View Full Version : Sore nipples - cabbage leaves, nipple shields and when is too early to express?
Hi everyone!! I really need your help and advice. I've got a a two week old daughter and have been breastfeeding. She is a great feeder but getting quite ferocious with my nipples - they are sore, cracked, bruised, misshapen and occasionally the let down is just horrendous (tears and screaming). I have used lansinoh cream on them to get them to heal but wondered the following -
1. I've heard the old wives' tale of putting cold bruised cabbage leaves onto the breast (between breast and breast pad) is supposed to be good at relieving sore nipples and healing them - is this true? Any tips on how to do this?
2. Nipple shields - I've purchased some Avent shields - are there any better ones out there? I'm a bit worried as its early days and I don't want using them to interfere with successful breastfeeding. I have tried them for a few feeds but still found feeding painful - are they only meant to protect the nipple from further damage but not offer any relief?
3. When is it too early to express breastmilk and give it to baby via bottle? The midwife in hospital said 10 days, anyone else with info/suggestions? I really would prefer to give my DD the breast, but with this pain, its not bearable - so is it better to express/bottle feed or to use nipple shields? I want to try both and give her the occasional breastfeed, but will this confuse a 2 week old? Will this jeopardise the attachment (which I'm guessing isn't as good as I thought it was, otherwise my nipples wouldn't be in the mess they're in!).
4. Finally if anyone has any good recommendations for a lactaction consultant on the southside of brisbane, please PM me the details - I went to the baby clinic at the hospital and I got a list but a recommendation would really help, as I'm thinking I may need to see one if I can't resolve all this on my own.
Still determined to continue breastfeeding, despite the above. Zenifa
I would advise ringing the ABA helpline ASAP - Qld - 38448977, or 3844 8166.
They would help with all of your queries, and are very well trained, and i'm sure could point you in the direction of an LC if you wanted more one on one assistance.
all the best
Yep ABA sounds like a good idea. With nipple shield I found the Medala ones to be much softer, thinner and more flexible than Avent shields. Good luck
Hang in there - I am PMing you the details of the lactation consultant who saved my breastfeeding relationship!
I have also PM's you the details of the lactation consultant who saved my sanity (will be very amused if it is the same one) in case you have any dramas with the referral from Nickster.
They are lifesavers so make the call!
After also going through the excruciating pain and tears and stress of breastfeeding problems in the early days, I can definately understand what you are going through and sympathise wholeheartedly but it really does all settle down if you can manage to work through it with some good help. The ABA were fantastic with me as was my local midwife - I think the hospital that you give birth in have a responsibilty to help you up to about six weeks also.
Cabbage leaves worked for engorgement but for sore and cracked nipples I found that expressing a little breast milk onto the nipple area and letting it air dry several times daily as well as using Lansinoh did the trick. It took a little while (and lots of tears) but it really did all settle down. I thought (and argued with my husband) about expressing and going to a bottle but I was worried about confusing my little boy's sucking action but apparently that wouldn't happen if using the correct teat.
It is well worth trying to stick with it and get some help and talk to a professional at length (for your own sanity). Best of Luck.
I can totally sympathise with you Zenifa! I went through this with DS1 for months using cabbage leaves, help from lactation nurse and expressing, until finally they cleared up.
With DS2 I found the miracle cream "Lasinoh", it was quick, effective and has no effect on breastmilk or bub if you follow instructions! It was only weeks that I endured the pain of cracked nipples and I won't look back if we have another bub!!!
Good luck and enjoy your beautiful baby!
Well it looks like you have already been given some good advice here, and some helpful contacts, so my info at this stage will probably be superfluous!! but if you do need to express and feed bub EBM, just to rest the nipples for a while, there is always cup feeding. Babies [even premmies] do this surprisingly well - but it has to be done PROPERLY, so once again contact the ABA or a LC for the details. I have some information here if you want it, but I am guessing by now that you will have plenty of great help and it won't be needed.
Good on you for being so determined and I hope the breastfeeding soon settles down to be an enjoyable experience for you!!!!!
I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who replied to my post, it really means a lot to me, as I was definately on a downer about the painful nipples and was getting worried about nipple confusion with the nipple shields and bottlefeeds. I haven't tried the cabbage leaves, so I'm leaving that for now. Thanks to the mums (Nickster, Theresa and Bess) who Pmed me with details of lactation consultants, I'm certainly going to follow up on that and later get in touch with ABA. I will let you know how it all goes. Your support has been great.
Hi Zenifa, I'm not sure why the midwife told you 10 days before being able to express. I was able to express milk pretty much straight away (when my milk came in that is) and dd fed this way for months. She loved her bottle!! :D
I too had serious problems feeding my little guy...to the point where my hubby went out and bought bottles and formula while I was asleep one day as he was worried that I would just refuse to feed....let's just say lots of tears every three hours!!
I saw a Lactation Consultant on the north side of Brissy....we like to call her our boob lady!! She saved us!! Her remedy that saved and healed my nipples was as follows:
* I bathed cracked nipples with Calendula Oil (from health food shop), which helped heal severe cracks within days (I had never heard of this before and now I tell everyone...it was the find of the century!!)
* I also bathed nipples in bi-carb soda mixed with warm water for relief and also to help heal
* I sat in the sun for 2 - 5 minutes each morning topless....the nieghbours would have gotten a huge shock if they had of looked over the fence!!! but let me say that the fresh air and sunlight worked a treat!!
* I rested one boob for 3 days as it was so badly cracked and the above things let it heal quite quickly
Hope this all helps!!
Thanks for your tips and advice, I hadn't heard about the calendula oil but I will try it. I've tried the bicarb soda and water but haven't been game yet to try the sunlight but will give it a go. Still stubborn and haven't call the lact consult, trying to hold out till next week but will have to do it, as my nipples are still sore and cracked!! I try resting them by giving DD EBM via bottle for 2 feeds/day and I'm using nipple shields. So I'm hanging in there!! Z
I have a 10 day old baby and he was a 37 weeker, still a bit immature to suck on a breast. I have been expressing since birth and giving it to him in a bottle made by pigeon or pur, it has a special flexi teat like a breast, its called peristaltic(sp) He refuses to take avent bottles which i thought was best but these seem fantastic. They are in chemists and priceline, even woolies has some. I am on Maxolon to increase supply now as he is getting better at feeding. HTH Cheers Jen
DD Jaime 24-8-99
DS Ben 13-3-01
DS Lucas 30-8-05
I am on Maxolon to increase supply now as he is getting better at feeding.
Jen - Congratulations on the birth - and what a wonderful dedicated mum you are to be doing all this for Lucas!
Just thought I would mention that you might want to question your doctor re prescribing maxolon ... as it is not the drug that is usually recommended these days. Dompericone [Motilium] is the 'drug of choice' now to increase BM - less side effects.
Best of luck to you and your family!
After everyone's helpful comments and tips - I saw a lact consultant and things are starting to improve - as I suspected Romilly and I had some attachment and positioning issues, so we are now back on track. I found out I had the wrong sort of dummy, bottles/teats (apparently avent are a no! no! according to this midwife) and I was advised to put away the nipple shields to avoid using them!!
Just wanted to let everyone know that its getting better - my nipples are still a bit sore and cracked, but healing and feeding is not as painful now we got better attachment.
I did have some negative and unsupportive comments from friends last week saying 'why are you putting yourself through this, just switch to bottles/formula', which is the last thing you want to hear only 4 weeks in with a new baby, having decided breast would be best for mum and baby!! So it was a huge support to read the posts here!!
I have been wondering how you were going and am really glad that you saw someone - a good lactation consultant is worth their weight in gold! Hope it all goes well from now on.
- a good lactation consultant is worth their weight in gold!
I have to agree! :)
Fantastic news Zenifa! Breastfeeding is really one of the most important and beautiful things you can do for your baby. DD is 9 months old now and we are still happily breastfeeding!
Look forward to future updates!
Take care! :)
Was just reading all the posts and it's great that all of you stuck to breastfeeding, but I didn't.........and I felt guilty for a while but am finally feeling better about bottle feeding! I never thought I would bottle feed (I never thought I'd use a dummy or disposable nappies either but that's a another story) and I was stressed that I couldn't breastfeed and that it was so painful. I only breastfed for the first one a half weeks but it felt like eternity. My little girl had oral thrush and therefore my nipples became infected. It was terrible. I only found out a week after I had Lucy. I didn't know why my nipples were so sore and I cried everytime I breastfed. I was miserable. The nurse at the child health clinic showed me how to latch Lucy on correctly as that was part of my problem too. When I got home I still couldn't do it. Very frustrating. It was such a relief when I gave up...no more pain. But I also was sad as I was missing out on breastfeeding which I always thought I would be able to do. I never knew breastfeeding would be so difficult. No one seems to talk about. I copped heaps of flak from relatives for bottle feeding which didn't help the situation. Looking back I wish that I stuck it out but in the midst of it I couldn't see an end to the stress, pain and frustration. Lucy is thriving on formula.........and isn't that the most important thing in the end? Thanks for letting me get this out.
Yes, bubbalucy, the most important thing in the world is that your baby is thriving!
I'm so sorry breastfeeding didn't work out for you - it almost didn't for me, either. Most people on this forum are not here to berate anyone for not breastfeeding, we're just here to offer support. I'm so glad you felt you could share your story with us. A very good friend of mine had a very similar problem to you, and once she switched to bottle feeding, she never looked back. You sound like such a caring Mummy, and that counts for everything. What a lucky girl Lucy is!
There are a lot of threads in the bottlefeeding section that may provide you with any extra support you might need, too.
ps. I use a dummy and disposables too, and never thought that I would (well, actually my baby uses the dummy and disposables.....) :)
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