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What to do...

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM
  • 9 Replies

My dd is a week old and I have bf'd her strictly from the breast since birth.  Since we got home from the hospital she's had trouble latching on, leading to extremely sore, raw and almost bleeding nipples.  To the point I'm practically in tears when it's time for her to eat.  I've pumped a couple times yesterday and today and it seemed to help in giving my nipples a rest.

Now even when I'm not feeding, I get a surge of pain every now and then starting in the nipple area.  I even put a breathable bandaid on the nipple under the nursing pad to alleviate the pain of rubbing on the pad.

Here's my question:  I have decided to pump for her till my nipples heal up.  My concern is how should they heal?  Should I put bacitracin/neosporin on them?  Should I just let them air-dry?  Air them out?  Breastmilk on them?  I hate the fact that I can't nurse her without pain cuz I love the feeling of being so close to her, but it just hurts so damn bad.  When I do grin and bear it, I get a horrible shooting/stinging pain at first then a lingering dull pain thruought...but that's only on my right side.  The left side is sore and raw, too, but doesn't sting as bad.

Help, please!   I'm working on getting in touch with a lactation consultant...

by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM
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Replies (1-9):
aehanrahan
by Group Admin - Amy on Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Has she been checked for a tongue tie?  

eeyorerdl
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:48 PM


Quoting aehanrahan:

Has she been checked for a tongue tie?  


I don't believe so, but I really don't think she is.  Occasionally she does latch on and she has plenty of fun sticking her toungue way out, so I don't think that's an issue...

aehanrahan
by Group Admin - Amy on Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:51 PM

There is some kind of latching issue that needs to be resolved or the pain will not go away.  Have you seen an IBCLC?  You need to get her latched properly rather than giving bottles which will create even more problems.

collinsmommy0
by Gold Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 7:54 PM
It sounds like thrush to me. The shootin pains during let down & sensitive nipples are symptoms. Look in baby's mouth - are there white patches?
I had the shooting pains for a week before DS had the patches in his mouth. Call your dr & get medicine - diflucan - ASAP. It sounds like it is in your milk ducts so you will need the antifungal medicine. Baby also needs to be treated, with either OTC medicine (genetin violet) or nystatin (rx).

You can put monistat cream on your nipples to help the pain, expose them to sunlight, or do a vinegar/water mix & wipe them on that

I'm not sure if it's thrush, but if it is get it resolved ASAP - thrush is painful!!!!!
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elmo6885
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:12 PM
You should definitely see an LC like a pp said, the latching issue needs to be resolved so your nipples can heal. You should have some on call at the hospital you gave birth.
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mama02040608
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:23 PM
You need to get the latch fixed and possibly treat for thrush. It sounds like you have something brewing there, and unless you get your nipples to heal permanently, you will be prone to infections of the breast. I took a "pumping vacation" for a day with my oldest and it made a world of difference for me. Thrush treatments on kellymom.com. Liberal lansinoh for the raw nips. Give it a few days. And get that latch fixed...makes all the difference in the world.
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tabi_cat1023
by Group Admin -Tabitha on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:16 PM



Quoting mama02040608:

You need to get the latch fixed and possibly treat for thrush. It sounds like you have something brewing there, and unless you get your nipples to heal permanently, you will be prone to infections of the breast. I took a "pumping vacation" for a day with my oldest and it made a world of difference for me. Thrush treatments on kellymom.com. Liberal lansinoh for the raw nips. Give it a few days. And get that latch fixed...makes all the difference in the world.

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eeyorerdl
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Yeah, the latch is definitely the problem.  I didn't notice any white spots in her mouth, I'll talk to her doc when we go back on Friday.

One thing I noticed this evening as I got into the shower is the skin on the tips of both my nipples is pretty much gone.  So basically it's an open wound, so that explains the pain.  Ugh!  I just hope I can get back to bf'ing once I heal.  Definitely gonna talk to a LC as soon as I can...

maggiemom2000
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Here are some resources on latching in the meanwhile:

Latching and Positioning Resources

No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

  1. Is it effective?
  2. Is it comfortable?

Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that there is a problem somewhere, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.

If baby is transferring milk and gaining weight well, and mom is not hurting, then latch and positioning are - by definition - good, even if it's nothing like the "textbook" latch and positioning that you've seen in books.

"Rules and regulations have no place in the mother-baby relationship. Each mother and baby dyad is different and what works well for one mother and baby may not work well for another mother and baby. The important thing to do is to look at the mother and baby as individuals."

-- Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC in The Mother-Baby Dance

 

Following are some of my favorite resources on latch and positioning:

Latching handouts by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC 
(I really like these.)

How to Breastfeed from the UK Department of Health's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week website (click here for printable PDF version; available in many languages)
(Lovely latching pictures here, with simple directions; just keep scrolling down the page.)

Deep Latch Technique from The Pump Station.
(Good latching pictures and directions.)

[PDF] Positioning and Attachment Checklist by Dr. Carolyn Lawlor-Smith, BMBS, IBCLC, FRACGP and Dr. Laureen Lawlor-Smith, BMBS, IBCLC 
(No pictures here, but a really nice description that doesn't necessarily need pictures. This describes a slighly different way to go about getting a nice wide latch; the results are the same as when using the method in the above links.)

When Latching by Anne J. Barnes, has instructions with drawings
(The drawings and tips here are helpful.)

Latching videos by Dr. Jack Newman

Animation illustrating assymetrical latch technique by Victoria Nesterova 
(Nice animation -- text is in Russian.)

The Mother-Baby Dance: Positioning and Latch-On by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC
(This is a longish article written for breastfeeding counselors that has some nice descriptions of latching and positioning, along with info on why some things tend to work better than others.)

Latch and positioning videos from Breastfeeding.com. 
(I found the latching videos more useful than the positioning ones, but since they are by necessity very short, there is not much info in each video. Watch all the latching videos to get a better idea of the "big picture.")

Is baby latching on and sucking efficiently? How to tell from AskDrSears.com 
(A useful list.)

L-A-T-C-H-E-S * Breastfeeding Assessment Tool (for the first 4 weeks) and Scoring Key by Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC
(A tool for professionals that could also be useful for moms who are wondering if breastfeeding is going fine and whether additional help is needed.)


 

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