My Breastfeeding Journey: Cracked nipples and an LC

As I approached 41 weeks in my first pregnancy, I was feeling the pressure from the medical community.  Setting an induction date was brought up at my 40 week appointment and it set my emotions on a roller coaster.  My desire for an unmedicated, minimal intervention birth was feeling under attack.

Lots of walking, squatting and two membrane sweeps later and I went into labour at exactly 41 weeks.  I appreciated the amazing, supportive feedback that I received from the Momzelle facebook page and comments on this blog.  Women who could empathize with the pressure to set an induction date and encouragement to stand my ground.

My labour was intense and graciously speedy!  We welcomed our little girl, Adèle on Feb. 16th at 4:25am.  She weighed 8lbs 1oz.  My birth plan was respected and we had the most wonderful labour and delivery nurse.  Sue kept me focused and kept the atmosphere in the room calm.

We were especially pleased with our experience at Montreal’s only Baby Friendly hospital.  Adèle was placed on my chest immediately and we had constant skin to skin contact for the 36 hour hospital stay.  She latched on within an hour.  We were on our way…

 

I have read and researched so much about breastfeeding!  I am lucky enough that my job introduced me to so many resources.  I scoured Kellymom.com, joined the Leaky Boob facebook page, read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding and yet

Within the first twelve hours of feeding my sweet little girl, my nipples were cracked and bleeding!  Two days later I was home and crying.  Adèle was losing weight (totally normal, I know, but still stressful!) and I was dreading each feeding.  I knew the latch must be wrong but I didn’t know how to fix it.  My mother, who nursed my sister and I into toddlerhood, didn’t know how to fix it.  The public health nurse had a few tips, but didn’t know how to fix it.

So three days after giving birth, we called a lactation consultant.  It was the best call I’ve ever made.  This wonderful woman came to our house, oozed with expertise and experience and spent two hours observing and talking with us.  She introduced us to the reclining/self-attaching position, in which I recline and place Adèle on my chest and let her initiate the latch.  I can’t say exactly what it was that this LC did that fixed our problem, but I think the confidence she gave me was definitely a big factor.  Now, at three weeks old, my daughter has a double chin and I am so proud:)

Did you get help from a lactation consultant?  How did it impact your breastfeeding journey?

Find a certified lactation consultant near you!

 

6 thoughts on “My Breastfeeding Journey: Cracked nipples and an LC”

  1. OUCH is all I can say… Happy for you that you got some expert help.

    And no, I didn’t get any help, when my older ones were born the internet was not something I was using and breastfeeding was not a common thing for the Mom’s in my entourage to do (my sons are turning 10 and 8, my daughter is 2). I was lucky everything went nicely for me and my kids were super good at latching. Had it been otherwise, I doubt I would have persisted with my breastfeeding, not having the support to know how to deal with it.

    The internet, the blogs, the forums, the websites permits a circle of help and so much information, it’s wonderful.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      It’s great to hear that breastfeeding didn’t give you any trouble. I am sure glad that I have the resources so easily available to me. The community of women and knowledge on the internet is amazing!

  2. Which hospital was that? There’s only one BabyFriendly hospital in all of Canada, according to the pdf on the site (and it doesn’t give the name). I gave birth at LaSalle, which was also where I was born, and I was very happy about the way we were treated. I gave birth at 41 weeks, 4 days. Though I did have an induction scheduled, he came ahead of time.

    I did get mildly cracked nipples, but I figured it out and fixed it quickly. I went to regular LLL meetings and they really helped a lot. It was great to have that support. Now I’m still breastfeeding my 29 month old and I have no clue when he’ll stop, but it looks like no time soon!

    1. I gave birth at St. Mary’s Hospital. I believe it just recently received the designation of Baby Friendly. I have heard wonderful things about LaSalle.
      Well done for breastfeeding your toddler!
      I look forward to getting involved in a local LLL. I feel quite good about my breastfeeding relationship, but I have no doubt it would be hugely helpful to meet other bfing moms!

    1. Hi Jen,
      Actually that is the exact cream I used during those first painful days. My mother suggested it, knowing that pure lanolin is safe for babies. I definitely recommend it. I’m not sure it necessarily healed my nipples, I think perfecting the latch did that, but it eased the pain a bit and kept me infection free.
      I hope your nipples get better!
      Best of luck,
      Sara

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