Hi all, I am so glad I found these forums, lots of good advice here. I am a first time mom to a baby girl who is 2 weeks old tomorrow. We had a great natural labor and delivery and baby has been exclusively breast feeding since day one, and she is doing great, gaining weight, lots of poopie/wet diapers, but I am not..... My left nipple is inverted/flat, and my right one is normal. We got some help at the hospital from their LC with latching on the left, (she latches great on the right), and she has been able to latch on to either breast fine since day one. I have been having nipple pain on the left only since about day 2. My left nipple developed cracks and scabs/bleeding. I attributed it to just the irritation of that nipple being drawn out. I did have my Bradley instructor, who is also a LC come over when she was one week old and evaluate our latch, and since then I have been extra careful and diligent about always getting a deep latch. It is still a struggle to get a deep latch on the left at times, especially since I have really large breasts and a small baby, and it often takes several attempts to get her latched on, but once she's on she'll feed for 15-20 minutes. I noticed a slight improvement in the pain after about 2 days of really paying attention to the latch. I have been treating the cracks with breastmilk and lots of lansinoh. The past few days things have not improved at all and seem almost a little worse again. The pain is most severe at the beginning of breastfeeding, when she first latches on and lasts about a minute, then it becomes more tolerable, but it is never totally pain free like with the right breast. I can tell some of the cracks are healing, but there is still a deep crack, that bleeds sometimes right at the tip that has not gotten better, but the pain doesn't seem to come from the big crack but is more at the base of the nipple and about 1cm of the surrounding area. The whole nipple/areola area just seems to ache more. I am managing to get through feedings with lots of ibuprofen and a few tears here and there, but it is getting depressing. I want to love breastfeeding but I don't, and that is what I cry about more than the actual pain.
Other women out there who have dealt with inverted nipples, it is always this bad, or could it be something else besides my faulty anatomy that is delaying the healing process. Do I just need to exercise patience? How long did it take for you to breastfeed pain free with an inverted nipple? Any advice is much appreciated.