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Thread: Multiple nursing problems...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Multiple nursing problems...

    My daughter is only 2 weeks old and I'm already getting frustrated... I'm looking for advice from all you experienced folks out there.

    I managed to pump and breast feed my first son for 8 months (until given medication that prevented my breast feeding) and didn't have nearly this much trouble.

    Here's what's going on -
    I had some trouble when my milk came in with her gagging and pulling off my breast - unfortunately the nurse at the hospital told me I probably had overactive let down and gave me a breast shield to use and feed her. This worked but my nipples were constantly a little sore. I used the shield for a week and then read that the shields were probably causing the soreness. Since she is more coordinated now and seems to be able to latch and suck effectively I tried switching to just nipple feeding....OUCH!! After 2 days my nipples are so sore I can no longer breast feed at all. I don't think it's the latch - she seems to have a great deal of breast tissue in her mouth and she sucks effectively. I was using the football position (my breasts are fairly large) which worked wonderfully with my son. She was constantly wanting to feed - and I'm afraid the frequency may have had something to do with the increased soreness.

    I've been pumping to feed her but my supply seems to be too low. She drinks 3 1/2 to four ounces at a feeding but my pumping is only supplying 2 oz in the same amount of time. I've had to supplement with formula to make up the difference.

    So now I'm left with sore nipples and low supply - HELP! Where do I go from here? If I continue to bottle feed breast milk - will I be able to switch back to nursing when my nipples heal? How long does it normally take raw nipples to heal enough to prevent further injury while nursing?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated - I'm about at the end of my rope....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Multiple nursing problems...

    Hello and welcome!

    First off take a bow for keeping it up this long, remember many moms would have quit at this point. Second, I would contact a LLL Leader in your area or go back to the Lactation Consultant. They can look at the latch and your position to make sure everything is perfect. Next, I would get a good nipple cream to help with the soreness. I like MotherLove, but many moms here use Lansinoh. I would also stop supplementing with formula. It could only hurt your supply even more. Pumping is the correct way to help build up your supply, but you may also want to check out the Increase Your Supply Threads on this forum. Keep in mind that pumping can also make you sore, so when you do so I would rub some nipple cream on the inside of the flange of the pump to keep the chafing to a minimum. You may also consider that the pain is from something else - like a yeast infection - just to be sure nothing else is wrong.

    It's great that you want to continue to breastfeed, and it IS possible. I had a premature baby who was bottle fed expressed breast milk for the first 2 months of her life (not to mention a host of other obstacles) and we are now a happily nursing duo at 6 months. Please don't give up and come back with any other questions. Feel free to PM if some of this does not make sense or you have a question about it. Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Multiple nursing problems...

    I nursed with a shield for the first six weeks and the discomfort of a shield is nothing compared to the discomfort your nipples feel during those first few feedings. They just have to get used to it, and they will!! You should definitely try to get some help from your lll leader if you can because they will have a lot more info for your but as far as I know, if the latch is good, the pain should subside after the first couple of minutes of sucking. If it continues throughout the feeding, it may be the sign of a bad latch. Infection is also a possibility. My mother in law gave me a great gift, and gave me some breast shields that can be worn in your bra. They are wonderful for those times when your nipples are SO sore because they pretty much suspend your nipples in air, without chafing and chapping from being pushed up against a wet nursing pad. This is what saved me and helped my nipples recover fast. I got mine at babycenter.com (Advent makes them) if you want to go there for more info. As far as your supply, the best way to build it back up is to let your LO nurse as much as possible, and as much as you can stand. Breast pumps don't always do as well. Try to avoid the temptation of supplementing with formula because it will be that much more tempting to give up on breastfeeding. As long as your LO is still peeing and pooping well, she will be fine and the sore nipples and supply issues should get better within a day or two if nothing more serious is going on. Hang in there, it gets better!

    Loving my two sweet girls Audrey (7/18/06) and Annie (6/18/09) Baby #3 due to appear 8/5/10

    Feel free to ask me about my successful HBAC , food allergies, cloth diapers, and the joy of having a high-needs, non-sleeping little dear who has grown into a wonderful preschooler.

    Blogging here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Multiple nursing problems...

    Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice. I ordered some of those shields you mentioned...hopefully they'll work as well for me as they did for you. She is peeing and pooing fine and I think the frequency of feeding is due to the cold she picked up from my preschooler :-(. I've been trying to pump every hour or so to get my supply up. I'm a little nervous to let her latch on again - because it was so excruciating - but hopefully in a day or so the nipples will heal enough that I can try again.

    Thanks for the help and support - wonderful to know I'm not the only one who's had this frustrating problem.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Multiple nursing problems...

    Hi there!

    With the extreme pain you're describing, I really would have to guess that it's a latch issue. Please click on the link in my siggy and get ahold of a local Leader who can look at your latch. You'd be surprised at how much more comfortable breastfeeding is with the correct latch/positioning.

    If baby is latching correctly, your nipples will heal, even with frequent feedings.

    I just wanted to add that pumping and feeding from a bottle is probably contributing to the problem in the long run. Your body will let down better for a baby than a pump--so even if you can't PUMP enough milk to feed your daughter, she'll get enough while eating AT the breast. In addition, a baby has to suckle differently at an artificial nipple than at the breast. Going back and forth between nipple shield, nipple and artificial bottle nipple may have confused her a bit so that she isn't latching correctly.

    Again, I can't stress this enough--Get some in-person help. Don't try to tough it out!

    "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!

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