frequent cluster feeds during the day). Are you able to get ahold of a LLL Leader or IBCLC in your area to help you with this?

    The leaking just comes with the territory and should slow with time, especially as your milk supply settles down a bit. Some mothers find it helpful to experiment with different nursing pads to see what works best for them. Be sure to change them very frequently.

    Hugs
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8,591

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL LactoJen View Post
    Okay. You're still VERY VERY early into this. It may not be best to jump into block feeding just yet. As far as engorgement goes, you're doing the right things--pumping or hand expressing just enough to relieve discomfort, encouraging baby to nurse.

    You mention in an earlier post that you think the baby's latch might be off. I think this is an excellent place for you to start, because if you're right, she's probably not draining your breasts the way she could (it could also explain the very frequent cluster feeds during the day). Are you able to get ahold of a LLL Leader or IBCLC in your area to help you with this?

    The leaking just comes with the territory and should slow with time, especially as your milk supply settles down a bit. Some mothers find it helpful to experiment with different nursing pads to see what works best for them. Be sure to change them very frequently.

    Hugs
    Jen
    Ahhh--good point from the expert !

    Here is a good non-LLL link to some latch videos by Dr. Jack Newman. A bad latch can definitely contribute to engorgement if your baby isn't removing milk adequately, although with lots of wet diapers it sounds like she is. Even if you decide not to block feed at first, make sure to let baby nurse as long as she wants on the first side--forget the clock for a while, and just let baby lead. You will read her signs!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: need advice: leaky, sore nipples, engorgement, etc.

    awe 8 days your baby is so young yet.
    You guys will get it.

    I leaked so much with dd I just used washclothes at night it worked beter then nurseing pads.
    About 4-5 weeks it got alot beter.

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