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  1. #1
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    Default Painful breastfeeding what can I do?

    Hi all, feeling a bit emotional tonight. My baby girl is just a week old. She was born 4 weeks premature and is in the special care nursery still with a nasogastric tube in. Originally she was being fed formula through the tube but I have been expressing for 5 days and have a good supply now so she hasn't had formula in 48hrs which is wonderful. Because she's premature I am told her sucking isn't great and we need to get that right so she can be discharged in the next week. I'm still in hospital too due to some complications so I'm able to attend every feed at the moment.
    So my issue is that when we first attempted breastfeeding she obviously didn't latch right (god I wish I asked for more help the first few times) and she's hurt my nipples. They're cracked and a bit scabby. It's incredibly painful to feed now. I don't think they're getting much worse but they're not getting better and very very tender. The feeding schedule is also intense. I'm currently feeding her every 4hrs and expressing after each feed. her feeds are ok not great in terms of ability to latch and suck well. She is getting topped up via the tube and we're also needing to get her onto a bottle as they will not discharge her without her being able to suck feed breast and bottle so we can maintain her weight. I'd rather no bottle but don't have that luxury.
    Sorry this has turned into an epic story! Just looking for advice and encouragement as I really want to keep going. Any tips for the soreness? Am going to get the midwives to check every latch now as I'm paranoid we're doing something wrong. I think my girl can sense I'm hesitant and in pain which is getting her frustrated at feed time. I'll see the lactation consultant again Monday but that's days away and I need help now!! I've just put hydrogel breast discs on to get some relief. Any tips, tricks, positive stories will be most welcome thanks so much.

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    SpecialPatrolGroup is offline T-rex is cranky until she gets her coffee.
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    I don't have experience in feeding an early bub but couldn't read and run.

    From my experience feeding. Use a feeding pillow to support bub and take weight of your shoulders. Also, have lumbar support.
    I used the c hold to shape up the breast. Also tickle bubs to lip with the nipple and look for her lips to make the K shape from the special k cereal packet. When she pulls off your nipples should not be flat, that b is a sign of shallow latch. You want them to be round. Also express some milk on to your nipples after a feed and leave you skirt open where possible.

    I heard recently that brushing bubs hair can stimulate a sucking reflex. This was in relation to a special needs bub but I assume it is universal.

    Good luck. You sound like you're doing a great job mumma.

    Ask for help.

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    SpecialPatrolGroup is offline T-rex is cranky until she gets her coffee.
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    And breath.

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    gingermillie  (09-07-2015)

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    Default Painful breastfeeding what can I do?

    Slather those nipples with lansinoh all day long. Good luck, you're doing such a great job!

    Ps. I often tense and clench my jaw while feeding to stop this I place my tongue behind my front upper teeth and breath out deeply, helps me relax into a bit more x

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    Congratulations on your bub, I hope you both continue to recover well.
    There will be much more experienced feeding Mumma's on here than me but nipple shields and lanisoh cream really helped with my sore nipples. Even if you use the shields just for a few days till they recover and wean off them.
    Best of luck, the lactation consultant is a good idea xx

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    OP you are going great, keep up the good work! Tips for the soreness-rub breast milk on it and air dry. All the best xx

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    gingermillie  (09-07-2015)

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    Just to add to the great advice above. Breastfeeding hurt me a lot, even when the attachment was correct for the first 4 weeks. I found it confusing because when I complained I was told something must be wrong but then was told attachment looked correct.

    I persisted because a lovely lactation consultant told me it was normal for some mums to feel pain and would improve. Providing your attachment is correct, suck on a sweet at the beginning of every feed before you put bub to breast. Werthers original worked for me. The LC told me it would help me to relax and help associate the attachment of bub with something nice and sweet . I had failed to breastfeed my older children and was pretty worked up after a c section, this might not work for others but really worked for me. I only did it for maybe a week (?) then I forgot to have a sweet and gradually it became pleasant. My bub is 10 months now and I'm still EBF.

    Good luck and congratulations

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    gingermillie  (09-07-2015)

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    I absolutely agree with the suggestion of a nipple shield.

    Sometimes solutions like rubbing milk on nipples and air drying aren't enough to get you beyond the pain of the trauma your nipple has already suffered. The shield is just that - a shield to protect your nipple while it heals.

    They are thin, flexible and have a cut out which still allows bub to touch his/her npse to your breast and smell you. They do come in different sizes and sorts and can be tricky to get used to - so the advice of a lactation consultant is so helpful and important to make sure the latch is still effective. The view of them used to be quite negative, but my recent experience was that this has hugely changed.

    For me, they really made the difference beteen me going one to have a beautiful brestfeeding relationship and giving up due to the pain.

    As PP said, you're doing a wonderful job! Hang in there!

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    Sorry Hun, I think the baby liked your post while he was wriggling and I was BF him 😏

    I don't have much else to add. I found that with my first it was very painful until my nipples healed which took maybe 2 weeks? Trying to relax and have a deep breath definitely helped, and DH would often give me a hand/foot massage to distract me. It was then uncomfortable for about 6 weeks or so until bubs mouth grew.

    On a positive - I never ever had a single sore nipple with DS2. I only had a month break between weaning DS1 and starting feeding DS2 and I went from crying each feed due to nipple sensitivity (due to being pregnant) to nothing at all with DS2

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    Firstly congratulations on the birth of your bub the hydrogel disks are a good idea, as is Lansinoh for the soreness. Every time you feed bub, you can also squirt a bit of your milk and put that on and around your areola. Cabbage leaves for the inflammation work a treat too, though make sure they're thoroughly washed before you put them on your breasts.

    With attachment, the best advice I ever got was to make sure bub's mouth is in the 'Special K' position, so bub takes in the whole areola and not just the nipple. This sometimes takes a few goes (when you're both learning in the early days as you are) but once bub gives you a big open mouth, latch on then. Make sure you're comfortable where you're nursing, so use a pillow to prop if need be and as hard as it is, make sure you try and relax your shoulders and not super tense up. I know that's easier said then done when you're flinching because of the pain.

    The following info is also worth a read for tips when having sore nipples etc.
    Here

    and definitely see your Lactation Consultant on Monday as planned, just so she can have a look at bub's latch for you. to you, you are doing so well, I know you probably don't think you are, but you are!!!

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