The Boobityville Horror

June 2, 2008

It’s been two weeks since my little big boy blasted his way into our lives, and I’d had every intention, this weekend, of crafting some wonderfully mushy letter to him, welcoming him to the world and rhapsodizing over his wonderfulness: his beauty, his sweetness, his calm, his impossibly tiny little bum. But I can’t. My boobs hurt too much.

It’s not that I write or think with my boobs – although this might be a more interesting blog if either of those things were true – but it’s impossible for me right now to write or think about anything but my boobs. They’re that sore. I’ve gotten through the circle of hell that is Early Engorgement, only to find myself in the deeper circle that is Chomped Off Nips (chomped off nips that aren’t healing efficiently, such that – TMI alert – one of them has a nasty tendency – TMI TMI – to ooze blood into the breast pump that I employ, sometimes, to give that particular boob a break from the tenderizing effect of Mr. Chompsalot’s sturdy gums during his more enthusiastic boob frenzies.)

So it is that when I think about writing a touching letter to my infant son at this particular moment in time, the draft sounds something like this:

Dear Jasper,

Welcome to the world. I adore you. Please stop chomping* off my nipples.

Love,

Mommy

(*Chomping is a bit misleading. Mr. Chompsalot isn’t chomping so much as sucking voraciously, such that the scabbing from week one isn’t fully healing and, um – TMI TMI TMI – pulling right off. But it feels like the boobies have been well and fully chomped to bits – not mention dragged over pavement – so I’m going with ‘chomp’ as my descriptive verb of choice.)

I’ve spoken with a lactation consultant. I will speak with her again tomorrow. I know that his latch was problematic in the first week because of the engorgement; we’ve rectified that, for the most part (it’s still hard to get a good latch when either boob is so sore that I continually recoil from his hungry little mouth.) I resort to the pump and bottle only when the pain is intolerable, and I need to give one or the other nip a break. I’m doing, so far as I can tell – based upon my previous breastfeeding experience (which went spectacularly badly for the first few weeks and then turned around) and my consultation with lactation specialists – everything more or less correctly. So why is it all so difficult? And why does every single freaking breastfeeding resource in the world, everywhere, insist that breastfeeding doesn’t hurt and that if it does you’re doing it wrong so you really shouldn’t have chewed off nips but if you do oh well you’ll just have to get past that by, say, taking a Tylenol and biting down on a damp rag to muffle your screaming? (“Do not stop nursing! If your nipples are exquisitely tender try numbing them with an ice cube beforehand.” Thank you, Dr. Sears! You forgot to mention putting tiny earmuffs on my infant’s head so that he isn’t deafened by my shrieks of pain, and, also, that I’ll need four fingers of straight single malt to go with that ice if there’s to be any kind of useful numbing. But whatever.)

I mean, am I missing something? Is breastfeeding really just blissfully straightforward for everybody but me? In which case, I’d like to have a word with the gods, because putting me through three weeks of labor, a terrifying delivery and shredded nethers only to condemn me, on top of all that, to severe boob pain seems perverse and unjust in the extreme. I feel like a fallen brood cow that somebody forgot to euthanize. I don’t like it.

Anyone got any magic remedies for ravaged nipples and general boob-related malaise? Other than multiple shots of single malt scotch, that is, which I’m already considering.

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    { 158 comments }

    Kyla June 2, 2008 at 11:55 am

    If you find an answer let me know. I had terrible pain with breastfeeding, it eventually stopped feeling like imminent death, but I am so jealous of those than do it without so much as a blip. I used to stick BubTar’s binky in my mouth and bite the hell out of it when he latched on. You know, to keep from screaming “Oh my holy hell, kill me now!” every time.

    Anonymous June 2, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I would drink a glass of dark beer before nursing – tremendous!

    Mel June 2, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I’m sure by now you’ve received countless “You are NOT alone” breastfeeding stories, so I won’t add the full story of mine. But just know that I was a chickenhearted lily-livered sissy of the first order and quit with the first child after two months (Thrush! Yay, us!) and quit with the second after a month (Dried up! Yay us!).
    I harbor a little bitterness and resentment toward the lactation ladies who ‘helped’ me; they made me feel stupid and inadequate and unworthy because of my problems and subsequent choices.
    There definitely needs to be a shift in the service ethic of the folks giving lactation advice to women in the most emotionally vulnerable time of their lives.

    Susan Getgood June 2, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I have no advice to share as I did not breastfeed my son. All I can say is that I hope it all works out, however it works out, for you soon.

    So you can start enjoying your son.

    Perhaps you should have named him Crunch after all?

    Jenine June 2, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Sorry, with two toddlers running around, I don’t have time to read through all the previous comments so I don’t know if this was mentioned or not…

    I had terrific pain with breastfeeding my third. Turns out she ‘chomped’ down just the wrong way and it was a landslide of pain from then on out. What I did was hand express the breast that was giving me the most difficulty and let her breastfeed on the side that was ok. This way the hand expressed side got a little rest without drying up, I got expressed milk for a bottle, and my baby got a full feeding off my better side. I found that the hand expressing was a lot easier on my system than a breast pump and I was on the road to recovery in a very short time.

    Hope that helps. Sorry for your woes. :(

    Amy Jo June 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Others mentioned this above but please ask the LC to check you for thrush. I had this on one breast and it was absolute torture. I would have rather gone through labor a dozen times over than suffer through that again.

    If you do have it, you’ll get a cream and honestly will start feeling better within 24 hours.

    Good luck!

    Jenny June 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Feeling your pain Catherine. Oh the memories.

    My lifesaving assvice: NIPPLE SHIELDS.

    But NOT the kind you wear while actually nursing. The kind you wear in your bra to keep the fabric off your nips.

    I have no idea why they help but TRUST ME THEY DO.

    Didn’t wear them with #1 or #2 and my left nip was bloody and painful for the first ten weeks. Discovered them when I started having the same issue with #3 and OH THE RELIEF. Used them from the beginning with #4 and never had cracking/bleeding even though she nursed pretty much 20 hours a day (night).

    Good luck mama.

    Amy June 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    It gets easier as their mouths get bigger. Unfortunately, that just takes time.

    Hang in there.

    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

    scharfhunter June 2, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    olive oil is good for some people–only marginally good for me, but fantastic for my best friend. supposedly has some kind of healing properties while also being less icky on your body and inside baby’s mouth. it’s worth a try for sure, and you might already have some in the cupboard, which would save you or HBF a trip to the store! good luck, and really, i feel (felt) your pain–babygirl gave me such bad wounds that i got mastitis and nearly lost my milk altogether. we’re all praying for you and thinking good milking and healing thoughts!

    Anonymous June 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Yikes! I remember once looking down and seeing blood on my little guy’s face when he had sucked off a scab. I cried.

    The shower idea really did help me but you can’t shower 10 times daily, right? I used to soak a face cloth in piping hot water and hold that over my breast for a few minutes before feeding. Dabbing with breast milk after feeding, then air drying, then Lansinoh seemed to help too.

    I went to the breast feeding clinic at Toronto East General Hospital (Coxwell and Mortimer) and found them quite helpful. It’s free, no referral necessary, doesn’t matter where you delivered. I’ve heard a couple of mixed reviews of the clinic but it was good for me.

    Mandy June 2, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Every single breastfeeding expert says, “When done right it shouldn’t hurt.”

    I don’t know ONE mother who didn’t have some range of discomfort to pain.

    It sounds like you’re on the worst end of the pain scale. I feel for you. With my first child, after multiple trips to doctors, La Leche League and the Breastfeeding Clinic, they discovered that I had “breast migraines” and that oh, they guessed that some women have this kind of pain, and it’s nothing I’m doing wrong. And not preventable, and I would just have to keep going through the pain.

    Eventually it lessened, and with my second I didn’t get it at all. But after months of people telling me I must just be doing it “incorrectly” because it shouldn’t hurt, at least I was finally vindicated.

    So you’re probably not doing anything wrong. You just need to decide if you want to ride it out until it does turn around, or opt for something else (pump, formula, etc). Best luck. I hope you feel better soon

    growingapair June 2, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I had a barracuda baby:
    http://growingapair.wordpress.com/2007/10/10/barracuda-baby/

    They gave me something called Triple Paste (I think it had an antibiotic, a pain med, and lanolin in it?) that cured the hamburger like magic.

    Until then, I screamed a little EVERY TIME he latched on. I am so sorry you’re having to go through it.

    VDog June 2, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Lansinoh BEFORE you start nursing, and after.

    Lansinoh – COPIOUS amounts BEFORE pumping.

    MaterniMates hydrogel breastfeeding pads. You MUST get these. Both my girls were ALL torn up when I was EP’ing for the boy while he was in the NICU. The LC there (who gave me the above advice as well) gave me some AND THEY WORKED MIRACLES. You wear them in your bra (I would put a regular bf pad outside it, closest to the fabric so that the bra doesn’t get wet) and in a few days, there is significant improvement. In one week, the girls were totally healed.
    These are a bit hard to find, but I googled a place to buy them here.
    It’s based on wet burn therapy (i.e., keeping the injured area moist to heal faster).

    Maybe ask your hospital or a local LC. This is seriously what you need.

    Also MEDELA NIPPLE SHIELDS. They were a lifesaver for me. Make sure you get the right size — they come in sizes from XS-XL, based on nipple diameter. (Sexy, right?)
    We used the Nip. Shield exclusively for the first three months and I had no problem weaning him off of it by four months. (These were also given to me by the LC.)

    Make sure you either use a very gentle soap on the nips or no soap at all when you shower, and then rub your milk into the nips and then air dry them. Don’t wear a bra when possible (unless you can get hydrogel thingies). (Also advice from LC.)

    I would also suggest the let down thing — I got it so that my son just had to gulp, basically, and it helped a lot.

    Good luck!

    The Estrogen Files June 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I’m a La Leche League Leader and a mom and I can tell you that I have the same problems every time! It takes a few weeks to toughen up enough to not hurt.

    Do your best to relax (nice advice, huh?), try different positions for nursing, latch him onto the less sore nipple first, try using Lansinoh cream, air dry the nipples, and try to get into see that LC face to face! Or a LLL leader.

    I hope it gets better for you VERY SOON.

    SP June 2, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I don’t have any advice for you. However, I am fully aware that there are some very scary breastfeeding NAZI’s out there. Do not let them frighten you. Your child will not grow horns if you must use the bottle on occassion. Heck, I’ve even met some completely hornless totally formula fed children. Crazy, right?

    Anyway, I’m having sympathy breast pains for you. I hope it gets better, QUICKLY.

    Jen June 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    The idea that nursing will not hurt if you’re doing it right is complete and total bullshit. I have a friend who is a LC and she told me that every woman she has ever worked with has had at least some pain when they firt start breastfeeding. I spent the first three weeks of my daughter’s life almost crying every time she would latch on. I was so sure that I must be doing something wrong that I went to see a LC who got right in there and helped my girl latch on and then comfirmed that we were doing it right and guess what? It still hurt like a son of a bitch.

    Hang in there hon, it will get better soon. You’re doing awesome!

    MommyTime June 2, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    You are describing precisely what happened to me with my son. Gruesome to find YOUR blood trickling out of their mouths with that little dribble of the last bit of milk when they de-latch, isn’t it? The only thing that kept me nursing at all after two weeks was these:
    Medela Nipple Sheilds
    YOU MUST GET SOME. Seriously. They are magical in the buffer the create between chomper and chompee. My only other advice is to go for broke and spend the whole $9.99 it costs for a new pair rather than taking the $5.99 used option Amazon has going…

    Good luck!

    Buy some today. Truly.

    HeatherK June 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    No one tells you to save all that lamaze breathing and visualizing and hypnobirthing carp for the first few weeks of bf’ing. So sorry! All of mine were hoovers and pulled out the sinuses which bled, scabbed over and the like. It got better around week three-ish, but pretty much just lanolin, swearing under my breath and um, yeah, swearing under my breath.

    Mamalooper June 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Nothing new to add but seconding/thirding the Lansinoh recommendations – copious amounts.

    By four weeks it was getting much better after many tears and literal rag/towel biting when the girl latched on. Ended up nursing for 17 months.

    Anonymous June 2, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    I used these to help with inverted nipples:

    http://www.amazon.com/Medela-Soft-Shells-Inverted-Nipples/dp/B000058DPM/ref=sr_1_88?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1212429679&sr=1-88

    They also helped to let my poor shredded nipples air dry and half- assed heal before the next battle… um.. feeding.
    If you use them? Make sure the holes in the top layer are upright. Otherwise? You create a puddle in the middle of the floor when the babe cries in the other room. Nursing pads couldn’t touch that shis.

    It did get better for me about the third week. Before that? I cried every time I fed her. She wouldn’t take a bottle, so I fed her pumped milk with an eyedropper when I just couldn’t stand it anymore.

    I almost cried when I read this- I still remember, and oh- it sucked. Are you still doing a sitz bath for the shredded nethers? And the squirt bottle of warm water and iodine?

    Above all, don’t get the bright idea to get a mirror and look. NOT A GOOD IDEA. (please tell me I am not the only dumbass that looked, right?)

    Wisconsin Mommy June 2, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Wow – as soon as I started reading your post the vivid memories came flooding back. People say that you forget the pain of childbirth (I beg to differ) but no one has ever been so bold as to suggest that you forget the pain of those early days of brestfeeding.

    I have no great advice…I just know that bursting into tears everytime I heard Little J stir in the night, fearful he would want to nurse, did not help.

    I do remember it eventually getting better, that is until he cut his first tooth.

    Lori at Spinning Yellow June 2, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I didn’t read all the comments but I’ll put in my 2 cents:

    1. Boys nurse more efficiently and strongly than girls (I know, a stereotype, but true for many people I know) so make sure you are not letting him suck for longer than he needs to. My son would nurse from one side only for a max of 10 minutes by the time he was a few weeks old.

    2. ONLY nurse from one side at a feeding. This truly works, I sear, I nursed both my kids for a year each this way. This gives each nipple more time to heal b/c they don’t get as much “face time”.

    3. Use the lansinoh cream after each feeding. Every time. The best stuff EVER.

    4. I had these breast cup things that fit over your nipples inside your bra so that the nipple could air dry and wasn’t chafing against your shirt or a breast pad. Can’t remember exactly what they were but the lactation consultant recommended them. Make you look a little like you have “torpedo tits” but who cares?

    5. Lots of moms find breastfeeding horribly painful for a LONG time, so do not consider yourself alone. I hate the “nursing natzis” who make you feel that it is all your fault. No way!!

    Hang in there! I hope you heal up soon and get relief from the little chomper.

    Mama Luxe June 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I forget–I am guessing/sorta hoping you didn’t nurse first time because, even though we had a fairly easy time the first go ’round I am hoping #2 is easier for me.

    Wish I had advice, meaningful or funny…but I don’t so I wil just say I hope it gets easier soon for you & the LC can help!

    I never had the “transcendent bliss” some others have described…but I did have some “happy, sweet, tender” moments and the rest was tolerable (again, we had a fairly easy time with nursing) knowing how much she enjoyed it and how well she was thriving.

    Hope it works out for you.

    Delilah June 2, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I constantly slathered on Lansinoh and used hobbit shells, which I believe are now called TheraShells. They are little plastic domes with holes all over the place that fit right over your nipples. The shells hold your clothing away from your nips and allow air to circulate to promote healing. Best invention ever.

    Hang in there!

    KayleighJeanne June 2, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I was so engorged at one point, that my daughter wasn’t latching onto my nipple. She was latching onto the blisters and scabs she had created on my once gorgeous nipples. And I felt a sick sort of relief through the pain, because it made her stop crying for the first time all night…at 5 am.

    A lot of breastfeeding sucks, no pun intended. Everyone told me to walk around topless so my nipples could “air out” except I don’t think I ever stopped leaking. You would have seen a trail from the bed to the fridge to the bathroom back to the bed. The cats might have liked it, but I was stuck with nursing pads. Changing them often helped.

    Candygirlflies June 2, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Breast feeding IS hard, and a whole new experience with every child. Go easy on yourself, Catherine– it sounds like you are doing your very best!!

    I, too, am one of “those mums” who had a dificult experience, and when the milk was finally running “pink”, and my hormones turned against me, I turned to bottle feeding. While I am 100% behind the “Breast Is Best” movement, it is not for all mothers and babies. Whatever YOU choose to do will be what is right.

    I hope things get easier for you and Sir Chompsalot soon. Warm compresses work wonders with engorgement, as does the lovely cream that others have recommended.

    Thinking of you!! Hang in there, sweetie. Rest as best you can.

    xoxo CGF

    ps. Can I just TELL you how much I loved Backpacking Dad’s first comment up there?? He just won himself another new fan…

    Jenni June 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    First, just let me say you are doing everything right and you should already be proud of yourself.

    If your son’s latch is pretty good, have you considered exclusively pumping and feeding him expressed milk for a few days until your girls heal up? And after they’ve healed, you could try using a nipple shield while nursing. Three friends of mine used them for the first six months because their little ones were barracudas.

    Big Momma Pimpalishisness June 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Ugh, it’s been 7 years since I had a newborn and I can still feel the breast pain. The only advice I have is to stick it out a little longer. Those nipples will heal and start to be numb to the pain…until the little sucker starts teething at least.

    Anonymous June 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    It has been 4 years since my breast feeding/pumping days and all of it has just come rushing back! Another Mom in the maternity ward brought in nipple guards! YES… nipple guards. They helped with the latching on and with the pain. Talk to your lactation consultant about them to see if they will help!

    Heather June 2, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve said on my blog before that those people who say that breastfeeding doesn’t hurt are liars. For about 3 weeks after my son was born (my first child and I were never successful with nursing together) my nipples hurt when he latched on. After he’d be nursing for a bit, the pain would stop, but it was painful every time he latched on. And the nurses told me we had a textbook latch…

    My third child is 11 days old and I am once again in the midst of the painful latch. My nipples have pieces of skin hanging from them at random times.

    I feel your pain, literally.

    But I do know that it will subside, although the pain is not fun in the meantime. I do find it helps to pump a little in between feedings to lessen the fullness and let baby latch on easier. Otherwise I express a little in the shower to have the same effect. Not a lot because the more you stimulate, the more milk you’ll produce which will just compound engorgement if baby isn’t nursing that much.

    Also, what another commenter said, use your own milk and let it dry on the nipples. Helps more than I thought it could.

    And, whatever you decide to do…continue nursing through the pain or switching to bottle…doesn’t really matter that much. Although I know I felt like a failure for being unable to nurse my first daughter. She’s turned out just fine, and actually healthier than her brother.

    kristen June 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I had the same problem. I feel for ya! I tried something called Sootheeze or something like that. They are glycerin pads that are cool and supposedly healing. I think it helped a little. Then there’s the lansinoh lanolin cream which didn’t help too much, but its worth a shot. Good for chapped lips too. But I think another good idea is to shift positions, like football hold one feeding, then laying down the next, etc. That’s what they told me. And above all, make sure he’s latched on right. Make sure you can see his bottom lip and if not, pull on his chin a bit to pull it out.

    Good luck!

    Anonymous June 2, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Someone mentioned the Toronto East General Hospital LC’s and I agree, they were good. The best feeling of all was having an LC shed a few tears watching me suffer through a feeding.

    HOWEVER….

    You are NOT a bad mother/person/human if you switch to bottle feeding. You will not go to hell & your son will still love you & still get into Harvard (if he chooses). Millions of happy, healthy babies are bottle fed. Some women & babies (it’s his fault too) just can’t do it, and that’s ok. It will give HBF a chance to bond with baby while you sleep…..

    Suburban Turmoil June 2, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Oh, I so remember your pain. I’m glad you’re writing about it, because there’s not enough out there letting women know that it DOES INDEED HURT LIKE HELL for the first few weeks, and that they WILL get through it. I swear, I know so many women who just gave up after a couple of weeks, and I think it’s because no one was around to tell them the pain would eventually subside.

    Hang in there! I know you will!

    mothergoosemouse June 2, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Does it help to tell you that your words were what got me through the first six weeks with Oliver?

    Probably not. But it’s still true.

    Anonymous June 2, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    The second time around has been spectacularly more crappy for me too – which is saying something as the first time was also hell.

    Two words: nipple shields. They really work. Your consultant should have a line on them.
    http://www.medela.ca/CDN/en/breastfeeding/products/shields.php

    Brandy June 2, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I know you’ve had many comments but I just wanted to also say that I was with you. Aiden’s first couple of weeks were HARD. I don’t care what anyone says, breastfeeding hurts at first and I was lucky enough to have a childbirth educator that was very honest about that. Also, I too had a severe third degree tear and that absolutely makes things harder. You’re body is trying to heal and recuperate and your boobs are being ripped apart. The only thing I can say is that is does get better and more than likely it will be sooner rather than later. I’ll be thinking about you until then! Good luck!

    DivaDunn June 2, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    You aren’t missing anything! You are probably doing everything right – I’ve yet to meet anyone who had the nerve to say “oh it never hurt!”

    One thing I’m convinced of is “nipple/mouth incompatibility”. Don’t look for that in a book – I made it up.

    This may be TMI but my nipples were MUCH bigger than what could possibly fit into my baby’s mouth without choking her. So there was no way to get her off the aereola until her body caught up (about 10-12 weeks old). Until then (and several weeks later) it hurt like hell! My favorite expression was “being continually stabbed with shards of glass”.

    Jenn June 2, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Oh you poor woman you, I feel for ya ! Sorry I don’t have anyways to help other then the things you have already said. Hope things start getting better for you though.

    Glennia June 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Oh my, darling girl, I have nothing but big love and sympathy for you, since this was my experience, too. The improved latch via breast consultant coaching was the thing that did it for me, along with the lanolin. It felt like my boobs were being trapped in a spiky iron maiden torture device everytime he latched on. My mom started to cry once watching me breastfeed my son, out of sympathy. Am sending you magical boob-healing thoughts.

    MeganZ June 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Oh man, I’m so so sorry! I had all sorts of problems like this too, and I wanted to kill all those people who write about how it doesn’t hurt if you do it right. Yes it does!

    I found some relief with liberal applications of bag balm, as well as by using these things called Second Skin bandages (which are moist bandages used for burns) between feedings – but use those with care because if you leave them on too long you can get thrush from the damp environment. Which is a whole other bag of worms. But they helped a ton used in moderation!

    Bea June 2, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    So much breastfeeding advice focuses on what you’re not allowed to do – no soothers, no nipple shields, no formula… I say you’re allowed to try ANYTHING that might help. Lansinoh is all very well, but – just guessing here – I bet you’re already using it and it’s NOT ENOUGH. You don’t have to keep going on like this. Try the nipple shields. Try supplementing to give yourself a break if that helps. You’re allowed.

    Alison June 2, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    You poor thing. With both of my kids, I had very sore boobs the first few weeks of nursing, to the point where I was in tears every time they needed to nurse. I didn’t read all the comments above me but I know this has been said many times…..if you can just get through the first 6 weeks, it’s a breeze from there. And, you know that, since you’ve been through this with Wonderbaby. Hang in there, girl.

    Her Bad Mother June 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Bea – I have been using Lansinoh, and although it helps some, it doesn’t stop the screaming. Another difficulty I’m facing is that I can’t get to an LC face-to-face this week or next – I’m still somewhat immobilized by the 4th degree tear and HBF is pulling long hours away from home, so I’m unable to get any real distance away from home.

    Tried football hold on one boob this afternoon – that definitely helped a bit. Am ordering nip shields right now…

    Cheryl June 2, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Just in case this helps… I went through some excruciating pain with my daughter *after* she had a week or so of bad latching when her gums were sore. It hurt so bad when she latched, I would scream and cry through the feeding. Turned out I had a blood blister on my nipple. I thought it was just swollen. I sterilized a needle and popped that mother f-er. It was a bloody mess, but the pressure relief was instant. — Good luck with your titties. We all feel your pain.

    Oz June 2, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Just reading that made my boobs hurt all over again.

    It’s totally hard and wasn’t at all straightforward for me. Everyone told me at 6 or 8 weeks it’d become smooth sailing. It took me until my boy was 6 months. I figure I was a late bloomer, and maybe that means I’m a late breastfeeding bloomer, too. Oh, and we used the nipple shield for a good five months because of latch difficulties. I heard all the horror stories about supply issues blah blah blah, but if it weren’t for that little piece of plastic, my boy wouldn’t have been nursing past the second week.

    Lisa June 2, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I have three words for you…Lanolin, lanolin, lanolin!!!! I finally figured this out with my third child, after the first two caused me some major discomfort and six weeks of pure misery! We nicknamed my son “the vampire” because I swore he ingested more of my blood than breastmilk for the first three weeks of his life. I broke out the lanolin in the very beginning with my third child, used it before and after nursing, and in between sessions, and it wasn’t nearly as painful (and no bleeding!). The pediatrician assured me it wasn’t harming the baby, thank goodness, especially in the quantities that I used! Really, give it a try. I feel your pain, and I hope for the best for you!
    LANOLIN!!!

    carrie June 2, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    I had exactly one infection during the years of breastfeeding three kids and I’m telling you – it hurt more than anything (well, maybe not more than trying to turn a breech baby before delivery, but damn, it hurt). I would not wish that pain on my worst enemy.

    Cabbage leaves, I’ve heard – but someone surely already said that.

    Hang (not literally – support) in there.

    catnip June 2, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    I don’t have any advice, just empathy. Been there, gave up, no regrets. Good for you for still trying. I hope the LC can help, soon!

    Jenifer June 2, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I have only scanned the comments, so I am sure these are here, but the PureLan and Lanisoh sort of saved me. In the end I could nurse or pump the pain and I mean real pain was causing me migraines. The worst was the pink milk I pumped it just about did me in.

    I hope it gets better and if it doesn’t, please don’t be too hard on yourself. I can honestly say I tried my very best and it just wasn’t meant to be for no reason anyone could find. It just happened and we switched to formula and she was fine and I was fine and even if it my biggest regret there were no other options.

    Jozet at Halushki June 2, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    “And why does every single freaking breastfeeding resource in the world, everywhere, insist that breastfeeding doesn’t hurt and that if it does you’re doing it wrong…”

    If I had one more lactation consultant tell me this, I was going to scream. More. When my pediatrician told me that yes sometimes it just hurts even when you’re doing everything right, I kissed her on the mouth.

    1. Lansinoh

    2. Ice

    3. Pump the sore nip and give it a rest.

    4. When baby latches on, count backwards from 10. It’s like self-hypnosis. Tell yourself that 10 will hurt like hell, by 8 it’s getting a bit better, by 5 just a hint of pain, by 1 the pain is all gone.

    5. Try different holds (football hold) so that pressure is put on different parts of the nipple.

    6. In five more days, the pain will get less. In another five more days, less still. In another five days, all good.

    Nipple nerves. Oy. God is a mean-spirited stinker at times, isn’t he?

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