Need Help Very Painful Latch On

8 Replies
starr - July 14

Hi.My baby girl is 4 wks old and I'm strictly bf.The problem is for the last week or so when she latches on it is very painful.I don't think I'm doing anything differently than I have been since she was born.I was almost in tears today when I fed her.I almost feel like giving up strictly b/c of the pain,but she won't take formula so I have to make this work.My nipples are very sore and it's mainly on the right side.Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get her to open her mouth a little wider?She starts trying to eat even before her mouth is completely open so she's clamping down as soon as it hits her mouth.Any advice will be greatly appreciated.~~Thanks~~


monkey123 - July 14

The same happened to me in my 2nd week of b___stfeeding. I gave in & bought a pump! I tried enduring the pain when my daughter was trying to feed, but like you, I was about to cry everytime she tried to latch on. I tried everything & read so many tips on trying to make her open her mouth wider & nothing worked. So I pumped for a few days (& fed her the milk from that) until the pain stopped. I managed to get her to relearn how to latch on properly...eventally.


olivia - July 14

Get Soothies or gel pads you can buy them at the drugstore or even supermaket. Put them on between feedings and don't take them off unless you are feeding the baby. Use them until you are completely healed, you probably have a crack you just can't see. Alternate pumping to give that right side a break. Is there a lactation nurse that can help you with latching, or someone from La Leche League you can call? Don't let her suck her way onto your nipple, you have to wait for the mouth to open even it it seems to take forever. Keep breaking the latch and trying again until she gets it. Or wait for a yawn or cry to open her mouth properly. Good luck, I was there once and it wasn't fun! You can get through it.


kellens mom - July 14

With only 3 months of bf under my belt, i am no expert. i do know that you should try starting the nursing on the least sore b___st. my dd seemed to start agressively because she was hungry. I would really recommend finding a lactation consultant (at the hospital?). My dd really cracked my nipples in the first 2 weeks. I wish I had taken time to visit the free consultant at the took 6 weeks for me to finally heal from damage that occured those first 2 weeks! ouch!


starr - July 15

Thanks for the advice.I think I will try the gel pads and pump from the right side for a little while.I was wondering if pumping one side and bf from the other will cause one side to produce more milk.I'm asking b/c I bf her from the left before she went to sleep then I pumped from the right.About an hour later the right side was leaking and somewhat engorged so I pumped again to relieve some of the pressure.I wonder if I made a mistake by pumping it completely empty the first time b/c it was already somewhat engorged anyway.Now my right b___st(the sore one) is engorged again and it's only been an hour since I pumped.The left side is fine.Maybe I shouldn't have pumped it completely.Well I will try your suggestions through the wkend then call the consultant at the health dept or hosp Monday if I don't find something that works for me.~Thanks again~


kellens mom - July 15

It sounds like you may have pumped a bit too much and your body is trying to keep up with the demand. I think we all do it at some time or another. Try placing a warm/hot wash cloth over your beast before you pump. When you are done pumping (don't over do it), put a cold wash cloth on your b___st. I wet an old wash cloth, folded up so it fit in a sandwich size ziplock bag. I placed the wet rag in the freezer. When frozen, it was bendable enough that I could mold it around my b___st. A professional lactation consultant also told me that placing cabbage leaves in your bra for a little while (30 mins-2 hrs) will help to. If you get uncomfortable, you can take an anti-inflamitory like ibuprophen or tylenal. Amy Spangler has a good b___st feeding book that provides good insight. Ask the Lactation consultant if they have a copy you can borrow (our hospital gave us a free copy as part of our BF cla__s). Your doing great...and figuring things out. Keep up the good observations. Gel pads work great... I also wish I had worn Breast shields at night to allow air to circulate around my nipples. I think they would have mended quicker. Someone else suggested that in a different thread. Sorry to make this so long... In order to heal, I ended up BF out of my least wounded b___st for nearly 2 weeks. I pumped the other one all the time. I suppose I nursed from the bad b___st once or twice a day, but I think it really slowed down healing because the sores would open. It was aweful and painful...but I did heal and life is much better. I will say that when I over pumped, I saw it as an opportunity to store some milk in the freezer. You never know when you will need some extra. Good luck.


piratesmermaid - July 18

Okay, I'm still in the hospital and I'm having the same problem! The first several feedings were fine, she took to it no problem at all, and it didn't hurt at all. But now, started yesterday afternoon (we had been b___stfeeding regularly every 3-ish hours or so for 24 hours without problem) that the first minute on each nipple is absolute agony. I'm a wuss, I DO cry for that first minute or so. Once she gets going it's fine. The nurse said it looks like she's just playing with it in the beginning, starting to suck too soon before the entire thing is in her mouth. I have that lanolin creme, but it doesn't seem to do anything to help. It's only been two days and it really HURTS! Any other advice for pain this soon into it?


kellens mom - July 19

I had the same issue...except I was out of the hospital for a few days. As it turns out, she was not openning her mouth wide enough around the nipple base on her lower lip. Basically she attached herself to the berry looking part of the nipple. I thought she had enough of the aerola but she did not. I don't really know how to get your lo to open their mouth wider. I would hand express a little milk to give dd a taste and then pull it away until she openned big. I called her "my little birdie". It was hard because it is all trial and error. My husband discovered that if he tickled her cheek, she would open up wide. What ever you do, don't suffer in silence. Get some help. Trust me. It is better to resolve the issue now...and there is an issue because it should not hurt that much. I feel your pain because I was there once...


piratesmermaid - July 20

Thanks, Kellensmom, I'm sure that's the problem. I can tell if she's got enough of the nipple at the top, but I can't see under her chin! I have a nurse coming by tomorrow afternoon to see if she can help. ....... What made it really painful this morning (we're home now, by the way) was that she was squirming around (she's a big wiggler) just before we started feeding and she raked her tiny fingernails across my sore nipple! If anyone heard me cry out they'd think I was in labor again!



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