Help

Jillian - posted on 08/08/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I have a 1 week old and this is the first time breastfeeding. My nipples feel like someone has taken a cheese grater to them. Is there anything I can do to make them heal faster and tuffen up. The nurses told me to express milk, spread it around the nipple and then let it dry. This is NOT working for me. I just don't think I can keep feeding the baby breast milk because it's painful. Please someone help me! If you're goingto lecture then please don't reply.

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Tina - posted on 08/12/2009

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breastfeeding shouldn't be painful, it sounds like the baby may not be latched on correctly

I was the first to breastfeed in my family so had no assistance and no lactation consultant at the hospital; I had to do a lot of research on line

this is one the best sites I found for help, click on the link that says videos, the articles help also

http://www.drjacknewman.com/

I hope this helps you, I understand how frustrating it can be to want to bf and no one available to teach you

Shahala - posted on 08/12/2009

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Just keep going!!! The first week or so is the hardest, I remember the way it felt with my 1st one...I am breastfeeding number 3 now. Use the Lanisoh!!!! The benefits of breastfeeding are so worth the temporary discomfort you are feeling now, just keep that in mind!!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/12/2009

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I agree with the others about getting through those first sew weeks -it took me a little over 4 weeks to get "good" with it and past the painful part. My life saver was the Dr. Newman cream that my doc prescribed -cleared up the cracking/scabbing within 2 days and made it soooooo much easier. It's just that the pharmacy didn't really know what it was and took a while to realize that they had to mix it in store so I don't know how readily available it is -ask your doc...

Sarah - posted on 08/11/2009

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Breastfeeding moms know the true meaning of "tough titties"!
I gave up completely with my first child in the first month. I was nursing and bottle feeding. I felt so insecure! My second was 1/2 breast fed 1/2 formula. I'm happy to say that my third is almost entirely breast fed. He has to take a bottle of high calorie formula once a day. He has cystic fibrosis and has a little trouble gaining weight. But I'm sure that getting breast milk is going to make a big difference for him in his overall health and life expectancy. Breastfeeding is good for mommies too! Getting through that tough first couple of weeks is so worth it.

[deleted account]

I have huge empathy for you, I have 4 children my youngest 3 months and with all of them I had cracked painful nipples, even mastitis and bleeding (my last one) ouch! but there really is light at the end of the tunnel, it does get better. I did use Lanusoh which helped me a little but I really think that it is only time which heals and both you and baby get more adept at doing it. My son initially just seemed to suck so hard (which caused a lot of the damage) but now he has learnt to suck intitially not too hard and wait a little, then he gets the let down going and lots of milk easily. Something I did was to switched positions so that the suction on the nipple is from a different direction at different feeds, this helped with the pain. eg the rugby hold versus across your knee. Keep going truly it will be better.

Molly - posted on 08/11/2009

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the creme didnt work for me. what did was rubbing the breastmilk around my nipples and wearing those rediculous looking nipple cups to allow air to get to your niples as often as possible! I can almost promise it will work but those thing slook horrible under your clothes.

Rachel - posted on 08/11/2009

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Oh, I almost forgot, I totally agree with Anne. Don't use any type of harsh soaps. They will pull the moisture away from the nipple. Which is the last thing you want to do. A lot of soaps have a fragrance too, which also irritates.

Rachel - posted on 08/11/2009

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Keep in mind, your baby should have a large portion of your aereola in their mouth. The nipple should be at the back of the throat. Also, when you go to pull off, stick your finger in the corner of the baby's mouth to break the seal. Pulling off without breaking the seal can be one of the hardest thing on your breast. Other than that, keep going with expressing breast milk and rubbing it into the whole area after feeding. Also, I totally agree with using lanolin. I hadn't heard of it before, but the salt water idea sounds good too. Whatever you do use, make sure it is okay for your child to ingest or you are going to have to wash your nipples before breastfeeding again.

Katie - posted on 08/10/2009

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Oh you poor thing!! As you can see, all of us have been there. The first couple of weeks truly are the hardest. I would second the recommendation to see a lactation consultant to check the latch. When your little one is latched on correctly it makes all the difference. You can even try googling La Lache league to find free local help. Ameda Comfort Gel pads were my nipples savior that first couple of weeks. You can stick them in the fridge and then put them on after nursing. They will truly help heal your wounds. Best of luck!!!

Sheri - posted on 08/10/2009

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I used Lansinoh nipple cream, in the purple tube, and i got a prescription for an all purpose nipple ointment. I cant remember exactly everything that was in it but i received it from a lactation consultant at my hospital. It worked like magic and its safe to leave on your nipple, no harm to baby at all. I was also told to use expressed milk but it just didnt work for me either, hope this helps you out!!

Anne - posted on 08/10/2009

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I had the same problem with my daughter. I found using Lasinoh lanolin cream worked. Also, do not use any soap on your nipples only water. The soap dries the nipple out and makes it worse. I also found using a breast pump between feeding helped with toughening. As long as you are sure your baby has a correct latch, then you kind of have to tough out the first week or two. It gets better after that. Anyone who tells you that it only hurts if you are doing it wrong is lying. It does hurt at first to toughen them up no matter what. An odd but good home remedy I found was frozen cabbage leaves. Freeze the leaves and then tuck them into your bra. It's like magic!

The one thing I really have to say is don't give up! Breastfeeding is so rewarding and special. Also, don't be embaressed to ask your friends who breast fed their kids.

Michelle - posted on 08/10/2009

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Lansinoh is a good brand and I LOVED that stuff! there are these pads that cool when you put them in your bra ... I didn't like them but some people like them ... You could try that! Yeah and like Krista said the first few weeks are the worst. I do not have any issues like that now, but man oh man was it a problem the first few weeks!!!! Don't give up! It's totally worth it and my nipples can handle anything now! hahahaa

Rachael - posted on 08/09/2009

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oh my goodness, HANG IN THERE!!!! My son is nine months old, I did not have a good support system and hadnt heard of this site yet at the time, I know it is hard, keep doing it, breastfeeding becomes easier, I promise! The first five weeks for me were incredibly difficult, but slowly become less painful and then one day it was wonderful. It will stop hurting. Pamper your breast by soaking them w/warm salt water, cover them w/hot towels if you get engorged. Also Lansinoh lanolin cream is a saviour!!! It is about eight dollars but will last about a month. There are nipple shields you can purchase, (I didnt use those, I didnt know about them until after the pain stopped) I know it hurts and you want to quit but dont, keep it up, It will totally get better, and eventually not hurt one bit

Emily - posted on 08/09/2009

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Jillian;
lots of good advice here about latching
It will get better, your nipples will toughen up - it's like dancing barefoot; it takes a while to build up the callouses to make it comfortable!
Be patient, be stubborn, talk to mothers who have been through it and get some support from a LC or a La Leche League leader.
Good luck!!!

Melissa - posted on 08/09/2009

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I just had my first child June 30 and am breastfeeding her. At first I felt the sammme way it was very painful and believe me you have to be dedicated but have faith because after 2/3 weeks the pain goes completely away! I tried the nipple shields and didn't like them very much but I do know women who like them. The complete lifesaver for me was lansinoh/lanolin ointment...you can get it at walmart and it's about $10 it's in a purple tube. Put it on after every feeding and it helps soooo much. Sometimes in the middle of the night I would forget because I was so tired and I could tell a difference the next feeding. It will take a few days for you to start to feel the effects but everyone I know swears by it and so do I. Also, make sure baby is latching properly because that will make a huge difference as well. Another thing that I found relief in the first couple weeks was pumping because I was so engourged and my nipples were killing me. You can control how hard the suction is and how fast and if you refridgerate it it will last for a few days. I know it's hard right now but keep up with it because it is so healthy for your baby! Just be strong and fight through it because you are half way there to pain relief. Good Luck!

[deleted account]

ok i had this problem too. i pump exclusively so i'm not sure if my advice will help or not. but i had to get a larger breast shield size (I have large breasts and the 24 in shields weren't big enough, i do know the wic office has them up to a 30). my nipples were so cracked and raw that when i was expressing milk there would be blood pulled from the cracks and i had to throw away that batch of milk (talk about gross! LOL). the reason the nurses told you to express some milk on your nipples is because breast milk is sterile and will help. the lanolin does help as well, i recommend using the medela brand as it's not as thick. Also you can use breast shields (also made by medela, they are a hard plastic and keep are flowing to the nipple which will help heal it as well.) i hope the info helps! You can check out the leleche league for a lactation consultant in your area.

Martha - posted on 08/09/2009

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Lots of good advice here! Definitely get your latch checked by an LC. Lanolin helps some. If your trauma is severe, you might try gel pads. They use the same technology they use for burn victims to help you heal quickly. Hospital pharmacies usually sell them, or you can order them from amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Playtex-Nursing-Ne...

Here's my story: I nursed my first for 14 months. She chewed me up a little in the hospital, but our nurse noticed and called the LC for me. Latch fixed, problem solved. With number 2, I figured I knew what I was doing, and I guess the nurses did, too. Well, it got so bad that my daughter was ingesting and spitting up blood. Talk about scary! I called the LC, and she helped me get her latched on deeper. She also had a sample of the gel pads that she gave me. The gel pads were helping some, but my right side was pretty torn up. I started using a nipple shield. I went to nurse my daughter with the shield right after I had gotten out of the shower, and I guess she sucked the scab off. I pulled her off and saw a nipple shield filled with blood instead of milk! I ended up resting that side for 24 hours which led to a plugged duct and mastitis. Antibiotics cleared up the mastitis, and we weaned from the shield about 2 days later. She is now 5 months old, and I plan to nurse her at least as long as her sister.

I tell you all of this so you know that it can be hard at first, but it DOES get better. If you can push through this, you will enjoy so many benefits. No formula to mix in the middle of the night or bottles to take with you when you go somewhere, just lift up your shirt. There are long term benefits, too. For you nursing lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, reproductive cancers, and obesity. For your child breast milk is the most perfect food and lowers his/her risk for food allergies, diabetes, and obesity and increases his/her immune system and IQ. Not to mention, it's free!

Hang in there! You can do it!

Jillian - posted on 08/09/2009

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Thank you ladies for all the help...Tomorrow I'm calling the lactation consultant through the WIC office. Hopefully I can get some relief from the cheese grater feeling. THANKS AGAIN!!!!

Becky - posted on 08/09/2009

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This is all good advice, pretty much what I have to say. Just a couple of more things; don't wash your nipples with soap, this can cause drying. I remember not even wanting the water to hit me there in the shower. Also, the nipple shield really helped me. I used it for about 24 hours after getting home at first and then a couple weeks in. I did notice that I couldn't feel the baby suck as hard so you don't want to use it for too long. I really do recommend seeing a Lactation consultant to make sure the latch is good, but it is gonna hurt for a couple of weeks even if the latch is correct. Good luck.

Lucy - posted on 08/09/2009

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I really do feel for you! I remember for the first couple of weeks wincing in pain every time my baby latched on, i felt like it would never end, but....it does! Seriously, stick with it, it does get better! As oters have mentioned lansinoh lanolin cream is a god send for helping with sore cracked nipple, i never tried the breastmilk thing as the lansinoh always worked for me.



Like I say give it another week andi'm sure your nipples will have toughened up! Your doing a great job!

Jennifer - posted on 08/09/2009

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I thought i wasnt going to breastfeed very long when i first had aidan because i was in so much pain,but both my neighbors and my mom really encouraged me.... i feel your pain! breastfeeding hurts soooooo BAD!!! but, i promise you, it gets better. for me, it stopped hurting about 2 and a half weeks in. aidan is 8 months now and is still primarily breastfed. all of these suggestions are great.... lasinoh really helped, and what i did was i ran it under warm water for a few seconds to soften it (it is really thick if you dont), then i put it in after i fed him, and after i showered, (but if it hurts when you shower, you can put it in before too), then after i put it on i used nursing pads that had the lanolin on them already... this really helped....



PLEASE dont give up!! research has proven, if your breastfeed for 6 months, your child's IQ will have gone up 15 points! its worth it!!



I know its hard, but you have made the best choice for you and your baby! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Allison - posted on 08/09/2009

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I had the same trouble and my baby destroyed my nipples and he had a perfect latch it was just the fact that he had major suction. lol You could try lanolin ointment. You apply it after every feeding. My lactation consultant also got me a cream called all-purpose nipple cream and for most people it works wonders. Never worked for me though. I had to get a nipple shield and it totally helped me. I still use it. I wouldnt encourage using it this long but its just what i had to do. You can use the nipple shield a for a week until they heal up some and they try without it again. I would call a lactation consultant and talk to them they are very helpful and encouraging. I know i would have given up if it wasn't for mine. I was in so much pain. Good luck i hope you find a solution and they heal quickly. I know how horrid it hurts and its so frustrating.

Stephanie - posted on 08/09/2009

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I went through the same thing, it does get better! It was really rough for the first two weeks or so, but they healed and tuffened up. Don't give up and try the lanolin it really worked for me and your baby can nurse with it on there.

Amanda - posted on 08/08/2009

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ask your lactation consultant for a nipple shield to wear for a while while they toughen up, also stop in and have a face to face with the lac. consultant, let her watch you latch on and feed just to make sure you are latching on correctly, girl I know you are in some serious pain I have totally been there, with all three of my kids I split [not cracked] and BLED like a stuck pig, it was so horrible. I am still going strong on the third one after 6 months, so take heart it will get better.

Oh I just remembered my dr told me one time that a bad of frozen peas would help with the pain, I never tried it but I have heard several people suggest that

Vanessa - posted on 08/08/2009

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the best thing for sore or cracked nipple is breast milk. Self express some and rub it on the sore or cracked area. Also soreness usually is an indication that your baby is not latched deep enough PULL THE BABY IN DEEPER!

Denise - posted on 08/08/2009

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OK, here ya go. I am a mother of four, breastfed them all. First of all, take a dddddeeeeppppp breath. It is crazy hard at first but it DOES get easier. Have you tried using some lanolin nipple cream? You may be able to get a sample from your doctor or you may have to purchase it. If you purchase it, don't buy a bug tube, you won't need it long. Another thing you can try is repositioning the baby while you are nursing. If the baby isn't latched on correctly, it will hurt the whole time, and it will make the nipples more tender even when the baby isn't nursing. Most of your areola should be in the baby's mouth. This is more difficult if you are engourged so keep your head up. If you need someone to show you, you can ask your doctor or go see a lactation consultant. Don't be embarrassed to ask someone to help, this happens to every nursing mother, no matter what anyone says. Hang in there. I will praying for your success. Good Luck.

Krista - posted on 08/08/2009

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sure, there are a few things. get a little shot glass type cup and fill it with salt water. after each feed, emerse your nipple in the salt water solution for 5 minutes each nipple. that really helps heal up the cracks and helps with soreness, etc. afterwards, wipe the nipple cleanand apply some lanolin cream (lasinoh is a popular brand)..

but, also, keep in mind the first few weeks are the hardest... and you're so sleep deprived and sore from birth that everything seems to be overwhelming. have you had babys latch observed by a lactation consultant? i would recomend this first and foremost, because if there's something off there, the problem will persist. please dont give up yet!

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