Struggle but got better, sore nipples, latching

by Stephanie Lawes
(Dubai)

I was naive to think that breast feeding would be easy having seen friends seemingly do it with such ease. My first mistake of many is that i did not do the research beforehand. I really feel this is vital since breast feeding is really something that you have to learn about.


I did not feed my daughter regularly enough in the first few days. Something that I now realise as vital to help your milk come in and to prevent engorgement. I didn't know and was not advised that really you should feed around the clock in those early weeks.

Due to my lack of knowledge my breasts became engorged, I got mastitis. And, we could not get the latch right. My nipples became sore and cracked and the pain was just too much to bear. It got so bad that we went back to the hospital mathernity ward after suffering about 2 weeks (too long). We spent the whole day just in a private room with the lactation consultant. But my nipples were bleeding so much and I was in so much pain we had to give my daughter formula :-)

I carried on trying to feed through the pain and bleeding as we felt very strongly that we wanted to breastfeed. I tried nipple shields but without success. I was stretching out the feeds to every four hours convincing myself that it was ok (not ok in early weeks). I just dreaded every feed so much and cried in agony each time. Of course as a result my daughter failed to gain the weight she was supposed to and we were told that we needed to give her top up of formula after each feed.

Well we were so adamant that we did not want to give formula. So I was exhausting myself by expressing milk around the clock so we could feed that to her. I upped my game and started feeding her 24/7 even though it was agonising.

Well a long story short. My problems did not really end there but I've shared the majority of my story. The latch actually took around 3 months to perfect. In fact I gave up trying to get it right every time and eventually my daughter taught herself to feed more proficiently.

She is now 5 months old and can you believe it, I now LOVE breast feeding and am even saddened that we will be starting the weaning process soon! My daughter and I have now this super special bond and a kind of connection that I can't really describe.

Breast feeding is really really hard and you will probably want to give up again and again. But it gets better really it does. And don't listen if you are told you don't have the supply or that there is some other reason you cant do it because you can. And you will be giving your child the best start in life in so many ways.

Good luck. X

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Oct 26, 2012
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Thank you
by: Tracy Behr, CBC, CLD (CBI)

Hi Stephanie

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story. You can be so very proud of yourself for sticking in there and giving your baby the best start to life.

I have shared your story of encouragement on Facebook...

http://www.facebook.com/bfproblemsformom/posts/453802131338802

Nov 02, 2013
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Misery loves company
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing this!! I am having a very similar experience and reading your story has helped boost my confidence and allowed me to be (slightly) less stressed!

My baby is just over 2 weeks old, and recently decided to stop latching; though I can't blame her as my nipples are raw and still bleeding, and my production has dropped and the last time she tried to nurse I bawled my eyes out because of the pain... It's so difficult as a first time mom to know what to do, especially when you receive conflicting information from everybody you talk to.

Luckily we haven't given up, I started pumping exclusively (temporarily; mostly to allow my nipples to heal and boost my supply) and we have supplemented some with formula, (a very humbling experience for me).

At first I felt so guilty, I've failed my child and have been starving her (she went a week without pooping and was losing weight). But stories like yours helped me realize I'm not alone, and that it could take some time but it's not impossible to get her to nurse again.

There is definitely a huge learning curve with breastfeeding, and I still have a long way to go, (once my nipples heal and my supply increases I plan on meeting with a lactation specialist to determine WHY we had so much trouble).

I'm just glad I have an opportunity to learn from this and (hopefully) correct past mistakes. And I can share my experience with other new moms so they can learn from them too!

Thank you again for sharing it's just the motivation I needed :)

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Sore nipples and boobs at seven months

by Sarah
(Rosetown, sask, Canada )

I have been breast feeding for 7 1/2 months and no problems this is my second it was going good till yesterday and my nipples are all cracked and open sore around the nipple I could not beast feed or pump so I am now giving her formula but my breast are killing me like the first time I breastfed I don't know what to do I tried to pump and I just bleed and am in a lot of pain do I relieve it in the shower? Help please

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Oct 13, 2011
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Sore breasts and nipples
by: Tracy

Hi, Sarah

You should try breastfeeding with nipple shields until your breasts have healed. If you stop altogether you can cause a breast infection ( mastitis )

You can relieve the engorgement with hand expression in the shower. You can use cabbage leaves as well.

What did you do differently that could have caused the sore cracked nipples?

Pages that will be useful to you...

Sore breasts and nipples

Treating engorgement

Nipple shields

Oct 13, 2011
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latching and unlatching
by: Sarah

I have expressed in the shower and by hand over a bowl the heath nurse told me to try that.

I'm am going to the doc she think I have thrush and so does baby and on the verge of mastitis. I have not done anything different just in the last month she was getting so distracted and kept latching and unlatching... now they just hurt and there is milk but not as much as there should be.

Could I be drying up? I expressed about two and a half ounces this morning they were okay but now Hurt again all around my nipple. I can't feed her or use a pump they just Hurt and bleed

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Sore Nipples and salty breastmilk taste

I had sore nipples at some point. That made me discontinue breastfeeding because my nipples were bleeding.

After I felt it was healed, I decided to breastfeed my baby. But I discovered he was not spitting it out. I later decided to taste it and I discovered it was salty. Since then I stopped giving him that breast.

Now I don't know if its a good way to wean. he still sucks the second one well in the night. By the way, he is 10 months 2 weeks old.

Please advise me, is it a normal thing for the breast to be salty, and what can I do to allow him start sucking this particular breast again.

I hope I would get a quick response.

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Jul 31, 2012
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Salty breastmilk
by: Zelda Behr

The salty taste is quite normal after the break you took from breastfeeding, its caused by the decreased milk supply.

You can increase the milk in that breast by pumping that breast after each feed and in between feeds.

You can also do breast massage to increase milk supply and flow.

Here is a video on breast massage...
http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/breast-massage.html

If this doesn't work for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting baby drink just from one breast, the other breast will dry up. Baby will still get enough milk because the more he drinks the more milk that breast will produce.

The only down side is you might look a little lopsided which will return to normal when you wean.

I thought this might also come in handy since you have had problems with sore nipples...
http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/nipple-pain.html

Hope this helps, don't hesitate to ask if there is something else.

Good luck.

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nipple shield she just does not want to eat with out it

by Alma
(Canada)

I have a 3 month old baby girl; since she was born she was breasfed. I use nipple shield. I tried without the nipple shield she just does not want to eat with out it. I am planning to breastfeed her 3 more months, im going back to work; is there anything I can take or do to increase my milk supply and still use nipple shield for those next 3 months...? I really want to breastfeed her and do not want to use formula while Im at home. I hope you can help me.
Thank you,
Alma

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Aug 13, 2011
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your question...
by: Tracy

HI Alma

Have you tried Fenugreek? I use fenugreek and it doubled my supply. I use the 500mg tablets and take about 10 per day. It usually takes
about 2 days before you notice the difference.

I also use a juice called Gummy berry juice which works wonders and also helps keep me hydrated (which also has an effect on your milk supply)

The recipe:

> 2L water
> 1L apple juice
> 1 rehydrate (blackberry flavor)
> Rescue remedy. (you can skip this if you feel its unnecessary)

The most important is the black thorn extract 50ml

You mix them all together and drink this mixture every day.

other than theses things you should:
> - Breastfeed as often as possible
> - Pump in between breastfeeding sessions
> - Eat a big bowl of oats every morning
> - Use breast compressions while breastfeeding

Here are some pages on my site that might help:

http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/breastfeeding-fenugreek.html


http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/breast-compression.html


http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/increase-milk-supply.html



hope this helps! ;-)

Aug 14, 2011
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High Protein diet could help~
by: helpless mom

Hi Alma~

I've fully breastfeed (with expressed milk method)for my kid since ever since he got nipple confusion, that time he was 3-month-old...

Since he's not latching, I need to adjust my diet in order to stimulate the supply.
I've tried to maintain my milk supply by taken in good protein diet, I take in soy, fish and soup. Btw, black sesame might help. I can felt the engorgement after taken in black sesame everytime.

There's no funny myth in breastfeed, the more demand, the more supply it will be.
I'll expressed my milk every 3 hours, in order to enable my 'brain' get the message that the demand was there and yet our breast will produce more milk...

hope it's help! :)



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yellowish crust on nipples

by Janel Smelser
(Huntington, IN)

My name is Janel.

I have successfully bf my 3 children. I am now six years later 23 weeks pregnant w/my forth. I have noticed that my nipples are cracking already and while I have no pain they almost look like they have a yellowish crust on them. Should I begin treating them w/Lansinoh?


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Oct 18, 2016
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coconut oil for cracked nipples
by: Tracy

Hi Janel

yes, you can definitely use lansinoh or you can use my favorite: pure, unrefined, virgin organic coconut oil.

Coconut oil is great because it will prevent an infection as well as soften and heal the nipples.

Coconut oil contains the same Lauric acid that breast milk contains, which means that it is anti fungal & antibacterial. Also it is safe for you to continue its use while breastfeeding because it is completely natural. Not just that, it prevents yeast infections like oral thrush.

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Plugged nipple-help

by Tessy Diaz
(Dallas tx)

Im only 21 weeks pregnant n I'm finding my self having some nipple issues. On both my nipples I think I have clogged nipples but I'm not sure.

The center of my nipples have round like bumps in a cluster. I squeezed nynipple as I had read to do and it raised the center and I was able to literally pull each little round circle an examined it. It's like a waxy dark substance and it left my nipple with a small hole. (Kind of like when you take a white head out of your pore and it leaves a crater) I took pictures but not sure it's appropriate to show.

But now that I removed this from my nipples they look softer and no longer have those dark round bumps in the center of my nipple. On my other nipple I squeezed just enough to raise the bumps and I plucked each waxy bump with tweezers. It didn't hurt And i was able to just pull away from my nipple. It almost looked like an accumulation of dead skin. What is this?

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Dec 05, 2014
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bleb?
by: Tracy

Hi Tessy

Sounds strange, you can upload the pics...

milk blebs? not sure.

I'm sure other moms will benefit from seeing it. They might have similar issues.

Kind regards

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Sensitive nipples

by catriona
(n.i)

I breastfed my 1st girl only for 2weeks as I could not get used to it and had been in awful pain.

I've very sensitive nipples, the thought of touching them makes me cringe, but I'm due and planning on breastfeeding.

Anyone know if I'll be ok? like have they been in a simalar situation? I took mastitis after the 1st and then an absess and had surgery but am leaking milk.

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i experienced that kind of itchy nipples

by Anonymous
(San Manuel Puerto Princesa City Palawan)

Hello how are you? Your information is very impressive because I experienced that kind of nipple itching..

I worried about it, but now i know hehehe...It's not a major problem..thank you!!!!

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get rid of blood clot on nipple

Hey.. if you really want to get rid of blood clot on nipple. . Just apply coconut oil on affected area for a while and then with the help of cotton ball soaked in hot water or a rough towel or by hand you can easily remove dried clot. . I did the same. .it was such a relief. .. 😄😄😄

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Blood on my nipple

Hello, I am Maria and I am new here...

I have a little girl, Alicai on 14 July 2013 and yesterday I have seen a little blood on my nipple. Is that something I have to worry about, or must I go to the doctor?

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Struggling Flat Nipples and Sore Nipples

by Rebecca
(Bexley, NSW)

With my 1st born, I did not read any books or go to any breast feeding classes until after he was born.

Having flat nipples made it hard for him to "latch on" properly, which resulted in cracked, swollen, sore nipples that eventually developed into Mastitis.

I breast fed for 2 weeks and gave up because of the pain and stress it was causing me & my newborn.

This web page has given me that little bit more confidence to try breast feeding again with my second baby due next week!

From explaining the collustrum, to latching on, and all the benefits of breast feeding, I would defiantly recommend this web page to ALL pregnant woman to help with breast feeding their babies! Thank you breastfeeding-problems.com!!

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Soon to be Mommy - Preparing your nipples

by Jenna Laue
(Missoula, MT)

One of the best bits of advice I have gotten (now that I am so close to delivering our bundle of joy) is to gently scrub my nipples in the shower with a wet wash cloth... it helps to prepare them for nursing to avoid some of the tenderness. Sure enough they are in great shape! FYI-Hope it helps someone else.

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Crusty yellowish film on my nipples

by Frustrated mom

Hi

I have a crusty yellowish film on my nipples. Due to some horrible advice and poor guidance I am a mom who is breast feeding by bottle.

My daughter is almost 6 months old and I have not been able to get my nipples clear of this so that I can try putting her to the breast, not that she'd even be willing to take it at this point.

I really want to try to nurse and the discomfort is frustrating as well. I don't intend to discontinue supplying breast milk for at least 6 more months so any advise would be much appreciated.

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Apr 14, 2012
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FROM BOTTLE TO BREAST
by: Michelle MOLESWORTH

Hi there.

Sorry to hear you got the horrible advice that meant you are not directly breastfeeding. I got horrible advice too that resulted in my milk supply nearly shutting down totally and it would not increase again no matter what I tried to increase it. So I know how upsetting that can be.

Like you say, it may be hard to change to breast feeding now. Bottle sucking is a completely different mouth action to breastfeeding which involves the baby squeezing the nipple and moving the tongue forward.

Having said that, I know of a mum that was bottle feeding and then used an SNS (supplemental nursing system) to get her baby back to the breast. Her baby refused it at first but she kept persisting and then one day the baby took it.

I am unsure about the crust on your nipple though sorry.

Good luck. You are doing a fantastic job either way getting the breast milk into your baby, though I completely understand you wanting to breast feed directly. Both you and I are much more knowledgeable for next time!

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Need to wash vinegar solution off my nipples before feeding again?

by Laura - mother to 4 week old

Hello,

Please can you tell me if I need to wash vinegar solution off my nipples before feeding again.

Sometimes I think my boy has finished feeding so rinse nipples with vinegar solution but then he wakes for more milk. Should I wash with water before doing so? Many thanks

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Big Nipple Blues No More!

by Amy Small
(Leadville, Co)

I am a week away from giving birth to my fourth child. With all three previous babies I tried desperately to breast feed. I usually get about two months into it before I give up because my big nipples have made it difficult to continue.

At first this made me depressed and I felt like I failed. I wanted my babies to have the healthiest start and I will surely give it another go with this baby, however I'm leaving the guilt behind.

The way I look at it now is at least I was able to breast feed for as long as I did. We're under so much pressure enough as it is taking care of a new born (some of us while recovering from a c-section) that I think we should give ourselves a break. Even though breastfeeding will always be better, there's no reason to feel bad if we absolutely cannot.

Baby formula has come a long way in recent years and have been used for a long time. So if you're also struggling with big nipples or any other breastfeeding complications, I say: relax, take a deep breath and then decide what is truly best for you and your baby.

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bloody sores on my nipples

by Emily
(Texas)

With my first child, I was only able to breast feed for 2 weeks. I developed very painful, open bloody sores on my nipples...chunks of my nipple were even falling off!

I tried to use a breast pump to relieve the pain, but that also broke my sores back open. I received help from a lactation consultant. She said I was doing everything correctly so I couldn't understand why it was doing this.

I finally gave up and gave my baby formula. I sobbed as I fed her that first bottle, feeling defeated.

With my second child, I was determined not to give up. Before she was born, I did all the research I could on breast feeding and also bought an expensive hospital quality pump to help me out.

After she was born, I gave a second attempt at breast feeding. Everything seemed like it was working out well for the first week. Then, the bloody, open sores came back.

I did everything I could to make them go away, even getting help once more from a lactation specialist. Nothing worked.

Every feeding, the sores broke open again even if I used the pump. My baby started spitting up my blood. Once again, I had to call it quits.

I felt more defeated this time than the first. I even became a little depressed for awhile. At my six week follow up appointment, I decided to ask my OB/GYN about it. he told me that there are actually women out there who have extremely sensitive skin on their breasts/nipples and it makes it impossible to breast feed without damaging them.

To hear that made me feel a little better...to know I wasn't crazy.

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Apr 18, 2012
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I Know How You Feel
by: Anonymous

Hi Emily

I guess I am just a step behind you. I had my first child and had to stop breastfeeding because I wasn't making enough milk and my son was losing weight. I an mow trying for a 2nd child (if it ever happens!) and like you, I have done so much research and am planning for it to work out better next time. I know how deflating it can be when it is something you really planned to do. You know you have given it your best. There is nothing you could have done to change the outcome. I hope you are enjoying your two beautiful babies.

May 24, 2012
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Breastfeeding horror story
by: Liz

I had my beautiful daughter ten and a half years ago, and am now pregnant with my second child and having nightmares over breastfeeding because of my experience.

First off, I have flat nipples so it was going to be a challenge anyway. I tried the cup that shapes your nipple to no avail, daughter couldn't get a good latch even with the assistance of the lactation consultant and nurses.

In the hospital they gave me a shield (a fake nipple you put over your nipple) and that's what I used the duration, even though it made bloody sores on my nipples and hurt.

Also, as If that wasn't enough I had a gross oversupply of milk. Everyone joked I had enough milk for 4 babies, I was constantly engorged painfully and leaking and was continuously told 'it'll level out' or 'you must not be nursing correctly' my mother even told me she would've given up long before because of the difficulty and the oversupply.

I stuck through it, lanolin was my best friend! Through all of this my daughter became very fussy, very gassy and very very colicky. I tried changing my diet eventually excluding everything possible that could cause gas and allergy to no avail.

I was on a meat and water diet practically though I would have salad with iceberg too occasionally. My daughter remained fussy, I tried only nursing on one breast as well thinking that the hindmilk would help, or that the other breast might dry up some, that didn't work either.

Come to find out there was something in my actual breastmilk that my daughter was allergic to. The doctors suggested a hormone because I had toxemia and preeclampsia during labor.

Her pediatrician was fabulous throughout suggesting different things to try as well as the lactation consultant (who happened to be a neighbor of my grandmothers) I tried everything, and was pumping throughout, when finally her pediatrician suggested trying formula.

Daughter was a month old I believe and we tried different formulas until we found one that worked. I was crushed that I couldn't continue but also relieved because I hated seeing her in so much pain and upset. But at the same time, what are you telling me that my daughter is allergic to me?!

Allergic to my breastmilk, I had never heard of such a thing. I'm really hoping things go better this time around, because I doubt I'll hold out that long this time ( have three stepsons under 6) as well as daughter now.

Oct 21, 2012
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Thanks for sharing
by: Seanna

I had exactly the same experience with both my kids. With the first I kept trying right through three breast infections until I got an abscess in both breasts and had to have surgery. With my second I nursed for a week until I couldn't stand the pain, then I pumped until the first breast infection. After that I stopped slowly and gave formula. Still struggling with some and guilt, but it has really lifted my spirits to know I am not the only one who suffered this problem.

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