Hi all. I'm a new poster. My LO is 10 weeks old, and I've been in some sort of pain from BFing since day 1. At best it's been mild, and at worst, excrutiating.
I've seen an IBCLC twice and things improved my first week after delivery -- I had horrendous trauma to both nipples -- but I've never gone a day without pain. I still have cracks and I think I'm still getting abraded by my LO's strong suction. After things got better the first time, I probably made a mistake and tried the side-lying position for a night which didn't help. He's drawn blood a few times, including once when we ended up at the emergency room when he spat up blood and it wasn't obvious that it came from me (until we repeated the process there and I realized it was coming from my right side.)
I have a compounded problem in that I also have oversupply. I've been feeding only one side each time as recommended by the IBCLC. This was two weeks ago. The IBCLC I saw recommended I pump in addition to feed in order to heal my deep wounds and give my breasts a rest, but when I tried that, my oversupply got even worse. I would turn on the pump, not even on "expression" phase just to get things started, and I would turn off the pump and proceed to leak/eject 3-3.5 ounces from the one side and leak 1 ounce from the side that was supposed to be resting. Because this only caused more problems, I ended up just putting up with the pain and feeding my LO directly.
My LO is otherwise doing fine -- 1-2 poopy diapers a day, lots of wet ones, seems happy, gaining weight like crazy -- but he has absolutely no schedule. One day he'll want to feed every 2 hours, one day every 4. Night time is worse -- sometimes 3 hours, sometimes 5 or 6. One day he even went 9. I don't know if I'll ever regulate with this "schedule". He feeds anywhere from 16-40 min. still as well.
Anyway, the pain is awful again, and I feel like I'm in my own personal hell. I'm trying not to show how awful I feel to my LO, but it's wearing me out. I've never tried so hard at something only to feel like such a complete failure. I've tried everything -- Lansinoh, APNO, salt water rinse, air drying, sun drying. I suspect I still need to fix the latch somehow, but I really don't know how to do it on my own. I've tried pushing down on my LO's chin to get a wider opening, but he moves back to a position he likes at some point during the feeding. I'm going to call a different IBCLC tomorrow and see if she can help me more than my current one, but other than that, I'm pretty much at my wit's end about things getting better.
I really want to BF (even if I have to include pumping), but the last few nights, I've gotten really frustrated. BF hasn't been easy, or convenient.
Will things ever get better? People I've talked to claim you actually get to a point, even after a rough start, where you forget how painful it used to be, where things are so easy you don't even realize your baby is latched on. Is this true? I just have such a hard time believing it will happen to me. I feel a bit of guilt writing this post. I know other moms go through much worse, and I feel like my baby's well-being should be strong enough motivation, but 3 months of pain is really getting to me.
Thanks for listening and for any advice.