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Thread: Seems hopeless...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    12

    Unhappy Seems hopeless...

    I have been exclusively breastfeeding my son, who is going to be three weeks on the 2nd. We are having lots of problems. My nipples are raw, cracked and bleeding. I don't know if he just doesn't open his mouth wide enough or if he slips down once he's latched, but I'm sure it is a latching problem. He also doesn't seem to cover his bottom gums with his tongue... feels like sandpaper on the underside of my nipple

    We have gone to see two different lactation consultants, both of whom say that the latch looks good and that I should just have him suck on my finger and try to draw his tongue out. This doesn't seem to be helping.

    I don't know what to do. I know he is getting enough milk... he was back up to his birth weight at 9 days. I get pretty engorged between feedings (every 2 to 3 hours) so I have started nursing on only one side at a feeding (seems to be helping the engorgement). I have a good supply and he is thriving, but I am so frustrated. I want to enjoy my new son, not dread every time he is hungry. It's all I think about. It's getting hard to see any hope. I don't want to give up... am trying to make it at least 6 weeks (everyone says everything is better at 6 weeks)... but I don't know if I can.

    I hope someone might have a suggestion we haven't tried... or maybe just some hopeful thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    23

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    Did they look at his tongue? I know I sound like a broken record around here, but my own son had problems with his latch because he had tongue-tie... a situation where that little piece of skin that stretches from the bottom of your tongue to the bottom of the inside of your mouth doesn't allow your tongue to extend fully. When your little one cries, does the tip of his tongue look rounded, or does it kind of come in in the middle?

    It might not be that... I'm still feeling very sore and chapped, even after the procedure was done to fix the tongue-tie. Just hoping that it might work for you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    Hi! Congratulations on your LO. I am so sorry you are in such a rough place.

    I have a couple of questions....is the pain just w/the initial latch and after a few minutes it gets better or does the pain last the entire feeding?
    Are you using plenty of nipple cream both after he feeds as well as again rigth before? Lubritcation can be so key!
    Is it worse on one side than the other?

    I understand your frusteration. Please know that at this young age we were all in the same boat. All newborns do is eat, sleep and go to the bathroom. We as Mothers in the 1st weeks generally have to adopt the same schedule. THe most important thing you can do for your baby at this point is be available to meet his needs physically. He needs to eat virtually non-stop at this point to both get your milk supply to regulate and also to practice latching in such a way that works for both of you. It sounds like you have been meeting the challenges as they arise and I think focusing on the next 3 weeks for now is a great goal. Be prepared for two of the largest hurdles in that time frame. The 3week growth spurt which you may be in thr throws of now and the six week growth spurt.

    When my son would latch on the side he didn't favor it felt like he was sucking slivers of metal thru my nipple. I almost expected to look down and see blood coming out of his mouth it hurt that bad. Eventually it did alll work itself out. Eventually I did get out of my night gown Eventually I did get out of the house. But not at 3 weeks. At 3 weeks if you wanted to see me or the baby you came over and you brought food. At 3weeks me & My son lived on the couch during the day and when my husband got home he made sure I had enough food in me to get me thu the night. The house work will still be there . The laundry can wait. The relationship your working on right now will prove to be one of the most valuable ever! It's very very rough in the beginning. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Your moving towards it very quickly. As agonizingly slow as time seems to be passing right now, believe me when I tell you this entire 1st year will pass in the blink of an eye. At the 12 week point I promise you you'll be so glad you stuck it out. Stay with us. Good luck.
    Last edited by DJ's Mom; September 30th, 2006 at 05:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    12

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    Thanks for the words of encouragement.
    The pain in my nipples lasts for the entire feeding, but is worse at the beginning. I have been using Lansinoh and letting my nipples air dry. The doctor and LC have looked at his tongue and there is no tongue-tie. The last LC I saw gave me a nipple shield. She said the shield was better than giving up too I tried it twice, but my son couldn't latch on to anything but the nipple part. He couldn't get very much milk at all. I don't think that is how it is supposed to be used. I know he still needs to get some breast tissue in his mouth in order to get enough milk. Maybe I will try it again.
    He does seem to be eating more the past couple days... probably a growth spurt... which will be so much fun for me
    Thanks again for your replies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,090

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/03a-sore_nipples.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/03b-t...asts.html#apno

    don't give up I hope you are fealing beter soon.
    Sometimes it takes a while for injured nipples to heal.

    do you have a lll leader that lives in your area? They can help and encoarge you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    Just a gentle reminder--LLL says that it's best to use nipple shields under the guidance of a professional or Leader. Yes, I know you can buy them at the store, but please see someone for correct fit and proper usage.

    Hi there, OP! Congratulations on your new baby and I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. From what you describe, something is definitely wrong with the latch!

    As a Leader, I don't usually share personal experiences. However, one of my babies had what looked like a "textbook" latch--combined with cracking and pain on my part! Because of several issues, the LC taught us to finger feed and lo and behold we discovered the problem. . . my baby was actually dropping her chin several times per feeding, causing her to lose suction and reposition (hence my pain!). We just couldn't see the problem while she was on the breast. Interestingly the finger feeding retrained her latch.

    Now, I'm certainly not saying that this IS your issue--it could be something very different. However, don't let anyone tell you that there is nothing wrong with the baby's latch when you have the raw/cracked/bleeding nipples you describe. Definitely try the finger exercises the LC recommended.

    I'd strongly suggest you get some more in-person help very soon. Click the link in my siggy to find a Leader in your area. When you go for help, try nursing in a variety of positions and have the helper try to view the latch from a few different angles.

    In the meantime, vary nursing positions at home to avoid putting pressure on the same areas all the time.

    Hang in there! You can get through this!

    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!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,468

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    I'm so so so sorry you're going through this. I had sore cracked nipples for 6 weeks. One of them bled during a night feeding and I didn't know it, all I knew is my son vomitted blood. Talk about being FREAKED out!!! First time mommy, I thought all kinds of bad things. Every time we would feed I would dread it, I would sit in the recliner and curl my toes under and rock with my eyes clenched when he would latch. Thankfully the worst of it was when he first went on. I wasn't lucky enough to find this site until after all of our problems were resolved. I went on-line and found all kinds of videos to help me learn how to hold the breast and watch the latch. Actually seeing someone else do it helped me A LOT. I actually prayed the night before I figured out how to do it right. I knew that this was the best thing for my son but if the pain didn't go away I was going to give up. The next day i found those sites( I wish I could remember them off hand) and the first time I latched him on correctly and it didn't hurt, I cried. I was so happy and it's been a blessing ever since. I really hope you stick with it. You will be so proud of yourself for such an accomplishment. Plus it's something we can hold over their heads when they become teen-agers! Find someone that can actually show you how to hold and position your breast while putting him on. Keep us updated and best of luck to you. Right now keep em creamed up and air drying.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,163

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    Dear owensmommy,

    Ooooh, ouch!!!!! I know how hard it is to have so much pain at feedings. You end up dreading your baby's every cry, because you know it's going to hurt when you have to nurse. I had deep cracks on the undersides of both nipples (where it is harder to heal) for the first 4.5 months of my daughter's life. For me I think fixing the problem came from a combination of factors- I corrected the bad latch, and as my daughter grew, her short tongue got bigger, and her mouth grew, and it was easier to shove more breast into her mouth.

    If you can hang in there until your LO grows a bit, it will eventually get better! But I wouldn't tell any woman in your situation just to sit still and "take it like a lady". It's just too painful, especially if you're hurting all the way through a feeding.

    If you can't take the pain any more, and can't figure out the latch issue, and are thinking of throwing in the towel, maybe you could consider pumping and bottlefeeding? I read in a book called "The Breastfeeding Cafe" about a woman who bottlefed her LO breastmilk for an entire year! During the worst times, I did use a bottle. At first I used one because I had low supply and needed to supplement; later on I took a few days to pump exclusively and bottlefeed my daughter what I pumped. Those few days of pumping allowed me to heal a bit and get some perspective on my situation, which was hard to do when I was screeching in pain! I felt the risk of nipple confusion was worth the few days of relief I got from exclusively pumping.

    I know how hard it is when the ideal breastfeeding relationship that you dream of doesn't magically materialize. But you deserve real kudos for keeping on going when so many people would have stopped. And I really do think that if you can keep it up intil your LO grows up a bit, you'll be okay.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    I went on-line and found all kinds of videos to help me learn how to hold the breast and watch the latch. Actually seeing someone else do it helped me A LOT.
    I think she might be referring to this site:
    http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

    If you scroll down you'll see where he has several videos of mothers latching on. A lot of mothers really like the third one dealing with an assymetric latch.

    I should add that this is a non-LLL site, but Dr Newman is a well-respected breastfeeding profession and much of his information is referenced in LLL materials.

    How are things going today?
    Jen
    Last edited by LLL LactoJen; October 1st, 2006 at 05:07 PM.
    "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!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,468

    Default Re: Seems hopeless...

    Thanks LactoJen, you're right, that was the site. He actually shows someone latching on and when I saw someone else actually do it I followed suite. Thanks for that one.

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