Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Breast Feeding: A Speed Bump

We are having our first issue with breast feeding since leaving the hospital. I had just been telling friends on Friday how easy things have been so far, and of course the next day my words came back to bite me (quite literally). I have really enjoyed breast feeding, and love the bond that I already have with Max. 

Saturday we were having a bit of a marathon cluster feeding session. Painful, yes, as expected. At one point I looked down and noticed that a chunk of my nipple was missing (1/8" x 1/8"). Ouch. Now of course Max is a baby, and he didn't mean it. I am not, and was not, mad at him at all. (Weird how that works, even with the pain I still love the little rugrat to pieces.) However, it's still a problem we have to work through. 

Anyway, my nipple is damaged. I tried to not nurse that side for the rest of the day, and take care of it with breast milk and nipple butter. We tried to give him a bottle when he would normally nurse from that side, which wasn't as easy as it sounds (more on that in another post). The next day I ended up caving in and letting him nurse from that side a few times, but at a position where his gums wouldn't hit the hole in my nipple. I dealt with the pain, and he seemed like a happy little baby who was getting enough milk. After the second session on that side, I noticed that the hole had grown. It had basically doubled in size. Yikes. Never mind that idea. That side is off limits for a while. 

Yesterday was the first day of not nursing on the damaged side. It was a very challenging day. I pumped to help with engorgement, and to have a bottle of breast milk (still no formula) for him. I didn't nurse him on that side at all. Unfortunately, it seemed like the other side wasn't able to keep up with his appetite. It was so hard on me emotionally, to have a crying baby that I couldn't keep up with on my own. I know that the bottles were my own breast milk, but I was crushed to have to start using my frozen stash also. I just can't keep up with milk production. 

Today my pumping was better. Having some sleep helped, and I paid more attention to my food and water intake. I pumped several times throughout the day, giving the breast demand so that it would keep producing. I'm still not pumping enough to keep up, but I know that I will get through this. I'm trying to keep the hole in the nipple covered in nipple butter, and constantly putting breast milk on it to help with healing. Pumping on that side hurts like hell, and probably isn't good for healing, but I refuse to just give up on that side. I know it's better for both of us if I let it heal a little bit before nursing, it's just going to take some time. I'm totally open to any suggestions on how to get this healing faster (hint, hint)! 

Now here's a reminder of why I do all of this crazy stuff. My little love monkey, Max. Here's a quiet moment from yesterday on the couch. 

Max and I cuddling (don't worry, I wasn't sleeping)
I'm thinking of buying fenugreek tomorrow, and seeing if it helps. If I had a stash before, imagine how much I'll have in another week! Any other suggestions? :) 


  1. Hey, there is a little plastic piece that goes over your nipple that has holes in it, that would help while your nipple is still healing. They sell them at babies r us. Jameson did something very similar and this was the only thing that helped.

    1. Thanks Jackie! I have heard about those, that's a great idea. I hadn't thought of that for helping with this, but it makes so much sense! I might just have to try it! Thanks for the suggestion :)

  2. Hey Dawn, I know this was a little while ago, but you might ask your doctor for a prescription for APNO (All Purpose Nipple Ointment). Nora was HORRIBLE at latching in the beginning and did a number on me in terms of cracking and bleeding...and this stuff does seem to really help!

    It sounds like you're doing really great with the breastfeeding...it took us a solid six weeks to really start to feel comfortable with it, so keep up the good work!


  3. Thanks Joanna! I found out that I actually have thrush, and that's what caused the problem. I'm being treated now with a cream similar to what you mentioned :) Thanks for the tip!