Breastfeeding help!

@astromama (1226)
United States
May 7, 2007 5:18pm CST
So, I have been nursing for the past 11 days, and as much as I am truly loving the experience, I am also having a really hard time with soreness... I've been using Lansinoh in between feedings and letting myself air dry afterwards, but I'm still so sore! My son is very vigorous and nurses constantly... sometimes as often as every half hour, but usually every hour to hour and a half. I want to 'nurse on demand', but I feel like I don't have any time to heal before he needs to nurse again, and I've already bled a time or two. His latch is improving, but he still needs manual assistance from me to get it right most times, and he'll do this thing where he starts jerking his head around towards the end of a feeding, which is hell on my nipples! I don't know what to do! On one hand, I love, love, love feeding him and enjoy it immensely, but on the other hand I dread getting him latched on because it's so painful! Any nursing moms who can offer me assistance, please do! My town only has la leche meetings once a month, and all my nursing manuals and books aren't helping me at all! How long does the sore phase last, and will this get better soon? Thanks in advance!
5 people like this
6 responses
• United States
7 May 07
Oh hun, I wish I had better advice to give you! I just gritted my teeth through the soreness phase and it did go away after a few weeks or so. Air drying is definitely good for them! Also if you have a private enough place to do so (or there's a good clothing optional beach or something nearby and you don't mind) exposing them to fresh air and sunshine helps! Just be sure you don't burn because that would be really awful! LOL Alternating warm damp rags with cold ones is good for it too. The warmth increases the blood supply to the area to help healing and the cool is soothing and helps decrease pain and swelling. Just hang in there!!
1 person likes this
• United States
7 May 07
Oh! I just saw under "Similar Discussions" at the bottom of this page a post by someone who is an RN and Lactation Consultant (pilsberry22)!!! Maybe you can drop her a message to get a little expert help!
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
8 May 07
I don't really have anything else to add that hasn't been said already but wanted to at least offer some moral support. I don't know the answer to the nipple shield debate so I can't help there but I do know that as necessary as nursing pads are they do sometimes make the problem worse since they keep you moist all the time. What I did when this one was just born was to "wear" a cloth diaper under my shirt at bedtime and as often as possible during the day. The softness didn't irritate and it wicked away moisture much better. Also are you keeping soap off your nipples when you shower? (yeah I know, with an 11 day old baby who has time to shower much lol) Soaps can dry the area even worse. Oh and I quit using the lansinoh stuff with my second baby because I found out it was irritating me, maybe that's part of the problem too. You could try to not use it for a day and just apply milk and water and see what happens. Other than that all I can say is "hang in there!" It will get better and is typically a first time mom thing. You and your baby are learning a new skill and it just takes practice to get it right. Since you don't have a LLL or LC available RIGHT NOW, maybe your midwife or a labor nurse could help. As for the jerking part (I almost forgot!) try to swaddle him and use pillows to support your arms so he can't move as much. If he still jerks back like that just unlatch him and latch him back on after a minute. He doesn't have much control over his movements yet but he will begin to make the connection between jerking and no milk. I'm all for nursing on demand too but maybe try to get him to stretch out the time between feedings to make it at least an hour, two hours would be even better. You can still nurse when he's hungry but if you can get him to nurse for longer he probably won't nurse as often. Or only have him nurse on one side for as long as he wants and then use the other side for the next feeding. LOL I've gone on so much I'm not sure I'm making any sense anymore! I guess I had more ideas and advice than I realized I just don't know how helpful any of it really is. I think I'd better stop now but know that I'll keep you in my thoughts and I hope you feel better very soon. Everything you're going through now will be completely worth it once things settle down and you can truly enjoy nursing your son.
1 person likes this
@amy0214 (1513)
• United States
8 May 07
It is just something that you have to deal with it was the same way for about the first month for me. I hated it when my daughter would go to latch on b/c it would hurt real bad. It will get better. Letting them air out helps. Also try and pinch out a drop or two of milk after feeding, rub it around and let it air dry. My nurse told me that the milk helps healing
1 person likes this
• United States
7 May 07
I have a lot of questions, first. Are you sure he's latching on correctly? Has your milk come in? Do you feel letdown? Do you see/hear him swallowing? How often does he pee and poop? How is his weight? Is it possible he's tongue tied? (happened to me)
1 person likes this
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
8 May 07
With my first baby I was really sore and even bled at times, the doctor gave me an ointment called (I think) Mammary cream, that was 25 years ago, so I don't know if you can still get it but it did help alot. Also, it's only been 11 days, and after a while, you will heal and your skin will toughen up. After a month or so, I didn't have a problem.
@jamie11982 (1658)
• United States
8 May 07
Him learning how to latch on will get better. This is a closeness that no one can take away from you and love it all you can. Now the lansinoh is a big help but try feeding him every other feeding with a bottle of brest milk. This might help you with the healing process. I understand that you want to feed on demand but trust me from mom to mom it helps to feed with the bottle once in a while as well. My 6 month old was like this in a way. He tended to favor on brest over the other one. As you can imangion i got sore as well even though he was good right from the start with latching on. I always used a warm wash cloth ofter words and put that on and when that was still a little wet i used the lansinoh cream. This helped out a lot. I used the warm cloth to open the pours on my skin and then put the lotion on. This helped with the pain as well. I know that it sounds funny but i hope that this helps you out and don't stop what you enjoy. Try to improvise with it that's all. If this don't work then try to keep him on one brest for a full feeding then move him to the other side for the next feeding and hold his head still as best as you can when you know he will be towards the end of the feeding. This might help with the pain and unhook him yourself from the brest by inserting your pointer finger gently into his mouth. This openends his mouth and lets you take him off for burps and everything else that you might need to do. Good luck and congradulations on the new born.