BFing ouchies! — The Bump

BFing ouchies!

Well the first six days of mommy-hood have produced many many questions that I won't bombard you with all at once, but my first one involves BFing.  I would say breastfeeding on the baby's end is a roaring success.  At 6 days of life, he's already regained his birth weight and is happily eating away (when he wakes up for it!) But on my end, there is pain pain pain for about the past 4 days.  I've met with an LC who told me that my latch is sub par and I need to get the nipple further in his mouth, but he doesn't always open wide eough for me to do that unfortunately.  I would describe it as a pinching with each suck, which is always there but sometimes worse than others depending on the latch.  I don't have blisters, but the nipples are starting to get a little chapped from all the constant suckling.

I know I've read that BFing should't "hurt," but I can't imagine such constant nonstop stimulation to not produce some degree of discomfort, at least for a while.

My questions are: is this a normal amount of discomfort?  Since there is no obvious trauma to the skin and I've worked with someone to maximize my latch, should I just keep with it and hope it gets more tolerable as my nipples "toughen up?"  Any tips or tricks you've come accross?  I have lanolin cream and am currently using Soothies pads on my breasts.  Those are ok.  I also have ice packs, I've tried salt water, etc etc etc.  Any help would be much much appreciated!  Thanks!

Re: BFing ouchies!

  • Right now they should be sore but not hurt your entire feeding. The way my LC explained it is in the beginning it's normal to have that initial ow feeling right when they latch but after a few seconds it should no longer be uncomfortable and if it is it's because they are not latched correctly. To get them to open up you need to let the nipple come at them from the bottom so their chin goes towards it first then their bottom lip and they latch on. Also when you help guide them on you can push on the back of their shoulders in between but don't push on their head it makes them look down and not latch well.

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  • It will hurt for a bit, but it is probably the latch that is making it hurt so much.  If you are working with an LC on it then the pain should start to subside as soon as your LO learns his latch.  My LO and I had and sometimes still have to use a nipple shield because I have flat nipples, but even in the beginning it hurt a little because your nipples and boobs for that matter are just not used to it yet.  I would just say keep using the lanolin, work with the LC, and if you can not wear a bra for part of the day and just wear a shirt, it helped with me.  By just wearing the shirt the material rubbing helps toughen up your nipples and it also gives them a chance to breathe. 

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  • I read that your nipple needs to be far enough into LO's mouth that it hits the soft part of the roof.  Once I started trying for that, my latch problems and pain disappeared.  It took about a month for us to do that!  Maybe DD's mouth also got bigger!
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