After four days of breastfeeding I've got incredibly sore nipples. The right side in particular is not going well, and has quite prominent blisters now. They get so bad that the blister pops and I end up getting blood all over my son's face. This is upsetting both because of the pain, but also from the sight of me bleeding all over my little man. There is something inherently wrong with blood all over a newborns lips.
Not sure if you have an infection or a latching issue which is causing you sore nipples or breasts? Click here for 16 different causes of sore breasts and nipples, and their remedies!
I knew that I could expect to be a bit emotional at this time while my hormones were still adjusting to not being pregnant, but I think the lack of sleep and the pain in my breasts is more likely to be the reason. My midwife informs me that my sore nipples should settle down as the milk comes in more fully, as this will mean there's more fluid surrounding the nipple while it's in my son's mouth. I still feel much better after a good cry though.
My midwife also shows me how to use the football hold to feed. I feel really awkward doing this though. My son is so long that I can't comfortably lean against the back of the couch. I will definitely have to practice this hold if I'm going to become comfortable with it.
Thankfully my milk does start to come in today. I'd heard that some women wake up with a lot of breast pain from the sudden increase in size, but I think because I'm still feeding every 1.5-2 hours my breasts don't have the chance to become excessively engorged which is nice. A friend of mine whose daugther was born two days earlier than my little man is having a lot of troubles with blocked ducts, cracked nipples and mastitis. In general this makes me feel pretty lucky, at least I'm only in pain when I'm feeding.
Although I'm not engorged I do catch sight of my breasts in the mirror this night and am pretty impressed. They are so perky it looks like I'm wearing a bra even though I'm not!
After having done a lot more research and learning so much from attending some breastfeeding courses designed for lactation consultants and related therapists it is clear to me that my son was not attaching properly.
I had been told a few different things about changing his latch on which really didn't make much difference, and in the end I think probably caused me to have more nipple damage than was really necessary.
Not all nipple and breast pain is caused by latching on problems though, click here for 5 different causes of sore nipples and breasts, and their remedies!
So here are my latching on remedy's for nipple soreness:
My First Baby
Feeding Infants - My Son's Birthday
My Second Baby