I'm failing at breastfeeding, please help

Long story short, I wasn't able to breastfeed with my first LO.  He was 10 weeks early so I pumped, my supply dropped despite trying everything and after 2 months we switched to formula.  I was disappointed and cried a lot.

Now LO #2 was full term, first week bfing was rough but I made it through.  The second week got better and now things are horrible (he's 3 weeks old).  He started pinching my nipple and I got really sore. I was ready to quit so, I got a lactation consult. We've also been to the chiro, had craino sacral therapy performed (today).

Lactation said that he is not keeping his tongue down and is pushing my nipple up into his palate (pinching it) every time he sucks.  It's very painful.  My nipples are a hot mess.  They are bruised, and raw.  In addition to him pinching me, he is flutter sucking.

She gave me a nipple shield to use but even that is difficult because of where he puts his tongue.  She wants me to pump for the next few days to heal my nipples and then see them again.

I am so tired.  I have a 22 month old at home and now I have to EP for the next few days which is even harder than feeding a 3 week old in the first place.

Any advice?  I so want to be done but I would never forgive myself for quitting.  

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Re: I'm failing at breastfeeding, please help

  • You've made it 3 weeks, give it one more and then decide. I had to keep telling myself to give things a few more days and once all of our issues were worked out, I was so happy I stuck it out. If you do decide that you can't do it any more, don't regret it. Don't let a feeding arrangement affect your relationship with yourself or your children.
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  • ::hugs::

    I had a hard time at first and ended up EPing for 7 weeks. At 7 weeks she all of a sudden latched on perfectly. We've had some rough spots since, but now (12w 5d) everything is going great again (knock on wood). Hang in there... this won't last forever. I've had some pretty low points and resentment with EPing, but the important thing is that LO is getting my BM. You're doing the best thing for your baby by providing it with your breast milk. Hang in there.

    Working, Breastfeeding, Unmedicated Birthing Mother of Two.
  • Did she give you any suggestions on how to get his tongue down? Has she been checked for tongue tie? Seriously, telling you to pump and see what happens is craptastic advice. 

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  • I'm really sorry you're dealing with this.

    I don't have any real advice, just to echo a pp. Commit to another week and then reevaluate. If it's going better try another week and so on. Looking at the big picture is overwhelming but you can do most anything for a week. 

    Good luck!


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  • I never really had problems, other then having to go back to work early. 


    I think the best thing you can do right now is nipple creme to soothe, pump as much as you can take, and ask your doctor if she has the pills you can take to get your milk supply up again if it starts to dwindle again.

    Even only 3 weeks of breastfeeding, your child already has an AMAZING start that most non breastfed little ones didn't get. So don't feel down if you HAVE to stop. You have already done an amazing job. 

  • I was right where you are.  Except I didn't have another child to take care of.  So lots of love for what your going through.  You can do it!  For me EPing didn't heal me.  I tried that, and the triple nipple cream on and off for 3 weeks.  It got a little better, but I still have days where the nipple is sore.  It is so much better and we happily BF now, but it can be really rough once your nipple is that beat up.  Keep trying everything you never know what will work.  EP, or pump every other session to give nipple at least some time to heal.  I kept telling myself if I could just do one more session I will be grateful.  GL

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  • I was in a similar situation with my daughter, in regard only to the sore nipples. I was cracked, raw, and almost bleeding. The hospital lactation consultant had me using a nipple shield on the one side. I worried my baby would develop a preference to one side (with or without the shield) rather than the other. Peeling that shield off each time only seemed to aggravate it more. I was using HPA lanolin frequently. I ended up getting prescribed that all-purpose nipple ointment and used the full container and still needed more. Apparently my daughter wasn't latching right regardless of the shield, that's why I was cracked and sore, and not healing from the frequent nursings.

     Is there another lactation consultant you can see? If you have friends or relatives local that have nursed, ask who they used (if they did) or ask here on the boards for a recommendation.

     I was amazed how the one with my pediatrician was much more useful than the one at the hospital. She got me the prescription cream, told me to stop using the nipple shield. My nipples did heal. When I ran out of prescription ointment, I started using motherlove nipple cream. The key is to use the ointment (prescription or not) after every feeding. Make sure you find an ointment you don't have to wipe off, b/c that only causes more irritation.

     You've given your baby a great start. Nursing is tough, pumping or not. Don't let anyone bully you into quitting or suffering through the pain. It really shouldn't be painful (very long). 




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  • Week 3 was by far our toughest week. I iced my nipples after each feeding. Earth mama angel baby nipple butter is awesome. Suddenly by week 4 every thing clicked. It's certainly a personal decision but I would encourage anyone to stick it out a little longer because if it does end up working for you it's one of the best experiences. A commitment for sure, but so worth it. Good luck...great to see you off the hrp board!!
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  • I agree with pp. If baby isn't positioning his tongue right, have someone else check him for tongue tie. I can be like night and day when a tongue tie is clipped!


    I loved the soothie and Medela gel pads when my nipples were sore. I would put them in the fridge and put them on when I was really sore. They saved my sanity, really.  

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  • Ditto PP - I'd have him checked for tongue tie, and his latch in general, by a different LC because the advice to pump and try again later is terrible. 

    All LC consultants aren't created equal, some are pretty awful and give terrible advice. You can also see if there's a LLL meeting in your area, or just call/email a leader for a recommendation of a good LC. She may also have more tips for you. 

    You are NOT failing at breastfeeding. You are doing great!

  • image tigerlily46:

    I agree with pp. If baby isn't positioning his tongue right, have someone else check him for tongue tie. I can be like night and day when a tongue tie is clipped!


    I loved the soothie and Medela gel pads when my nipples were sore. I would put them in the fridge and put them on when I was really sore. They saved my sanity, really.  


    I am so sorry that you're having so many difficulties. As other said, never quit on a bad day. You're obviously very commited, you've got 3 weeks under your belt already!  

    I had problems with being sore for the first month or so. LO has a very strong suck to begin with. I also have a strong let-down, so he used to cough, choke, and unlatch suddenly when the flow was too much.  The quick unlatching caused my nipples to get super sore in a hurry, but soon enough he caught up with my let-downs. 

    Those gel soothies were a god-send. The lanolin cream did nothing for me. My LC suggested getting a vegetable based cream, that maybe I was allergic to the lanonin (I am very sensitive to wool, too).  Still, giving it time, was what got us through.  

    The best thing my SO every said to me... I was bawling my eyes out while feeding, ready to quit... he said "remember why you're doing this". And it all clicked. Even though it was new to me, I had always figured I would breastfeed for at least six months, and was really not ready to give up. Pain only lasts for a little while, and working though it, giving nursing try after try was so worth it. It WAS hard, scary, frustrating. But getting through it now makes me feel like I can do anything.

    Good luck to you! I hope you and LO get this nursing thing down quick!
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