Nursing for 10 Days- EXTREMELY Sore Nipples... HELP!

Updated on September 10, 2009
M.S. asks from Clearwater, FL
38 answers

Hi Ladies!
I have a 10 day old baby and am having a hard time nursing. I am EXTREMELY sore... I thought things were getting better, but today was hell..... I have tried Medela Lanolin, Nipple Nurture, and just started using Lanisoh cream. I have extremely large nipples... (much larger than a silver dollar) I don't know if that has anything to do with it... maybe I'm letting my baby get too hungry? He's really 'going to town' by the time he gets to nurse. He doesn't really like pacifiers very much and doesn't take a bottle, so I don't think it's nipple confusion. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Does anybody know any lactation specialists in the Miami area?

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So What Happened?

Hi ladies,

You all gave me great advice. I bought nipple shields and they were a BIG help.......Unfortunately, we found out today that both baby and I have a bad case of thrush (yeast). My poor baby has a really bad diaper rash and sores in his mouth... I have extremely sore and raw nipples and sore breasts even when not feeding. Thank goodness the pediatrician called in a prescription. Apparently this is common with C-sections since we're pumped full of antibiotics after the surgery..... And- I found a great lactation specialist in my area that helped me immensely.
Thanks for all the great advice!

Featured Answers

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R.W.

answers from Tampa on

Start feeding him before he cries to eat. That was the advice I was given because my milk always came out way to fast and my nipples were sore at first. It really works. Keep track of when he normally wakes to eat and get him about five or ten minutes earlier. He won't be so hungry and he won't suck as fast and as hard as he is now.

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C.M.

answers from Miami on

You can call 311 and ask for one. If they are confused like most of Miami, ask for the Health Connect program who should be able to refer someone to you. By the way, the program is free.

Christ

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C.G.

answers from Boca Raton on

Definitely Definitely Definitely see a lactation consultant. I had the same problem with my second child. I had thought that it's my second time around, I know what I am doing, but it wasn't the same as the first time around. I got so very sore and cracked and bleeding that I saw a lactation consultant. She was able to see that he was not latching on right. She ended up giving me a nipple shield that helped him to latch on better and then once he got that, we had to wean off the shield. It was a very hard and trying time, I just wanted to give up, but with her help I stuck through it and was able to bf my son for the next 8 months! I don't know of any lactation consultants in Miami, but you can look on the La Leche League website for some answers. Good luck and don't give up, this too shall pass!

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J.S.

answers from Miami on

Aside from the great advice others are giving and incase you don't already know here is a suggestion...

I rented a pump from the hospital (huge difference from any you could buy at a store) and it was amazing. I bought several types of nipples and tried each one until I found one that my son would take (Advent). The pump seemed to ease the initial pain of nursing in the early weeks. Although I can see how it would not do much good if you can't get the little one to take a nipple. Just keep trying and it is bound to work out.

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K.J.

answers from Orlando on

You are doing a wonderful thing for your baby! Unfortunately, the pain comes with the territory. The good thing is it doesn't last forever, although it may seem like it! I had a difficult time establishing pain free bf, it took about 5 weeks(I almost gave up), and then one day, pain free! just like that, it stopped. I too went to a lactation consultant(ask the hospital where you gave birth) she was helpful and reassuring. I also got the soothing nipple gel pads from her, they were AWESOME! You put them into the refrigerator to cool, ahhh! One set lasted me a couple of weeks, I definitely recommend them. I think they are called "Soothies". The breast shield is also helpful, although my consultant said to try not to use them too much, 1)-you want baby to learn your nipple, and 2)-you also want your nipple to toughen. Hang in there, you are doing great! Bf has to be the biggest challenge and biggest commitment of new mommy hood, but SO rewarding. Do NOT give up! It's a only few weeks of unbearable pain(lol) in return for(if you want)a couple of years of the most wonderful moments of motherhood! Keep up the great job!

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A.B.

answers from Tampa on

A nipple shield really helped me, but only use it for a few minutes to allow baby to get a good latch and then remove and continue to feed. Also, nursing more often will help baby not be so hungry. Try asking your OBGYN office for a reference to any lactation specialists in your area. They are sure to know.

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T.F.

answers from Orlando on

I nursed 3 kids and that only happened with my first one because I didn't know what I was doing. No one told me that babies aren't born knowing how to latch on properly and they need to be guided. They instinctively know how to suck, but need to be taught how to latch on properly, so please call the LeLecheLeague. Also, I used A&D ointment in between feedings. Wipe it off before your baby nurses. It tastes sweet and isn't harmful in small amounts if a bit is ingested. Also, it's hard when he is so teeny, but make sure he is only eating and not using you for a pacifier beyond eating. The LeLecheLeague should be able to help you with that

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V.A.

answers from Tallahassee on

Hi M.,
Congrats on the baby and breastfeeding! So sorry about the sore nipples. I have 4 children and nursed them all for more than a year. My 2 1/2 year old still nurses. I discovered early on that if I started having sore nipples, it was because the baby wasn't latched on properly. It might take a little bit of work and practice on your end and the baby's end, but what you'll need to do is tickle the baby's mouth with the breast until he opens his mouth and he's going to have to open his mouth really wide. One of mine didn't want to open their mouth wide and I had to get them to open as wide as possible and then I would push the nipple in as fast and far as I could and then sometimes I would have to push a little more in with my fingers until the whole nipple and as much of the areola was in their mouth.
I really hope you have success with this. Don't give up yet! You're doing great so far. But really try to get as much of the area around the nipple in his mouth as possible and that will stop the soreness, because if he's just sucking on the nipple itself, it will really be painful.
Take care and if you need to contact me, please feel free to!
V.

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S.M.

answers from Miami on

Hi, M.. Well, SWeetie, I'm proud of you because you've kept at it even though it hurts! The only thing that helped my nipples was a cream made from peanut oil. I don't remember the name. I want to say Mother's Friend, but I think that's for stretch marks.

You can try using pure olive oil or better yet, peanut oil. I didn't get much help from lanolin. Make sure you keep your nipples clean with plain fresh water in between feedings to make sure you don't get any irritation from leftover saliva or breastmilk staying on your nipples.

The only thing to do is to stay at it. It's only been 10 days; if you've made it this far, you can make it until it stops hurting!

Again, make sure you position the baby in such a way that there is no tension at all on the nipple or on the breast as he's sucking. In between feedings, use warm compresses on your breasts to ease the pain of the milk glands and the nipples. Never use ice unless you have to stop nursing.

I don't know of any lactation specialists here in Miami, but you can try La Leche League.

Again, kudos to you for keeping at it!

Peace,
Syl

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J.K.

answers from Orlando on

It sounds to me like he's not latching on properly. You have to make sure that his mouth is open wide enough to take in your nipple. He shouldn't be sucking on the nipple itself- if he is then that's the reason why you are so sore. Also, he won't be getting enough milk from you if he's not sucking properly to trigger your let-down response. I highly suggest meeting with a lactation specialist as soon as possible so she can watch you nurse and help you with any problems. Contact your local hospital and they should be able to refer you to one in your area. Good luck!

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A.P.

answers from Jacksonville on

M.
I breastfed 4 kids and it's horrible when your nipples are sore i remember. A couple pieces of advice 4 you. 1. After the baby is done nursing let the nipples air dry and then put the lansinoh on. 2. Make sure your baby is latching on correctly. Tease his lower lip with your finger or nipple and when the mouth opens really wide put your nipple in quick. You want the whole nipple in the mouth, improper latch on will mean you are always sore. 3. If when the baby is nursing he slurps very loudly (not just the swallowing sound) he may be latched on incorrectly. 4. When you are taking the baby off the nipple insert your finger between his mouth and your nipple to break the seal.

If you can't find a lactation consultant try for la leche league they should be helpful. And keep at it! It will start getting better soon! Good luck!

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S.L.

answers from Tampa on

Hi M.,
I had the same problem after a week of nursing my daughter as a newborn and I bet the problem is your baby is not in a good latching position. Do you use one of those breastfeeding pillows to help position your baby? Also for the pain, keep applying the Lanolin, it DOES work! I bought the "Nursing Mother's Companion" book by Kathleen Huggins. It really is a must for new breastfeeding mothers with some great photos of proper latch-on positions! Good luck! It will get easier!

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D.D.

answers from Punta Gorda on

OK, first make sure you put a fair amount of your nipple into his mouth grab about an inch and get it in before he latches on. I had to buy a nipple shield from babies r us for large flat nipples, worked like a charm! Make sure to get the larger size. If it hurts when he first latches, break suction by sticking pinky between mouth and breast.

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H.P.

answers from Orlando on

M.,
Congrats on your baby boy!
Sorry about your sore nipples. I think it is normal for them to be sore at first. But it wouldnt hurt to call a lactation consultant to make sure he is latching on correctly. It should only hurt for the first few sucks....if it continues to hurt, might be a latch problem. It is usually an easy fix.
Call the hospital where you delivered & they should have somebody there to help with this. If not, they will refer you to someone in the area.
Good luck!
H.

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M.P.

answers from Orlando on

I know that you've got alot of responses already but I just have to say hang in there! With my daughter my breast hurt for about 3 to 4 weeks and then it all went away. Make sure that the baby is getting enough of his mouth around your nipple and be sure to keep your nipple lubed up with the cream. Try to avoid using any kind of soap on your nipples when you bathe as that attrbibutes to them drying out. I'm due with another baby less than 3 weeks and interested in seeing if I'll go through the same type of nipple soreness with this one. Hang in there, this too shall pass!

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T.B.

answers from Boca Raton on

M.,
I see you've received lots of advice... all good.
In addition to exposing your nipples to air to let them dryout/breathe... rubbing some of your own breastmilk into them directly after the feeding will also help.
Apply hot/cold compresses, keep using the Lanisoh/Medela Lanolin/Nipple Nurture cream, too.
I wish the information available to nursing moms was more truthful. Yes, it hurts and will hurt for the first little while. Your nipples will toughen up and after you ride this through, it will be an awesome experience for you.
You can also take Tylenol or what you were prescribed post-partum by your ob for the pain if necessary.
(Just make sure the pain isn't from an absess or blocked milk duct...)
Definitely seek out the assistance of a lactation consultant... it wouldn't hurt!
Best of luck in nursing your little one.
T.

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A.M.

answers from Tampa on

Hi, sorry you're having a hard time...plz don't give up! I know many mom's who gave up not realizing certain things like the fact that the baby needs to have as muchof the ariola in its mouth as possible, not just the end of the nipple. I know yours are large so you still may have a hard time...good luck!!!

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A.C.

answers from Orlando on

Hi M.-

I am currently nursing my 3rd baby-she is nine months old. I can tell you that the soreness lasts for weeks, sometimes even months. Jut part of the game. And if other Mommas tell you or act different, they are not being real. I LOVE nursing and nursed my first two until they were one year old and will do the same for the third. Just make sure your little peanut is latching on correctly. You know that because his lips will look like he is "puckering up" instead of inverted.

Do YOU feel comfortable besides the soreness? If so, it is just part of the deal. Think about it, you are having someone suck milk from a sensitive and delicate part of your body all the time! And you just gave birth and you are hormonal and probably deficient in some kind of nutrition....just be patient. It takes awhile.

Call someone from the La Leche League-look them up online and fins a consulatant in your area! They are wonderful.

A. Carlson

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L.W.

answers from Panama City on

Get the nipple shields that you will find in the breastfeeding aisle at the store (not sure what brand I used). They have holes at the nipple areas so the milk can still come through and just suction cup to your breast. I had one breast get more sore than the other and it saved that breast like you wouldn't believe. Try not to use it too often so your nipples can toughen up, but it's great for those times when it's almost unbearable. Hope this helps. Oh and it seemed as though after 2 weeks, my nipples could handle the sucking just fine. Just hang in there and don't give up. It's a very rewarding experience.

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H.G.

answers from Miami on

Hi M.,
I'm sorry about your pain. I can totally relate. I was extremely sore as well for both of my babies for about 3 weeks...I was in tears every time they latched on. I saw the lactation specialist numerous times and I was doing everything right. She said to make sure your baby's mouth is wide as possible when latching on. Nothing worked. I used Lanisoh cream with my second every time I was done nursing and before I took a shower and that seemed to help. Some people say you shouldn't have pain but I think that's a bunch of B.S. for some of us!
I went to the hospital where I gave birth to see the lactation specialist there. You may want to check your hospital as well - they usually all have one.
Don't give up...the pain will go away in time and it's all so worth it. Goood luck.

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S.F.

answers from Boca Raton on

Been there, done that, twice. Believe me I know the pain. However, just stick with it. Three weeks was my magic number. After that, all was perfect and wonderful. Nursed both kids until they were 2 1/2 yrs. old.

Hang in there. The more you nurse, the better it'll feel. Trust!!

S.

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L.H.

answers from Miami on

The GURU lactation consultant in Miami is
FAITH PLOUDE at MERCY HOSPITAL LACTATION SERVICES
even if you are not near Mercy Hospital, she is WORTH IT!!

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A.D.

answers from Fort Myers on

Search on-line for La Leche League and contact the local chapter leaders immediately for help. If this is your first child, nipple pain is no uncommon. And I know it hurts. I needed some counselling from La Leche League on hold positions and techniques to eliminate the pain.

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R.C.

answers from Sarasota on

Yes, this happened to me with my oldest. For me, it was an incorrect latch made worse by a vigorous suck.

If you can see a lactation consultant, post partum doula or La Leche League member soon, please do! If not, check out these videos:

http://www.drjacknewman.com/video-clips.asp

In a nutshell, I couldn't get to an expert personally with my oldest and tried everything I could find in a book, but I was still EXTREMELY sore (and all that goes with that). I finally worked out something that (I thought) was doing it wrong, but worked for us.

Before my second child was born, I saw Dr. Newman's videos and about hyperventilated--he was teaching the way I thought was "wrong" that had worked so well for me!!!!

The essence of it is that the nipple shouldn't be centered in the child's mouth. It goes up and back--you should see more of your aureole where the baby's upper lip is.

I did this with my second child and was never sore AT ALL, in any way, not even for five minutes.

It will take you a while to heal once you get going, but you should feel relief right away.

Congratulations!

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L.P.

answers from Tampa on

Cabbage and nurse often, it hurts for a while, but it's normal and remember NORMAL IS GOOD. I have a normal 21 month old, normal means temper tantrums and it's hard to deal with, but I am so thankful he is "normal." Cool the cabbage leaves in the freezer or fridge and put them on your breast. Do this only a few time each day. This is said to relieve pain and help the milk dry up, so I wouldn't do it all day. A few times each day should help with the pain. Also try a nursing approved pain reliever (Tylenol?). I have been nursing my son for 21 months now, and once the soreness stops you will be so happy you decided to nurse... now if I could just figure out how to wean my son. Good luck!

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B.K.

answers from Tallahassee on

Don't give up! Get help with his latch on. If they latch on right, it should not hurt. I'm glad you are nursing, and so is he, I'm sure. I hope you find a lactation consultant or a local chapter of La Leche League. Good luck.

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K.B.

answers from Tampa on

I nursed both of my sons, still nursing my 6 month old and both times had extermely sore nipples for the first couple of weeks. I felt the same way, and do not have large nipples, it is just part of nursing. It will get better, I promise! I was in tears with my first son and calling the lactation specialist at the hospital constantly! First, I doubt that you are letting him get too hungry, you should be nursing on demand right now since he is so young (which can sometimes seem like all you are doing is nursing him...since it pretty much is). All babies nurse differently, my oldest was a "ferocious" eater no matter how often he nursed, he always acted like he was starving! My youngest is totally different and all of my girlfriends who nursed have expereienced the same thing. A few things you can try...a life saver for me with my first son was these silicone nipple shields that you can get at Babies R Us and I believe Target, they were miracles. They are very thin silicone pieces that are shaped to lay right over your nipple and they have little tiny holes in them so that the baby can nurse right on them and basically not have any difference. I used them for three days and that was all I needed to help, what a difference. If you try them use them every time for the first several feedings or until you get some pain relief and then start using them every other or every 3 or 4 feedings, so that you can slowly start getting your nipples used to nursing. I loved the Lanisoh cream, it worked the best for me and I beleive it is the purest lanolin of any of the brands. A few other safe rubs are almond oil and coconut oil, rub one of these or the lanolin on before and after you nurse...every time...don't forget! Also, make sure you are not using anything other than a washcloth with water to wash your breasts...no soap. An "old natural" remedy that actually does work is Comfrey ointment. It softens and strengthens nipples, it is exceptionally soothing to sensitive nipples and rapidly heals them. Yarrow leaf poultices - or yarrow infused oil - also provides almost instantaneous pain relief and heals cracked nipples rapidly. I used the comfrey ointment and it helped a lot, especially in combination with the nipple shields. You can get both products at a health food store, they have been used by nursing mothers for years and are considered safe, I just used them sparingly...a few times a day. Another easy thing to try is an ice pack after every time you nurse, just hold them on your nipples (wrapped in a towel or over your shirt, not directly on your nipples) for 10-15 minutes each time. The ice really does help. You can also try a warm saline soak, just mix a cup or so of warm water and a tablespoon or so of salt in bowl and soak your nipple in it for about 10 minutes, let it air dry and then apply your lanolin or whatever oil/ointment you are going to try. Last and of course not least, be sure that he is latching on correctly, make sure his lips are "flanged" out on the top and bottom, you shouldn't hear any loud sucking noises and he shouldb't be coming off and on constantly. It may be that with having large nipples, his mouth is rubbing against the whole nipple surface so much that it is making it more raw/sore. Make sure that you are holding him in a comfortable position, if he is not comfortable he will not latch on right, make sure his whole body is supported. Nursing pillows can help a lot with the positioning. Hang in there, it will get better, any nursing mom can tell you that the first few weeks are really hard and that is why so many women quit! You will get better and you will feel very proud of yourself for sticking it out and getting through this, it is not easy but, it is worth it for your child! Also, check the hospital you gave birth at, they should have a lactation department with lactation specialist and they are always available to the moms after leaving the hospital. Otherwise, check to see if there is a Le Leche representative in your area, I never used them but know people who did and had a good experience with them. Good luck and hope it gets better soon!

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J.G.

answers from Orlando on

I had the same problem for at least 6-8 weeks with my first baby. Nothing I tried could completely make it better. I think it just takes time for your body to adjust to breastfeeding. By my third baby, the soreness was gone much quicker!

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J.S.

answers from Ocala on

It has to do with the way the baby is latching on. Try La Leche League's web site and they can give you ideas on how to get your baby to latch on properly. The good news is that around about the 2 week mark things get dramatically better. Just hold on... you're almost over the hill. :)

T.J.

answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I'm not in the Miami area, but you are right to see a lactation specialist. Hope you will see one ASAP. I've been there and done that... oh and they hurt so much! But once you get a good latch and the nipples start to heal... it's cake from there! LOL!

Good luck!

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S.W.

answers from Miami on

Google "La Leche League" and get some advice.
It hurts to nurse, until you and the baby are well into a routine...could take a few months. Sorry, dear. Stay with it, and you will eventually have a pleasant, bonding experience.

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H.B.

answers from Tampa on

If you haven't made an appt with a lactation consultant with your local hospital, birthing center or Dr office, definately call LLL .... You need help for proper latch immediately! In the meantime nurse often.... Whenever your baby is rooting, sucking his hand, making mouth movements or crying.... Feed him. He should be nursing many times a day, but hopefully you can get the help you need so that it is not painful. Look at some websites showing proper latch... and maybe a good reference book on breastfeeding such as the one called Breastfeeding by Dr Sears or The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by LLL....Hang in there and way to go for not giving up!!! You should be proud and remember that you are giving him the very best gift!!!

Best wishes!!!

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C.

answers from Boca Raton on

It is probably that he is not latched on properly and they do have problems when they are really hungry. Make sure his mouth is wide open when he latches.His mouth should be around the areola so the actual nipple is in the back of his mouth. LeLeche League is good for information and you should call the hospital where you delivered. Most have a lactation consultant on staff that you can go see for free since you delivered there. Another thing to try-are your breast engorged when he starts nursing-that will make for a difficult latch as well. If they are you can express a little milk until they soften up a bit. For the soreness try a hot shower and then let your breast air dry. Let them get some air and breast shields are great to keep your bra and shirt off of your sore nipples. You will think I am crazy but you can get cabbage leaves and put them in the freezer for a little bit them apply them to your breast. There is something in cabbage that has a healing effect and will help with engorgement if that is a problem. Good Luck
C.

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M.W.

answers from Tampa on

Hi M.,
congratulations on the baby! Yes, nursing in general hurts and you do have to stick with it, but go see a lactation consultation to make sure baby is latching properly. I went through 10 weeks of horribly painful nursing (curling my toes, and gritting my teeth every time) until I was finally advised that he was latching incorrently (only on my nipple, and not the aureola). Once I got help, it was a good experience. Good luck

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J.G.

answers from Orlando on

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Motherhood is exceptional.

My nipples hurt so bad at first that I winced every time my daughter would latch on. I forced myself to stick with it. Around Day 10 or so for me, everything was fine. Your nipples just have to "toughen." It may take a few more days, but it should happen for you too, very soon. I nursed my daughter for 26 months, with no pain at all after the beginning days. Lansinoh did help for me, as my nipples were cracked and raw. Lovely, right?! But that, too, was quickly healed.

It made me laugh when everyone would say that breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. Your breasts shouldn't, but how can your nipples NOT hurt? Have you ever had anyone suck on them for more than a few seconds at a time normally? OF COURSE they will be sore after your son chows down!! My daughter went on eating frenzies, too, lasting a couple hours. She would just go back and forth from each breast. Hang in there!! It gets better, and fabulous.

Sending positive vibes, sweetie!

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C.M.

answers from Miami on

Gerber makes these gel pads that you put on your nipples in between feedings. They stick right on and you can wear them under your bra. These were the only thing that worked for me during those first, rough weeks. Everyone is right, though. It does get better. Keep trying with the bottle (experiment with different nipples- some babies seem to prefer one kind over the others). Have someone else try with the bottle, too. Some babies won't take a bottle right away from the mom, b/c they know the boob is available:-)
good luck!

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W.M.

answers from Orlando on

I had problems with sore nipples with my first one and a great lactation specialist in Orlando gave me a recipe that worked wonders. Here it is mix in equal parts Lortimin AF - Cortizone10-Polysporin. Put on nipples after you nurse and try to wash off before you nurse again, but if you forget it is safe for the baby. It made mine feel much better. Good Luck

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R.K.

answers from Tampa on

I had the same problem - solved it by using nipple covers between nursing. I think they are made by Medela. They are plastic and cover over your nipple - makes like a tent so nothing tuchs them and you can let them heal. They may be called nipple guards - they come in sizes. You can put the cream on when you are wearing these - made a huge difference.
Congrats on the baby!

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