My Breastfeeding Adventures: Nursing E in The Early Days

Cristin and E

Cristin and E

Breastfeeding was the least of my concerns while I was pregnant with E. I had already done it for 15 months with my first, we battled food sensitivity, flat nipples and nursed half way through my pregnancy. Should be no problem the second time I thought. Well, I was wrong. It took many attempts to get the first latch. When she did finally latch it hurt. Breastfeeding should not hurt, I remembered. I told my doula and my midwife as they were trying to help me, “She's not latched right. It hurts. It's not supposed to hurt.” I always had an initial pain when my first baby latched, but then all was well. This was worse at the beginning, but hurt all the time. I took her off then tried and tried again until she was finally back on. It was better this time, but still hurt. I wanted my baby to get what she needed, so I stuck it out. Our second night home it took 3 hours of trying to get her latched before I rummaged through the old baby things to find a nipple shield. It worked, thank goodness!

Over the next 3 weeks E grew thinner and thinner. E's weight was now 8 ounces less than her birth weight, at 3 weeks old. I was in so much pain sometimes I wanted to cry. I relied on the nipple shield at night especially. There were times where I thought I couldn't take the pain. I went to a LLL meeting, our second. We learned how to use the sandwich technique and got E’s weight to go back up again. Finally a week later, at 1 month old, she was back to her birth weight.

I started APNO and went to the ENT at the suggestion of BABE. The ENT found a lip tie and a tongue tie. He clipped both. For the first time ever, I had a pain free latch!

I stayed on the APNO for quite some time, had mastitis once, thrush once. After each remedy I felt, better, but not completely. I was sure my midwives thought I was nuts or something, but I knew something was wrong so I persisted. I always had redness, swelling, vasospasms and pain following the vasospasms for 4 mos. I contacted BABE again to pick their brains. I tried another treatment for thrush with no success, but something they said got me thinking. I wondered if it was a food sensitivity on my part. I quit drinking almond milk and within 2 days I felt much better. After about a week I tried some and the pain was back. Since then I have not had any almond milk and very little pain after 4 ½ months of constant pain. E still needs assistance with her latch, but her weight is near the top of the charts again.