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Thread: Swollen Nipples

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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Swollen Nipples

    My name is Jay and I just gave birth.

    I always believe that breastfeeding is best for babies. However, every time I feed him, my nipples would normally get swollen and painful. It hurts that sometimes, I have the urge to stop breastfeeding.

    Is there a way to remedy the swollen nipples that would make breastfeeding enjoyable for both of us?

  2. #2

    I am sorry to hear that. What sort of breastfeeding support do you have at the moment?

    You are right in saying that breastfeeding is best for babies- artificial milk (formula) is sadly vastly inferior. Although breastfeeding is normal feeding (providing your baby with stem cells, increased immunity, meeting their nutritional requirements perfectly etc) it is a skill for mum and baby to learn together. It often takes a lot of time and a huge amount of support.

    If breastfeeding is uncomfortable or painful as you describe then this is a sign that there is a problem. It is most likely that the problem is with the latch. The way your baby attaches to the breast is essential for efficient, comfortable breastfeeding.

    You need to get someone to check the latch and help you with this. The very best professional to see would be a lactation consultant. You can also ask your midwife (especially a breastfeeding specialist midwife) and I would strongly encourage you to attend your local breastfeeding support group.

    Your baby needs to have a full mouthful of your breast so that the latch is deep. If your baby is just latching onto your nipple then this will quickly become extremely painful, sore and may bleed. I can understand how this would make you want to stop breastfeeding as this was my story at the start of my breastfeeding journey but this can all change with a good latch and the right support.

    Are you using lansinoh cream on your nipples to help to soften, sooth and heal them? Also if you squeeze a few drops of breastmilk onto your nipples at the end of each feed then this will help to heal them.

    Are your breasts themselves uncomfortable, hard or red (signs of an infection called mastitis) or just your nipples? How old is your son? Are you feeding him on demand (i.e. whenever he shows any feeding cues day and night - around every 2-4 hours in the day and night for a newborn baby)?

    These are the signs of a good latch that you should check:

    - Short, chopping jaw motions to start the milk, then…
    - Slow, deep, steady jaw motions, about 1 per second.
    - Jaw hesitation or “hic” sound when baby swallows, usually with every 1-3 jaw strokes.
    - Occasional rests or return to short strokes, followed by more deep, steady strokes

    These drawings from the International Breastfeeding Centre are excellent. These videos by Dr. Jack Newman are also a great resource for new breastfeeding mums.

    Another reason that getting someone experienced to check your latch and watch a full breastfeed is to check if your baby has a tongue tie. A tongue tie can stop a baby moving their tongue fully and so can create a poor latch and inefficient, painful feeding. It can easily be sorted out but it should be checked if there are problems with the latch.

    How old is your son? Do you own a breastpump?

    You are doing a great job there as a new mummy. I know it's so difficult in the early days. Celebrate every single feed because every single feed gives your baby nutritional and developmental advantages. Once the latch is right and there are no other issues it will get easier and easier and it will be comfortable and a wonderful bonding time.

    Please do post back so we can support your further with this.
    Thinking of you,

  3. #3
    New Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Dear LJ:

    Thank you so much for helping me with my current concern about breastfeeding. My son is still one month old

    Based on the information you gave, yes I might be having problem with the latch. I appreciate you sending me the guide through proper lactation. These illustration can certainly help moms like me so we can have a good picture on how to properly breastfeed the baby.

    I haven't tried using lansinoh cream before though, but I am thinking of buying now especially with your kind advise

    LJ, I would like to thank you for all the detailed information. If I continue having a concern regarding lactation, I would surely not hesitate to contact the lactation consultant. Hope you have a wonderful day!

    Kind regards,

  4. #4
    Hi Jane,

    You are very welcome. I'm glad that the resources are helpful.

    Given the pain and discomfort you described above I would really encourage you to see a breastfeeding professional/ attend a breastfeeding peer support group (both would be ideal) sooner rather than later so that the root of the breastfeeding discomfort can be sorted out. It is far better to get a good latch and have a full feed checked now so that you can start a long, happy breastfeeding journey.

    Leaving a poor latch could mean that your nipples became more and more painful.

    Please have a look at Kellymom (it is an excellent breastfeeding website): Sore nipples or breasts? Here's help....

    Note that with the lansinoh cream it is safe for your baby to 'eat' this. It can really help to soothe and soften your nipples.

    You are doing a great job. Please know it will get easier and these are still very early days. Keep asking for as much support as you need.

    Warm wishes,

  5. #5
    New Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Hello LJ:

    Thank you so much for the additional resources. So far, I'm doing better in establishing a good latch during breastfeeding. If ever I would encounter any problems or concerns, I will try to consult a breastfeeding professional or consultant as per your recommendation.

    Have a wonderful day!

  6. #6
    I'm so pleased to hear that Jay.

    We are here for you if you need any further support too.

    With warm wishes,

  7. #7
    New Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Thank you so much! You've been very helpful.
    Have a great weekend.

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Hello Jay,

    I'm so glad to see that LJ has given you some great information and resources. I fully agree with everything she said.

    I struggled with sore (and sometimes bleeding) nipples for 3 months, with my first baby. I had slightly inverted nipples which made it really difficult for my baby to get a good latch. I'm happy to report that after breastfeeding my first baby for a year, my nipples stayed out and I had no problem at all breastfeeding my other four children (whom all breastfed for 2-3 years).

    I can't emphasize enough the importance of a good, deep latch. Truly, that if most often all that needs to happen in order to avoid pain during breastfeeding.

    I just found one of the best videos I've seen on how to get a good latch. This breastfeeding consultant explains a lot and there are lots and lots of video segments showing newborns latching on in different positions. She also shares some extra tips for making sure you are comfortable so that you can help your baby to be in the best position possible when you feed.

    I hope you find this helpful and would love to hear your thoughts about the video.

  9. #9
    New Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Hi Kate,

    I was watching the youtube video and I can also say that this is the best video that incorporates what I have learned on the link provided by LJ. The lower jaw and upper jaw mechanism was explained thoroughly in this video about establishing a good latch with our baby. Thank you so much for sharing this video.

    Kind regards,

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