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Thread: Nipple pain, many issues, seeking suggestions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Nipple pain, many issues, seeking suggestions

    I'm seeking any suggestions to my BF situation...it has been such a struggle -

    where to begin - this is my first baby, she weighed 6lb 15oz at birth and is now 5 weeks old. Since day one she has not latched right. She pinches my nipple despite getting a deep latch initially - I've seen 3 LC's that all say the latch looks good, but she comes off and my nipple is raw & pinched. I try to relatch her several times, but we get the same thing. At almost 2 weeks, I was ready to give it up b/c of the severe nipple pain (cracks, blisters, etc) but was talked into a nipple shield to allow healing. It did allow healing, but it also decreased the amount of milk to baby so her weight has been very slow to come up. Although she is healthy, the pedi & LC recommended supplementing her b/c of the minimal wt gain. We tried cup feeding (she refused) SNS, and finger feeding, but that got to be too much when we were told to supplement after EVERY feed. So, we reluctantly started using bottles and pumped breastmilk. Her weight has improved rapidly and she seems more satisfied.

    I have also been diagnosed with Raynaud's of the nipple which is causing some pain issues too. I am also on my second round of a yeast infection of both breasts! We're both being treated for that. I'm trying to wean her off the nipple shield because I want her to get maximum milk (I hear her gulp so much more on the bare breast) but she continues to latch wrong and really hurt my nipples. My LC says to just keep working daily at it.

    Any suggestions regarding weaning off the nipple shield? Or tricks about latching? I don't think the bottle has made too much difference in her activity at the breast, and we can't really get rid of the supplements until she can get more from the breast (I think without the shield). I've told myself I can try this until the 2 month mark, but if we haven't gotten it by then, I might have to give it up. I feel like all I do is BF, then supplement, then pump, etc. I'm getting exhausted. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Nipple pain, many issues, seeking suggestions


    I wanted to write because I know EXACTLY where you are coming from. I had flat nipples and was given the nipple shield to use since my son was born. He used it for about 5 weeks....to wean, I was told to start with the shield to pull the nipple out, then halfway thru the feeding to remove the shield and try to get them latched on. Try positioning the baby, so he's facing you sitting up on one side (football hold?) sorry, i'm at a loss for the correct term. It helps them to latch on easier and is less painful.
    If you have a day to relax and spend some time skin to skin with the baby, in bed just relaxing. It makes it easier for the baby to focus on you and get more comfortable with the breast.
    I did this for a day, took a bath with my son, and sure enough, he finally caught on. He was 6lbs 10 ounces at birth, 6lbs 2 ounces when we left the hospital. AT 3 weeks he was 8lbs 2 ounces...now he's 11 lbs.
    SO, although many told me that my milk supply would decrease with the shield and that they wouldn't get enough, he gained weight VERY well and my milk supply is great.
    You may need to pump if you feel your breasts aren't emptied after a feeding, but as long as the baby is having wet diapers/stools, then they are getting enough and WILL gain weight.
    ALSO, my son had NO problems taking a bottle. The nipple shield is like a bottle nipple. I use Advent. He went between breast and bottle VERY easily because the nipple shield. So....keep trying. Try not to use the bottle until he's got a grasp on the breast with OUT the shield.

    Sorry this is so long. I hope it helps! keep your chin up! I got all stressed, but it will work out.

    sorry for the long response. Also, for nipple pain, "soothies" work very well!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Nipple pain, many issues, seeking suggestions

    I do not have any experience w/ the shield, but I have a ton of experience with the necessity of pumping I pumped after every feeding from about 2-6 weeks in order to supplement my son & get his weight up. He took a ton of bottles a day & never had problems with nipple confusion.
    My first thought is that you will probably continue to experience pain as long as you have thrush. Do you feel completely healed? Does your son have it? Has he been treated? My son "pinched" my nipples, too, when he fed, but I never really had any pain associted with it. However, we did have a case of thrush & THAT was painful. Good luck to you!!

  4. #4
    marie1965's Avatar
    marie1965 is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Nipple pain, many issues, seeking suggestions

    I had a lot of nipple pain. I did with my two sons, and that was 14 and 16 years ago. Back then I used warm, wet teabags laid on my nipples after each feeding, then air drying.

    With this baby, I used the lansinoh (sp?) and that helped. I also used a position I called the "leaner" (although I'm sure there's a LLL term for it somewhere). I would swaddle her in a blanket, lay her on the pillow in front of me and lean forward so that my breast was over her and the nipple was dropping straight into her mouth. It kept her from pulling back and losing her latch.

    Good luck and kudos for trying so hard to do so much for your child.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Nipple pain, many issues, seeking suggestions

    I feel like I could have written your post word for word.

    DS is now 7 weeks and keeps re-injuring my right nipple and drawing blood. All the LC's we have worked with have told us the latch looks good, and to use the shield to let my nipple heal. But everytime I go back to bare breast, we start the cycle over again.

    Not long before that trip to see the LC, I was having constant nipple pain and the tips were white and had white flakes of skin hanging off of them after a feeding. The LC told me I had Raynaud's and wanted me to keep my nipples warm after a feeding, and inbetween.

    That didn't work... I still had sharp shooting pains in my breasts even if they were warm and relaxed; it just wasn't as bad.

    Now that we are using the shield, my nipples look great and I have not had any sharp or shooting pains in my breasts at all. Nursing takes a little longer, but things feel great. But only with the shield.

    Does this sound similar to your experience (shield vs. no shield)? I am also curious how to get a better latch and keep my nipples feeling as good as they do now (showering is no longer painful, either!). Hopefully someone can come along and help us out!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Nipple pain, many issues, seeking suggestions

    I could have written your post too!!! Wish I had known there were others out there going through this when I was. Should have gotten here sooner!

    My dd is now 5.5 months. In the first 2 months my nipples were cracked, sore, white, red, yellow, you name it. I also saw and LC several times and was also told the latch was good. I also had a nipple shield and some ointment to help with nipple infection.

    Nipple shield: I found it worked for me. I had to feed much longer because I also noticed that she didn't get as much. My dd's weight gain was ok but feeding did take a while. I felt like my butt was plastered to the couch for a few weeks.

    Getting off the nipple shield: I did this gradually, using during one feeding then off the next for a while. When my nipples seemed to get a little better I used it mostly at night, when she seemed to do the most damage - lazy, sleepy latch? I used it on and off until about 8 weeks. One nipple got better, I gave up the shield, then it seemed to get worse again and I was on the shield again, so it is not necessarily an even processes. I still did and occasionally still do get a little sore, but nothing like those first 4 weeks!

    I think as my dd got bigger (and her mouth got bigger) things just got better. It was VERY hard and painful though and I got so tired of people saying, "it will be better in 2-3 weeks," especially when I was at 6 weeks with sore nipples! But eventually, it did get better, rest assured. Hang in there.
    Last edited by International Mom; August 21st, 2006 at 02:49 AM.

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