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Breastfeeding tip : Recognising a growth spurt

* You feel as though you haven't got enough
* Baby getting upset at the breast (though can be a sign of other common problems)
* Baby is breastfeeding often or almost nonstop (feel like baby is always wanting to feed)
* A baby who was previously sleeping through the night is now waking to breast feed several times
* Baby will latch and unlatch, fussing in between

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Help! When does it get better?

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Post by TashaAndBump on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:32 am

I am sooo sore :-( My twins are 6 weeks old now, and we got off to a great start breastfeeding, but I've had cracked nipples now for almost 2 weeks and feeding is almost unbearably painful... I dread every feed. I've even been taking the diclofenac tablets that I was prescribed for pain relief from my cesarean scar... It says it all that I didn't feel the cesarean wound painful enough to take these pain killers but they can't do enough for the pain from my cracked nipples! I swear, it looks like they're about to fall off (they can't can they!???). I don't know what to do. There's no way I'm giving these babies a bottle, but I'm dreading every feed it is so painful - the only thing keeping me going is that I know it will get better and how enjoyable breastfeeding CAN be. But when will it get better? I know it's because the babies aren't latching on right, but if they continue latching on incorrectly will it still get better eventually, or do I need to fix their latch? I've tried changing position, I've tried waiting until they are really hungry, I'm doing everything just how I did with my first daughter and I think I'm doing it right, so how do I get them to stop doing it wrong?! :-( They are feeding well enough, putting on loads of weight (7lbs each at last weigh in!) so that's not an issue - it's just the pain it is causing me. If I can't get them to latch correctly, will my nipples eventually just toughen up? Will the pain and bleeding still sort itself out with perseverance? I just don't know what to do...

For those who had cracked nipples, how long was it before it got better? Please tell me it will get better soon Sad
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Post by angpixi on Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:21 pm

your poor nipples, have you tried any of the creams? lanisoh i think one of them is called you can get various different ones from boots. the most important thing is getting latch right though, im sure theres a video somewhere, one of the other girls will know where!
i imagine also its because youre feeding 2 at the same time its twice the suction
you know yourself that the soreness dies down eventually, with my second baby i had sore nipples the longest i think thay all feed differently so time varies, good luck and well done for persevering x
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Post by kay on Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:55 pm

poor poor you

I definately second the Lansinoh - the babies can feed while it is on, and i just slapped it on - was my saving grace!
you really will need to sort the latch tho hunny, your nipples wont get any better until you do. I know you cant really talk to the HV, I have been reading your blog on PF (what a fab job you are doing ) - are there any feeding support groups nearby? Or maybe try ringing the Breastfeeding helpline and see if they can put you through to a local breastfeeding counsellor?

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Post by TashaAndBump on Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:16 pm

Thanks. I am planning on going to the LLL support group, but it's not until the 4th Friday of the month :-( I think I need help now as I'm in such agony and it's only getting worse.

I'm using the lansinoh and I agree, it's the best thing for me at the moment. I ran out the other day and I was in tears with every feed and topped up with a bottle of my expressed milk in the end to give myself a break!

I don't know what to do about this latch. They used to latch perfectly, but then they started trying to suck the nipple in through their lips like spaghetti and it's all gone downhill from there - they won't open their mouths wide, they just get more and more frustrated when I try not to give it to them until they do. They end up thrashing their heads from side to side and screaming and then when they do open their mouths they are too frantic to take it Sad I've been just giving in in the end and letting them have it. The do get on right eventually, it's just the initial latch on that they are doing wrong. It's like they're sucking it to the back of their mouths and pulling it through their gums and that's what's doing the damage. I can feel their gums slipping off of the areola and onto the actual nipple for a few sucks until they manage to suck it back into the right place. After that the rest of the feed is fine. When they do do a big open mouth and I thrust them onto it, they seem not to know what to do with it, don't clamp down on it and sometimes gag on it! I don't know why, I think they must just have gotten into the habit of sucking it in and have lost the instinctual latch-on? But how do we get back on track? :-(

I think I will try the helpline because I'm at the end of my tether. Especially as with two of them to feed it can feel like I have a baby on the breast 24/7. I never get a break. Hope it gets better soon. Sad
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Post by kay on Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:51 pm

Its definately worth it hun - they are very good!
number is 0300 100 0212 if you dont have it.

These links are also worth a look at too:


http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/whenlatchingpdf.pdf
http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/Refusaltolatchpdf.pdf

HTH a little

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Post by piesmummy2006 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:26 pm

awwwww you poor thing!! Crying or Very sad i remember this every well i nearly gave up!!! mine where bad for about 8 weeks i think then the pain went all together! the cream your using is great and every other feed i used a shield so they had a break they where good too. your doing a great job you have two babies as well which must be hard work, give the help line a ring am sure they will be a great source of info too am sure it wont be much longer untill there better xxxxxxxxx
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Post by Natasha on Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:01 pm

Hun I feel for you,

While your so sore maybe look into using nipple shields?

They can be a quick fix, but obviously its important you work on your latch.

Plenty of breast milk rubbed on them and airing as much as possible will help with healing.

Here are some pics with positions you may not have tried.

http://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/helpme_images_twins.html

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Post by emmiesmummy on Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:27 pm

Ouch yes i remember the pain from latching on with cracked nipples, it will get better,cream & fresh air and letting your milk dry on nipples plus as Tasha says nipple shields for short time may help. Emily never opened her mouth very wide either & i did find i had to assist her alot gently pulling her chin down a bit and pusshing her on but it takes some practice. Good luck hope it heals quickly xx
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Post by Drusilla on Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:53 pm

Yes I second (third? fourth? Very Happy ) the Lansinoh. And the breast milk!

Also are you using breast pads? Try switching to breast shells instead, as they just collect the milk and won't adhere to your sore nipples like breast pads.

I definitely think you need to get your latch and position checked out. Is there an NCT breastfeeding counsellor nearby who can come out to you and watch you feed, they may be able to help.

0300 330 0771 is the number for the NCT breastfeeding helpline, they should be able to get you through to your local NCT Bfing counsellor.

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Post by kaygeebee on Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:37 pm

No advice, but a big for you. Sounds like you are doing so well considering you have two - hope you get it sorted very soon. x

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Post by Squiglet on Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:43 am

GAH.. Lil miss did that whole sucking in the nipple. it was horrific. She still does it and my nipples get sore. It seems like you need to sort the latch out desperately and find some techniques to get their mouth open wide... I used to just rub Serena's cheek lightly and she would turn towards it and look for the nipple... But if she was fustrated it didn't work Sad Lanoish is the best thing atm as the other girls said....and hang in there, because it will get better Smile xxx
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Post by nickyjones on Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:52 pm

Tasha, how is is going now? Any improvement?

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Post by TashaAndBump on Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:37 pm

The girls are now latching on perfectly, I am pleased to report Very Happy

It turned out they had thrush in their mouths and since that has been treated they are latching on correctly again and my nipples feel soooo much better.

The bad news is I still have thrush and the babies have run out of the nystatin drops that they were prescribed and the doctors won't prescribe them any more because the thrush in their mouths has cleared up, but I still have thrush in my breasts so I am just going to keep passing it back to them!

I now have systemic thrush in my breasts, it feels like there is glass in my milk and my breasts are in agony Sad

My doctors are refusing to accept that you can get thrush in your breasts (As opposed to just on your nipples) and are refusing to prescribe me fluconazole (the WHO and bfn recommended treatment for systemic thrush in the breast) insisting that what I have is mastitis and I should take antibiotics.

This is so frustrating, the pain is getting worse and worse. I don't have mastitis. I have none of the symptoms of mastitis except breast pain! I have no fever, no flu symptoms, no sickness, no red patches, no lumpiness in the breasts.... I just have this pain with feeding that peaks for up to an hour after the feed and then comes back down again. When my milk comes in it feels like my breasts are filling up with little shards of glass and I get deep stabbing pains in my breasts throughout the feed up to 2 hours after each feed Sad These are classic symptoms of thrush.

I have seen a la leche league leader and a breastfeeding support worker form two different support groups, both of whom are completely convinced that I have systemic thrush in my milk ducts.

But I've seen two different doctors at my surgery and I'm getting nowhere - both doctors tried to prescribe me antibiotics and said that they have never seen or heard of thrush getting into the breast.

I told them that 20% of women complaining of breast pain have thrush, and they said "well then what have the other 80% got?". I'm not denying there can be other causes of breast pain, but in the absence of any symptoms that go with mastitis and with all of the symptom of thrush, why rule out that it could be thrush and insist it must be mastitis? If 20% of women with breast pain has thrush, then that means that those doctors who have "never seen a case of thrush getting into the actual breast" must be misdiagnosing 1 in 5 breastfeeding mothers with mastitis when what they actually have is thrush! No wonder there is such a low rate of breastfeeding in my area!

Gah, it makes me feel like hitting my head against a wall. I'm going through needless agony with every feed that could be cleared up with a simple course of antifungal medication!

I'll have to keep going back until someone listens to me, but I shouldn't have to. The pain is so severe that if I was not 100% determined to breastfeed I would have given up by now. It has been so severe that on one occasion I was in tears and couldn't go though with a feed - my sister took my babies and fed them for me, it was that bad! (Thank God she is breastfeeding herself and was able to is all I can say!)

I just want to feel better now so that we can start to enjoy breastfeeding again Sad
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Post by kay on Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:33 am

Poor poor you

you really need to get it sorted - is there any other way of getting them prescribed?
with it being weekend, could you go to an out of hours doctors unit or a minor incident unit at A&E?

And what a wonderful thing for your sister to do!

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Post by Natasha on Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:45 pm

wow what a fantastic sister you have Tasha.

Would it be possible to ask your local LLL leader or your breastfeeding support worker to write to your doctors or even better have one to go with you?

The doctors are talking out of their bums, you can get thrush in your breast, quite obviously possible for thrush to enter through cracked skin especialy.

Ductal candidiasis as you know is very painful and has to be treated.
It is hard to diagnose and often gets mistakened for mastitis.

Again try your LLL or even better go to out of ours like Kay suggested and try and see if you can find someone with more sense.

Its unfair that you are treated this way due to uninformed health pros

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Post by nickyjones on Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:31 pm

Glad the latch is better. I really, really hope that you get the treatment you need very soon.

Glad your sister was able to feed them for you as well, that is lovely to hear.

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