Great to finally read some feedback about other people that are having similar problems. They dont tell you that once you milk comes a few days after bubs is born, you pretty much have to learn to breadfeed again. My breasts became so encorged and hard that our lil man kept slipping off and munching on the end of the nipples, leaving me bleeding, extremely sore and chew marks around my nipples. Breast feeding has to be one of the hardest skills to learn....especially when you have flat nipples!
My midwife gave me nipple shields to use until my nipples heal. Even sometimes with the shields feeding can be painful and i still find him sometimes chewing on the nipple. Ouch! I have been using the shields for just under a week. Mitchell is now 12 days old.
Everyone keeps telling me that i cannot become reliant on them and i need to eventually get rid of them. Does anyone know the reason why nipple shields cannot be used for long periods of time?
I went for a steam treatment on my nipples yesterday and am back again today for another session....fingers crossed this gives me some healing.
Well done for persevering, it's such a hard first month or so, and no one tells you how bad it can be!
I also found I had some pain with the shields, but it was bearable, unlike without them!
In terms of people telling you not to become reliant on them - you need to use them for as long as it takes for your nipples to heal and you to be able to BF without them. Some people it takes a few days, some a few months. The danger with the shield is that some people have a supply drop when they use them. If you feel your supply dropping, you can express after feeds a couple of times a day to boost it back up again. As long as your baby is gaining weight, having lots of wet and dirty nappies, your supply is fine. Mitchell should be close to regaining his birth weight now, and should be back there by 14 days. The other issue with the shield can be weaning from them because your DS may prefer the sensation of the silicone teat to the nipple, although with perseverence most people can wean successfully.
Try not to get too stressed, you're doing a wonderful job and just need to do whatever has to be done in those early weeks. Make sure you keep asking for help from your CHN as you need it.
And for your damaged nipples, have you tried Lansinoh? You slather it on after a feed (don't need to wash it off before feeding) and it heals nipples faster than anything else I tried. I also found walking around topless helpful roll eyes
as everytime I did my bra back up my nipple would form a scab into the bra/pad and it would kill when I had to peel it off again - if this is a problem for you try expressing a bit of milk into the scab to soften it first so it doesn't make you bleed before you even start feeding!
Best of luck, it just gets better and easier the further you go.