Advice for the first days?

I just had my second child and am very hopeful that nursing will work out better than with my other baby. I feel like I will need encouragement and advice because LO is 2 days old and my nipples are already so sore! I am being extremely careful this time to have a good latch before continuing, so I was hoping I wouldn't get sore so quickly. Any advice on getting through this initial nipple pain? Anything I can do, and how long does it usually last? I know I can do it this time!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions :

Re: Advice for the first days?

  • Lanolin (or some other nipple cream) and soothies gel pads. The gel pads package says to wipe off your breasts with a warm wash cloth before nursing, but my LC said that's not necessary. No matter what you do, it's still going to hurt for 1-2 weeks, but that might help it not hurt so badly.
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  • image greeneyed_bride:
    Lanolin (or some other nipple cream) and soothies gel pads. The gel pads package says to wipe off your breasts with a warm wash cloth before nursing, but my LC said that's not necessary. No matter what you do, it's still going to hurt for 1-2 weeks, but that might help it not hurt so badly.

    I agree!  Lanolin and the soothies were essential for me to get through the first few weeks.  

    If it is extremely painful especially when LO is nursing then you will want to meet with a LC to make sure that LO latch is correct.  Your nips will be sore but if they are painful that is a good indication that there is something wrong with the latch.

    As long as the latch is okay it does get so much better.

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  • Even with a good latch it hurts for the first two weeks IMO, nipple cream before and after each feeding helps.

    Let you lo suck on your finger and you'll see why your nipples hurt they have a strong suck and their toung is like sandpaper.
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  • Just hang tough and know it gets better! I think that when some LCs say "if it hurts, you aren't doing it right" is false-- I think it's normal to have nipple pain for the first couple weeks, even with a perfect latch. Lanolin definitely helps! 
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  • I did not BF ds (now 18 months) but I am successfully BF dd (2 months on Sunday).  DS had a terrible latch, I have flat nipples, I was an emotional mess, ect.  This time I promised myself I would give it a month, no matter what.    The first 3 weeks hurt really bad on top of the fact that I had a 17 month old who was learning to share Mama.  BUT it was TOTALLY worth it.  BF is so easy now, so comfortable, and I'm really glad I stuck with it even though I wanted to quit 100 times.  My suggestion is to apply lanolin/bm and be shirtless as much as possible.  It's also good that you are making sure your latch is good.  Just know that it will get better soon!
  • I'm a week into bfing preemie newborn twins after having done it 4 years ago w/ DS1 and am amazed at how much it hurts, whether their latch is good or not. DD's latch is generally good but very strong and my toes curl when she initially latches on. When her latch is good, the pain subsides after she gets past the rapid sucks to trigger letdown, and then the rest of the feeding is nowhere near as painful. We're still working w/ DS to get the hang of it but it also hurts on intial latch on. The hospital LC said this was not uncommon and her latch looked good. I can tell when the latch is bad as the whole feeding hurts, not just initially, or the pain returns as she squirms and shifts.  If the initial pain continues after another week or two, I will definitely have an LC check their latches and positioning though.
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  • Thanks so much for all your suggestions and support! I feel a lot better now :
  • I googled the same question the other night... My baby is just 5 days old and by day 3 my nipples were bleeding and soooo sore! The latch seemed fine to me as well. One suggestion was to clean your nipple with saline solution after each feeding let it air dry and then put the lanolin cream on... And let me tell you.. It has made a HUGE difference!!! It still hurts, but only for a few seconds when she first latches on. I don't even use the cream all the time now. Good luck!! 
  • I agree with the Lanolin. And you could also try these:

    My other advice is to get the help of your partner to check your position-- my H could see things I couldn't. And to use lots of pillows so you aren't having to over burden your neck or arms.  Sore nipples is enough sore things for me!

    Hang in there. It gets better!!

    (another suggestion-- if baby isn't good at latching and they didn't check your LO's tongue in the hospital, have them check it at your next pedi appointment to make sure baby CAN latch correctly).


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  • I tried about everything I could read / find / hear.  Ice is what worked best for me.  I know it sounds horrid - but about 10 seconds before I'd latch her on I'd ice my nips (I often used those boo boo ice packs for kids?  - put them right in my bra) - 

    I also took tylenol for 2 weeks.

    My nipples were chaffed as well as sore - so the airing out actually made it worse - but the gel pads helped - I ended up using all purpose nipple ointment - not sure I would have made it without it (FYI - I had somewhat of a bad latch, flat nipples, and we ended up using a nipple shield (still do approaching five months) ). 

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  • I agree with the suggestions pp have made, and wanted to add breast shells. They protect your nipples from chafing against your shirt, and have holes in them to keep everything aired out. Love them!
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  • This isn't always the case, but you could rule out tongue tie.  It's increasingly common and often undiagnosed.  Nursing shouldn't be painful for a long time if there is a good latch and a deep enough latch. I had pain with my first for only a little bit and none with my second.  With my first, I did have sore nipples that needed airing out when I could, and lansinoh. I remember a couple little scabs forming. Letting my nipples dry out really helped after each nursing session.  I remember wincing pain for the first 10-15 seconds of nursing for the couple days this pain lasted, then it was fine.  Something that sometimes helped with my second was pulling my nipple out some right before latch, since it seemed to be a little fat on one breast.

    My third child and second VBAC baby!
    First VBAC birth story - a 2 hr homebirth
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    - unattended hospital water birth
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