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Thread: Trouble getting started...

  1. #1

    Unhappy Trouble getting started...


    My wife is trying so very hard to breastfeed. She seems to be producing milk well, but maybe not enough to satisfy our baby. Everything went great the first night or so, but our baby sucks so hard. The lactation specialist at the hospital said the latch was good, and it looks good from what we can tell.

    Right now, she is using lanolin, and we tried Soothies gel packs. We have tried hot compress, and a little cold cloth to the nipple to numb things just before.

    Her poor nipples are so sore that we have resorted to pumping it out, and feeding using bottles (we have second nature). We also have a breast shield, but have not yet tried that yet. When we pump, after 20 minutes or so, there is barely 1 oz. How much should we expect? How often can we pump? Obviously, if we pump more often, we will get less until her body is able to step-up the production. In the mean time, how do we keep baby from screaming for more milk?

    Anyway, her nipples are so sore, that feeding directly from the breast isn't an option, at least for a night or two. What can we do?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Trouble getting started...

    Tell her to endure the pain and feed from the breast! All women go through it! They'll toughen up in no time! About a week or two!

    Sounds like your LO is *trying* to get mom's milk supply up to speed. This is done by cluster feeding...when most people think they aren't making enough to satisfy their LO. After like a day or two, the brain gets the signal and produces tons more, and then LO is happy, unless something else is wrong like LO has reflux, the mom has oversupply/overactive letdown...which is COMMON when mom pumps a lot!...beware of pumping! Put down the pump and feed with the breast!

    Nipple shields can cause nipple confusion as well. Your perfect latch may go down the drain if she starts using one. The best thing I have found and was recommended by my LC was to express some breastmilk and rub it directly on the nipple. Breastmilk is healing on its own, and it does a heck of a better job than Lanolin.

    Tell mom to take a deep breath and even cry if she has to. Put the bottles away. It will all work out. Remember. Supply and demand. LO is demanding more to get mom's supply up!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Trouble getting started...

    The only way to go through this it to be patient..
    I was the same way for me as well, it takes 4-6 weeks of the situation you are describing and after that ehings change really much!
    Ask her to use her lanolin when needed, and leave her breast uncovered some times in the day, gradually nipples get harder and donnot suffer pain.
    I would not expect miracles from pumping in such early stage, the only one that can really help her is the baby.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: Trouble getting started...

    How old is the baby?

    How is diaper output?
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Trouble getting started...

    I hope some of the other moms who have more experience with nipple pain post. It sounds like she must be in pain. Have she and baby been checked for thrush, if the latch is ok?

    I just wanted to interject about the nipple shield. Yes, it is better than formula. Yes, it can alleviate some pain--if it's the right size. However, it can cause nipple confusion and lazy latch...it's much easier for baby to use, but compared to breastfeeding "au natural" it is a pain to clean all the time...just imagine baby is all nice and cuddly and sleepy from being fed, and you and your wife just want to go to sleep...but...you have to clean that thing off so that it will be ready for the next feeding...and the next...it seems like such a little thing, but it is a pain when baby is young and feeds so often.

    Also, you will have to wean your baby off of it if you want to get back to the basics. It took me about until my baby was two months old to get her off of it after using one in the hospital after she was born. I had to keep fixing her latch in the process, because she didn't want to latch deeply enough after using it. And that caused some pain. So much of the struggle of weaning from it is internal too--you just keep worrying if baby is getting enough since it seems their feeding "schedule" changes relatively quickly in those early days.

    I strongly urge you to keep up with the lactation consultant and see if your wife can press on. Get checked for thrush...and I hope some other ladies chime in with some nipple remedies. However, if it comes down to pumping, nipple shield, or formula....I'd probably choose nipple shield.
    Last edited by @llli*lidarose.llli; July 3rd, 2008 at 09:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Trouble getting started...

    i just wanted to let you know that it will hurt... for about 4 weeks. like, toe curling, tear raising, gasp inducing, kind of thing. the nipples arent used to it, yet. it WILL get better. for the first 4 weeks, i had to sit in a rocking chair, with the baby on top of a boppy... and just rock while leaning forward. i cried... i stopped breathing for awhile. after about a week, you start to notice that the pain only lasts for a little while, while nursing, so you can start to relax... then about a week later, the pain only lasts for a minute... and so on and so forth, until you're able to go about nursing, without the pain.

    the nipple shield. that thing was a life saver for me... but i do have to say... use it for a few minutes, then take it off and try to feed without it... you want to wean off of it as soon as you can. my first daughter became so dependent on it, that she wouldnt nurse without it.

    you can get through this. just dont give up, and, as much as you want to, try NOT to take a break from nursing... maybe 1 feed, if you must, but if you keep doing that, then you wont go back it it.

    you're a great husband for supporting your wife and trying to find ways to help her... congratulations!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Pullman, WA

    Default Re: Trouble getting started...

    I hate to disagree with everyone, but I do. Breastfeeding should not hurt. That being said, every new mom has some pain, but it should recede as the feed goes on. And it sounds like she is having more pain than that. I would try to get another opinion on the baby's latch. Even if it was good in the hospital, it may have changed. Call the lactation consultant at the hospital or your peds office. Or call your local La Leche League leader. Have someone look at your baby latching. Is the baby getting a big, open mouth BEFORE latching on? Once open, your wife needs to pull her in close quickly. Is baby's tummy touching mom's? Is her body lined up so her head is NOT turned to the side? What positions has your wife tried? Are her nipples cracked, bleeding, blistered, etc.?

    After checking all of the above, I would still try to find someone to assess the latch. SOON. I know it's a holiday, but try to find someone.

    About the pump: pumps do not get milk out as well as babies. They are ok, but many women don't let down to a pump very well. So, make sure your wife understands that the amount she is pumping has very little to do with the amount of milk she is actually making. Baby can get much, much more. But, keep in mind that at birth, a baby's tummy is really about the size of mama's thumb. Not very big at all, which is part of why they feed frequently. So they don't take much at each feeding, they just feed often. And that's good and right.

    In the meantime, I'd keep up the Soothies (you can put them in the fridge if the cool stuff feels good), have her go without a bra in between Soothie use, wipe all of baby's spit off after a feed and express some milk to put on the nipple--let it dry before putting any clothes over it.

    Hope all of this is more helpful than confusing. It doesn't have to be that painful (sorry to disagree with pp's). You're awesome, by the way. My husband has told me that dad's job is almost as tiring as mom's when done right, and you seem to be doing it right. Go, Dad, go! Oh, and make sure you feed mama some snacks (advice from my hubby to any new Dad).
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09

    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

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